I saw the big dark fish in the top left corner first and thought, “What is that thing that it’s sitting on?” It took me a couple seconds to realize that it was actually not a big dark fish, but a very small dark fish compared to the manatee it was gliding over.

Last night, I left the windows open (until I got cold) and stared up through the trees at the night sky while I was trying to sleep. It felt so nice to be back in nature: no bright street lights shining in the window, no passing cars, no sounds of people wandering by.

I’ve been enjoying my January. Lots of people, lots of activity, lots of dinners out and social time. And actually, this visit to Blue Springs is just a continuation of the socializing — I came here to meet up with some fellow Travato owners and talk the camping lifestyle. We spent much of yesterday afternoon sitting around in our camp chairs, chatting.

But this morning, comfortably before dawn, Z and I wandered down through the campground to the boardwalk along the spring. We weren’t the only people there — I bumped into a few others, including some of the Travato friends I met yesterday. But mostly it was Z and me, alone with the manatees and the birds and the squirrels, in the slightly crisp morning air.

One of the birds, maybe an anhinga that wasn’t bothering to spread her wings?

It reminded me of why I’m living this way. Earlier this week I was browsing real estate listings in Mount Dora. Some of the older houses are authentic tiny homes — there was one that was 760 square feet, with two bedrooms, a small kitchen and a living space. Although the kitchen didn’t have a dishwasher, it had plenty of counter space and cupboards. The bathroom had a tub, the backyard was fenced, and the house was walking distance to the library, cute shops and restaurants, maybe even a yoga studio. And if not walking distance to yoga classes, certainly easy driving distance to yoga classes. What more could I want?

Answers: Manatees. Fresh air. Sunrises over water.


On Feb 1, I’m heading west. I will be driving along the southern route, through the southern ends of Alabama and Mississippi, then through Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and into California. Then I’m going to drive up the California coastline until I reach Arcata, in very northern CA. I will plant myself there, in my friend S’s driveway, for a while. Long enough to help her clean out her storage shed and keep her company through the grayest months of the year.

It’s not going to be a leisurely trip across the country — I won’t be spending weeks camping in interesting places — but I’m not going to make it a helter-skelter dash either. If the weather’s nice enough, I’m going to swing north to visit Kyla in New Mexico and learn how to make canvas prints of my photographs. I’m also going to stop in southern CA long enough to say hi to Tehachap and visit her railroad museum.

And if you are along that path and want to meet up, whether for coffee or a meal, to show me your favorite tourist spot in your town, or to offer your driveway for a night, let me know. 2019 is not going to be a year of buying real estate and settling down — it’s going to be a year of adventure!