Where will I Sleep tonight?

I arrived in Texas four days ago from a three month solo minivan journey to the Tampa, Florida area and back. I avoided Interstates much as possible. Out of 3000 miles traveled, only 300 were on freeways. The rest was on two lane highways or local roads. I traveled through parts of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Panhandle of Florida, Central Florida, SW Florida, and Mississippi.

Each night I had to face the challenge of Where will I sleep tonight? Every single night! I could not ignore nor put it off. Every day it got dark and every evening I needed to stop and sleep. This was one of the biggest challenges of this journey. I learned the hard way to plan ahead and even make reservations, from a hotel room to a camp-spot on the Overlander app.

This is me at the great Mississippi River

I had along with me one thing that was even worse than having little money. I hated it. This was my irrational fears of someone hurting me, somehow. I have traveled alone extensively, hiked alone in Nicaragua and many trails in the states, yet this fear has robbed me of In the Moment Joy too many times.

My trusty protector and companion Kaladin has gone a long way to help me fight the fear, but it still hung on.

I slept in Truck Stops, which intimidated me incredibly at first. By the time I was returning to Texas, I was missing their safety and facilities. With black out curtains and the great reflecix for my windows for privacy, I could snuggle in my bed and be unseen!

I always parked on the ‘car side’ of the truck stop. One night a Big rig parked next to me and the idling engine lulled me to sleep.

I camped in the woods alone with my dog. Talk about messing with my head!! This was a marathon mind fight. But I improved. I asked myself, ‘what can I do about it? what action can I take to lessen my vulnerability? I bought a safety whistle, I bought pepper spray and I planned what I would do. (blow the van horn like a crazy lady).

Paul Johnson State Park, Hattieburg, Mississippi
Their primitive sites are truly that – no water, no electricity, no bathrooms. Just me, Kaladin and nature.

Many times in the past I have tried to win over my fears by refusing to entertain them or mentally rebuking the thoughts. These processes helped in the moment, but were often exhausting and only a temporary fix. The fears came back. When I decided on a plan and took actions, I finally slept like a baby.

And Here We Are. Maybe you also deal with irrational fears messing with your thinking and your mindset. It is easy for the Covid19 Virus and all it surrounds and all that surrounds it,to bring out the fears because it is such an unsolved unknown. I can testify that fighting our fears by trying to simply silence them does not work long-term. We need to be able to offer ourselves possible solutions.

One my recent journey, I learned a great method for stopping those damaging thoughts. I practiced Being In The Moment. Just stopping and noting what is around me, the sounds, the smells, the colors. I am alive in this moment. Outside, I lift my face to the wind and the sky. I am alive in this moment. Deep breaths. I also leaned on my Spotify music – I have 100 playlists! I learned to take out my anxieties by dancing, just letting loose, just being in the moment with myself. And I have learned over the years to just Sit is also good. And maybe most of all, I acknowledged that I am not in control of my life and I have never been. I will exercise my Faith. It is strong and has saved me many many times.

This too shall pass. We are a part of world-changing history. Out of writing this post, I have reminded myself to Let Go, I am not in control anyway. Dance, sing, laugh, reach out, be productive and keep the faith!!

3000 miles and there were kind people everywhere. If they were not outright kind, they were courteous and respectful. We Are All Here, TOGETHER. We are Human. We can do this too.

showing my true self, hopefully to encourage you

cheri – Nomad with a Cause

I Write or I Starve

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