Never before has it been so easy to stay connected. I know this sounds cliché and overused, but it's absolutely true and I like to remind myself of this fact often. It's so easy to get caught up in oneself, and to look at things with a negative attitude. Life is hard - this is also a true and seemingly overused statement. Rather than looking at how hard life seems, I find it important to keep my perspective in check. Instead of falling into the negative mentality trap, just think how much easier and convenient life has progressed in the past decade. There are times where I feel so fortunate to be living in this era, right here (wherever that may be), today.
Ever since undertaking an infinitely long road trip with my boyfriend earlier this year, I am hit with this sense of wonder at how lucky I am to be living in the 21st century. I am able to use technology to my advantage to make a livable wage from my spotty internet connections, stay in touch with friends and family, find my way around the gigantic and seemingly endless intersection of roads, highways and byways of the U.S., and most importantly, stay on top of bill paying.
The ability for automatic payments has probably been one of the greatest inventions for peace of mind. All I have to do now is check my bank statement periodically to make sure there were no glitches in the system and all my bills did indeed get paid. I have had a smartphone for about three years now, and during that time have never ONCE had an issue arise with automatic bill pay.
Living on the road has definitely minimized costs in some areas: no gym memberships, no apartment rent, no electricity bills, etc. The few remaining recurring bills I do pay for are in my opinion, indispensable: health and car insurance premiums, and self storage payments. I feel fortunate enough to really never worry about missing a payment and thus either lose an essential element of protection, or be penalized with extra costs.
It took me a while to come around to the automatic bill pay party. In the past, I liked to write checks and send them off. I then eventually progressed to paying online once I realized how much that would save me in postage and checks (about one extra latte per year, but for someone who's a coffee addict like me, that's worth it). I would set a recurring alarm on my phone for when my payment date approached. I liked that system well enough, but if I had known how easy automatic payments would be, I would have been using them for a much longer time.
Another thing that brings me peace of mind is knowing that my belongings back in San Diego are indeed, safe. I have the number of our self storage facility manager saved into my phone, more for good measure than anything. I also have emails coming to my inbox alerting me of any payment updates and general news from the self storage facility. Though I may not be able to check my emails daily, the few emails I do receive from our self storage facility are always informative and reassuring. It feels good knowing I can connect with a real human who's watching over the safety of our belongings with ease.
I'd argue that the most important aspect of managing stress on road is dealing with monetary issues. My income is considerably less now that I work remotely, and part time at that. Our expenses on the road are minimal; we did a great deal of preparation prior to leaving San Diego. We live comfortably on our smaller income, and are doing so without causing much damage to our bank accounts. When it comes to paying the bills, the ease of online transactions is downright expedient.
Besides handling monetary and financial burdens, the second biggest thing in acquiring peace of mind on the road was changing our address. I have been fortunate enough to use my parents' address, as they live on the same farm on which I was raised and have no intention of moving any time soon. If I didn't use their address as my temporary one, I would have looked into a larger sized post office box (though much of my pre-trip research suggested using a friend or family member's address rather than a P.O. Box). Though I'm fairly certain all correspondences between myself and my storage facility are done via email, I of course informed them as well of the address change in case anything needs to be mailed physically.
As I mentioned earlier, we, residents of the 21st century United States, are living in a marvelous time. Though recent years have been described as "tumultuous" and "difficult", I hope that we can all seek the good through the bad, find the positives amidst a sea of negativity. Stress, in my opinion, is an unnecessary aspect of life, and with hard work and thoughtful practice, we can seek to alleviate it. Moving, storing your items, and going on road trips should all be seen as opportunities for fresh beginnings, and approached as such with minimal stress.
Today's blog post is a guest post by Michelle. 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.