It really all started with a dream. Since I was young.
As a kid growing up, we went camping for what seemed like allll the time. I loved it. My family would hop in an RV, drive highways to random campgrounds and I just fell in love with the lifestyle. I think that really set the seed in me for striving to live off grid. I found a journal entry from when I was in 5th grade stating that I wanted to be a hippie when I grew up, living in a camper, playing music and giving people puppies… Now the puppies part didn’t quite come true, but my puppies certainly bring smiles to people!
So growing up, there was a trailer park down the road. I would tell my mom, teachers and probably any other adult that would ask me questions that I wanted to live in one of those. They totally did not feel the dream and wished that I would strive for more. Apparently, that didn’t matter because when I turned 21, my only thoughts were “I need to move out asap.”
I had two jobs, both paying $9.15 an hour and a full-time college student. Well, I dropped out of college and shortly got a full time position at one of the jobs. (the thrift store that I still work for) My thoughts of getting out made me save money. I can tell you about my saving tactics in another article. That’s just another world.
So in time, I saved up $3,000 as well as building credit. I Craigslist searched for days. Maybe even months. I found a trailer listed for $7,000. I put $3,000 down and got a loan for $4,000. (thank you good credit) This was also a private sale on Craigslist, I can give you advise on craigslist too in another article.
It was great and terrible at the same time. I finally had my own place but for some reason I found myself miserable. My gut was just screaming “wrong!” So before the year was over, I left. I packed my stuff and went back to my parents. It was a sad time leaving what I thought were my dreams. Somehow I sold it for $5000, even though I paid for $3000 out of pocket. So score! Got an extra $1000 out of my almost year of misery and confusion.
I started reading self help books and really trying to figure things out. I realized I wanted to feel happy, not sad. I wanted to feel better so I started to practice Ecotherapy naturally, not even knowing it was a thing.
In all the sadness and confusion I was feeling, I was also stirring up new dreams and ideas. I wanted to live in a camper van. I planned to either stay in my parents backyard or at a seasonal campground. I looked into getting a brand new camper van, super fancy one. Even applied for a loan, but was rejected because my credit history time was too low. Then I was back on the Craigslist grind. I was determined. In about 4 months, I found my camper van. I brought my parents down to the van and somehow they totally supported my decision. We bought it the day I looked at it. I just couldn’t wait.
After a few days of figuring out how to get it on the road (plates and registering) I brought a friend to pick it up, drove it home and I had my sense of freedom back.
I made a plan. I drew out plans. I sat in the van and pictured what I wanted. Some days passed. I realized I still felt sad. I was stressed and confused, thinking the van was maybe a mistake. I was doubting myself. I tried to figure out how to do this on my own. It was a little scary thought. I like being alone but I would rather have someone by my side, supporting me and pushing me to be the best I can.
So this story now goes to me being sad again. Feeling like I wanted someone. So I did something I never thought I would do. I made a Tinder account. Man oh man, that was a trip. After one day I had 70 matches. I got cheesy messages. But the first message I got was from a guy named Adam. He said tinder was lame and gave me his number. He was the only one who took us off the website immediately. We talked a little, found common interests of the outdoors, both had dogs and we both had vans. So we planned to meet at a mountain to hike.
The people I worked with thought I was crazy and also thought he would be a serial killer. They were wrong. We hit it right off. He told me in the middle of our date that he lives in a tiny home off grid. I thought he was kidding me because that’s what I always wanted and it just seemed too good to be true.
We started hanging out on the daily. We spent days fixing my camper van. We spent weekends camping in his van. We made a deal that if he helps me with my van, I would help him with his tiny house. In a short amount of time I became his girlfriend.
How I started the off grid life wasn’t really planned. If you’re thinking about living off the grid, check out my planning and letting go post. My story will keep going on so basically everything in this blog will be me, Holly, sharing all the things Adam taught me and also what I have learned from my own experiences so far with living off grid. I want to share the excitement, all the cool little tips, tricks and techniques we’ve figured out.
Thank you reading my story so far! Feel free to ask questions and also share your stories in the comment section. Hope you’re excited for more posts about living in da wooooods. I want everyone to feel good and free going to da woods.