Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Jarring Stop ( Featured Weekly )

 I was making good/steady progress, with almost 10 hours spent behind the wheel, it was 9:30pm and I was crossing the border from Maryland – Virginia. ‘BUH-BOOM-POP-POP’ a double blowout as I pulled over onto the shoulder to get a picture. A FREAKING PICTURE!!! I was so upset with myself for letting my excitement get the best of me, and I felt awful for Lillith as the impact was very violent and I feared that her undercarriage may have been damaged. It took only about a half hour for the tow driver to hook up to her, but it felt like an eternity! Jim was his name, nice guy, local boy born and raised in Virgina on Nascar. Thank goodness I adapt to accents quickly and was wearing my “God Bless America” hat. I find that a smidge of social camoflague goes a hell of a long way in any social situation. With that being said, I truly enjoyed his company. He was an affable fellow, kindhearted and happy to jaw at me about towing cars and his own mis-adventures with hitchhiking in his youth. I appreciated his help so much that I bought him a pack of cigarettes. I know it’s a strange way of doing it, buying someone cigarettes, but I believe in paying it forward! It didn’t take long for us to arrive at the Hagerstown Walmart in Maryland. By that time my spirits had rose back to pretty much normal…I’ve always been a cup half full kinda guy 😊 

Stay safe everyone!

Living Life Unplugged ( General/Philosophy )

 ( Postdated from 2/06 )

 For some of you, the idea of living on top of a 1400’ mountain, 35 miles from the Quebec border, with no wifi or even cell service to entertain you, and a 3.1 mile hike to even reach your sole mode of transportation, would not be an enjoyable time. Even less of you would enjoy this experience being paired with 8-12 hours of physical labor per day, in the form of snow shoeing, chainsawing and hauling brush, cutting/sanding and staining lumber to make trail blaze signs. But this was my life for 5 days. Let me tell you it was quite a trip! The one time I made it into town during my stay was on the second day. I felt a burning desire to connect with the outside world as I was feeling a bit ‘off.’ During my descent from the mountain to my car, my head was filled with a heavy fog, which was in contrast to the beautiful sunny clear weather northern Maine was experiencing. It even reached 34 degrees! Inside of me were thoughts of self doubt and mania. As I reached my car these thoughts lessened and I relaxed into the 20 minute drive to reach town. I stopped and went inside a local business to ask where I could buy some craft beer. I wanted to share a few with my hut mates later that night. As soon as I opened my mouth a voice came out that sounded a little odd to me. The words this voice chose did not quite make sense, given the context. I stiffened and a wave of anxiety washed over me. The shop clerk pointed me in the direction of the general store and I shuffled off in that direction. Strange, I thought to myself as I left the store. It is almost as though I am speaking a different language after spending only two days up in those woods. It’s not like I was alone with nobody to talk to. I thought more on this as I munched on my pizza and drove back to the trailhead. I decided that I had been living/working with a few people in a very specific and remote context and that when I was forced to interact with people who were not sharing that specific context with me, I did not know how to interact with them. When I reached the top of the mountain and closed the door to the hut, I shared this realization with my hutmate Rob; he smiled and said he knew exactly what I meant. I found comfort and comradery in his response. I look forward to climbing those trails and exploring their mountainous terrain later on this summer.

Don’t forget to escape from the daily grind.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Part 2 of My Reasons for becoming a vehicular nomad. (Philosophy & Inspiration)

Postdated from 04/01/2017

 Home is such a nebulous concept. For some people it is a structure, for others it is a person, or group of people, and for a few select intrepid travelers it is simply wherever they find themselves to be. I  have always struggled with the concept of home.

I feel most comfortable whilst being engaged and challenged physically, even emotionally to a lesser degree. Due to this fact, stagnancy, repetition, routine are dreadful to me. They are the bane of my existence. Once inactivity becomes routine for me I lose interest in social activities that I once found fun, I become morose and even shower and brush my teeth far less frequently. Lack of stimulation and change create mentally illness within me. I have been diagnosed with Bi Polar disorder type II. Over the years of my adult life I have come to learn, with great pride, what agitates my mental dis-ease. Living in a traditional non-mobile dwelling was one of these things. It allowed me, all too easily, to remain unchallenged and inactive. However, it is important to find balance between inactivity and over activity. I digress, as that is a whole different can of worms best suited for a fitness/spirituality blog. Every choice in life comes at an opportunity cost. There are negatives as well as positives to every choice. With this being said, I cannot say that living in a vehicle is glamorous, or easy, but it brings me closer to reality and what makes me happiest. Everything is more challenging, from doing dishes/making food, to taking a shower. However, the upside of this is that your ability to cook meals and provide sustenance for yourself is much more meaningful. That hot shower that was once a 15 second walk away, now involves a 15 minute drive across town and is a luxury to be relished and held sacred. These small challenges help keep me sharp, active and fulfilled. When maintaining ones hygiene and dietary needs is more difficult, it is more of an achievement once that need is fulfilled. I enjoy the following analogy: pioneers headed West across what was then a wild middle America, filled with obstacles and dangers had to expend much larger amounts of effort to accomplish tasks that today, seem inconsequential due to modern conveniences, such as electric tools and appliances. Living in a vehicle has allowed me the mental space away from obligations and routines to uncover and even hone my creative skills.

 I had a hard time writing the tail end of this entry, so I apologize for the delay. Part 2 took a long time to write because there were so many countless life experiences, people I connected with, and media sources that served to inspire me in my quest for the ultimate life balance and led me down my current path. The more notable and recent of these inspirations were the decision to practice massage therapy and the countless hours spent absorbing youtube, blog and forum content on the topic of nomadic living. This research starting at a time before van life became #vanlife - a hashtag frequently used on Instagram. This research of course was due to a curiosity with pushing boundaries, social and societal norms that is very evident, especially if you read my more philosophical blog entries. If my desire to rebel against the prescribed societal standard was the fuel, then my blossoming career as an intuitive healer was the spark which lit the wildfire that consumed my heart and mind in a passionate blaze.

These are some sources that inspired me:

Bob Wells: ( )
Jed - Into The Mystery 13: ( )
Jamie (spelling?): ( )

Finding Peace (Philosophy & Inspiration)

 For several years after graduating from Keene State college I dare not go near that town. If I ever had to go by it, I would take the long way around as to avoid even passing through it. The reason being the pain, shame and failure I associated with my college experience and the physical space that insulated it from the outside world. I won't go into the details as to why I felt this way as it would be less of a blog post and more of a novella! Today however was different. Today I sought it out going out of my way to drive to Keene and eat at the dining commons where I am now typing this blog entry. I noticed as I walked down the main through faire on campus that was head was on a swivel, taking in all of the familiar angles of buildings in which I attended classes, lost my mind, experienced passionate romances and fleeting connections alike and even presented the cumulative work of my time spent as an undergrad. Unlike my last visit to campus I was in a clear headspace and I was alone, and to my great satisfaction I felt a peace within me, like a crystal clear pool of cool water, unmolested, high above in the forested craigs of Mount Monadnock. I had made peace with this space, and it was moving, causing tears to well in my eyes as I smiled and thought on all of the progress I had made and growth I had experienced since walking this very path on graduation day five years prior.

Keep growing and experiencing life my travelers and friends!
💗 Nick

Featured Weekly: The Kindness of a Stranger (Inspiration)

Post dated to 1/20/2018

 I did not know Duane, but as I left the Lowe's parking lot the plywood I forgot to strap down came flying off (I know boneheaded!) and being the type of person who helps those in need he stopped his truck behind the plywood, threw his flashers on and patiently waited for me to sprint back to retrieve it. Yelling out his window as I grabbed the plywood, “jump in!” I accepted the offer, throwing the sheet of plywood in his truck bed and climbing in the passenger seat. I thanked him as he drove towards my car, parked in a lot down the street. After introductions he helped me out by gifting me a cargo strapping and helping me secure my precious cargo. While securing the plywood we started talking about my project: rebuilding the bed inside of my mobile #homeonwheels. He was immediately intrigued, slightly concerned (a fear which I dissuaded quickly with my smiles & a few travel stories) and genuinely interested in helping me achieve maximum efficiency with my project; as he could clearly see space is at a premium while living in a Honda Fit. After discussing possible space saving options while constructing my bed platform we started talking about life on a broader scale. I told him I was a massage therapist and he said that he often needs therapists to staff weddings, corporate and social functions at his Inn and function space! Not only did I return to home base and finish my enlarged bed platform, but I had a very pleasant conversation with a generous man whom I may collaborate with. What an excellent day 😊 Now to continue my adventure!

Adventure on fellow freaks, geeks and weirdos!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Omnipresent Optimism (Advice/Inspiration)

 I want to speak on the non glamorous side of vehicle dwelling, as it does not get much attention in social media. It can be tough, stinky, boring, sleep depriving. This is what vehicle dwelling can be. We have all had one of those nights where you hunker down in your chosen sleep spot for the night. You open the laptop to see that you can’t see your phones hotspot. You glance at your phone, seeing one bar of service and let out an exasperated sigh. Well, it is only 9:30 pm and you are far from tired…I guess it is time to bust out a book. After a few minutes your stomach grumbles and you relieve yourself of some smelly  gases. “Oh sweet jesus,” you exclaim to no one in particular. You want to step out and get some air, but you know that would not be a wise move, due to the downpour happening right outside. So you have to suffer inside your small and smelly home on wheels, with no wifi, and no real desire to sleep. At this point you can do one of two things: get all whiney and butthurt about your predicament, or you can play the optimist card. The latter choice goes something like this: a weary smile grows into a hearty smirk and you laugh a good bit at yourself. Maybe then you think back on your previous life, living in a house or apartment and wonder how different life would be for you at this particular moment in time…maybe at this point you start to feel like a bit of a tit, as you know damn well that in your immobile home you could simply leave the stinky room behind and go for a walk with your rain gear on and that wifi is almost never a problem. Then you remember that rent check that you wrote every month, oh and those several utility bills…don’t forget about those grueling commutes to your 40+ hour a week job in order to pay for all of these things you now consider luxuries. Letting your head rest lightly on your pillow you cross your fingers and look up at your ceiling, basking in the lingering aroma of achievement. Your breathing becomes slower and deeper as you drift into sleep. Your last thoughts are of the mountain you are going to tackle in the morning and the well deserved luxury of a nude dip into the refreshing cold stream - all by yourself. I like to strive for the optimist card, as much as possible. It only puts a smile on your face in the end; besides not often in life can you change much in your given situation. So next time you are frustrated with where you’re at, try playing the optimist card… why not have a little fun at the expense of your dignity!

Keep your heads up and love to you all!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Featured Weekly: Naptime


  It was 2pm and I was leaving my very last event as a massage therapist in 2017. I was headed up from Hyannis, MA to Portland, ME to visit my brother-from-another-mother Porta Potty Scotty. I was also planned on treating Vapor to a full synthetic oil change. She was in need of fresh fluids and I was driving by several Walmart Supercenter locations on the way up to Portland. I stopped in Seabrook, NH right off of I95 and pulled into the auto center at Walmart. "Full synthetic oil change will be a 90 minute wait, sir." said Christopher, the service tech. I nodded and told him I would be taking a nap in the car. He nodded, barely taking account of what I said. I handed him the keys and walked out to my car. Tucking into my arctic sleeping bag I wrapped myself up in my comforter, covering my head and my eyes I slip into a state of relaxation. 'Knock, knock,' I shed my comforter and look up to see a tech standing by my door. I flash him a big smile, swivel out of my bed, into my drivers seat and into my shoes. I open the door and stand up, greeting the spectacled tech."Hey man, just needed a nap. She's all yours!" He responds,"That's fine, I don't judge." The man obviously felt uncomfortable after seeing me sleeping in Vapor, my converted Honda Fit camper. I responded to his nervous statement, "no apology necessary, no reason to judge anyways. I chose this lifestyle and I enjoy it very much!" Hearing me "normalize" my decision to live in my car seemed to placate his dis-ease. The best part - the oil change only took 45 minutes and Vapor and I were back on the open road! 

Greetings from South Portland, Maine

A Jarring Stop ( Featured Weekly )

 I was making good/steady progress, with almost 10 hours spent behind the wheel, it was 9:30pm and I was crossing the border from Maryland ...