I am currently writing the last installment of this story from a picnic bench in Great Basin National Park. My boyfriend and I are lucky enough to almost have the entire park to ourselves, as it's still early in the season and the majority of the roads through the park are closed due to snow. That hasn't stopped us. Every day we've packed our water and some snacks, and headed out into the snow to explore.
Our campsite is stunning- we're merely steps away from a little creek, surrounded by pines, junipers, and birch. Off to our left is a meadow with dry little plant shrubs and the occasional prickly pear cactus. Spots of snow dot the scenery. We have been here two nights and so far, have yet to have any neighbors. Each night we are lulled to sleep with the singing embers of our campfire and the babbling stream.
This entire trip has been nothing short of magical. True, we've had our ups and downs, but mostly ups. The downs I will probably forget in another year or two. I've learned from them, and grown to adapt, but it's the good days that I'm sure I'll remember.
We're learning a lot about ourselves and each other, and the lessons mother nature has to teach are infinite. We rest when the moon comes up, and rise with the sun (although we have been known to sleep in from time to time). I've taught myself about the phases of the moon and have been able to slowly identify and name the constellations. I've always wanted to be more connected with the sky, and now I feel like I am finally starting to get somewhere.
I've seen things I didn't think were real, and have been to places that I never imagined I would ever see. Every night as we sit around our fire (or propane heater boiling some water for tea or soup), I am overcome with feelings of gratitude. I feel like the luckiest person on planet Earth.
I do truly feel blessed, but let me tell you, it is cold. Coming from San Diego, it was, and still is, a challenge to get used to the cold desert nights, especially in late winter/early spring. As I type, my fingers are getting stiffer by the minute; the tea Myron brewed just moments ago is already starting to taste cold. Delicious, nonetheless. I am so very much looking forward to our excursion to Dry Tortugas National Park off the Florida Keys next month. Oh, to fall asleep warm again!
Despite the low temperatures, there is really nothing else I worry about before sleeping at night. Back in San Diego, I would sometimes have difficulty falling asleep as my mind would race with all the things I needed to do: bills, grocery, covering a shift, tutoring, picking up a prescription, sending a text, checking my email for more bills, etc. etc. Before leaving on the trip, I made sure any and all bills were set up to automatically be paid online. That was one less thing I had to worry about.
I also never worry about our belongings back home. I know they're safe in our self-storage unit, and in the highly unlikely chance that something did happen, we have insurance, so the monetary value would be returned to us. I also never worry about missing a rent payment, because again, it's all online. On the road, sometimes we're lucky enough to find spots with signal where we can wirelessly hotspot our phones, get some work done, pay the bills, and be on our way. Otherwise, we make a stop into town when we get groceries, and hang out at a local coffee shop to use their Wi-Fi and electrical outlets. With such a highly-connected world we live in, we never go more than a couple days without checking in one way or another.
I think back now to our original plan, of Myron's friend living in our room while we travelled. I am now so relieved things went differently. I am certain if we hadn't chosen to store our belongings in self-storage, I would be constantly fearful of something happening to the house while we were gone with the blame landing on us, someone defaulting on their rent, and many other things. I would be in a rush to get home, and would not be enjoying myself nearly as much as I am now.
Financially, the storage unit was a much cheaper option as well. In our prior agreement, my boyfriend and I would be paying a certain amount each month to make the room affordable for one person. It was also a little incentive to hold onto the room for us, so we had a home to return to. Now, having no place to call my own, I feel totally free.
If anyone out there is considering self-storage as an option, I say do it! You can pay your rent online with hardly any effort. Your possessions are locked up tight, and the managers at the facilities are incredibly helpful. Having the storage unit gives you total freedom.
This was my, first experience with self-storage, and it came at a time when we needed it most. We were left a little blind sighted with the news of our former roommate's leave. We were in a bit of a time crunch to figure out what we were going to do to make our trip still be a success. If we didn't have storage as an option, I'm not sure what we would have done. Storage has really helped us achieve our dream of living a life on the road. I am very grateful for it, and will definitely use it again in the future.
Want to read the earlier posts in Michelle's journey? Here's an index of her entire experience (all five blog posts):
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 1
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 2
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 3
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 4
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 5
Michelle is a self-storage enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys traveling the world. An expert at getting the most out of the self-storage experience, please check back regularly for more about Michelle’s adventure and how self-storage helped her dream of travel come true.