A Taste of Life Off Grid: Boondocking in Arizona
When your parents sell all their belongings and take off in an RV to boondock around the U.S. it’s imperative that you use your frequent flier miles to book a free trip to visit them in Arizona. It’s especially imperative to make this trip just a few weeks after your boyfriend boards a plane and jets off on his own adventure for the next six months.
Because there’s really no other therapy like taking 5 mile hikes before noon, pissing outside and being in bed by 9:30 everynight…aka going off grid. It’s quite amazing how many hours there seem to be in a single day when you aren’t racing against the clock. Three days here has felt more like a week.
Being off grid isn’t just pissing outside, hell I do that in New York. It’s also conserving everything you use. Money. Power. Water. Food. They manage to power everything via generator or batteries fueled by solar panels they had installed on top of the RV. It’s pretty awesome.
To conserve power while cooking my mom has this fucking amazing thing called an InstantPot. Not only did she make me a Gluten-Free Cheesecake in it, she also heated an entire ham and green beans in it in TWELVE MINUTES. This thing is unbelievable.
Like the power, water must be conserved at all times. The refillable water tank only holds so much. So, just like how my mother used to teach us when we were kids, we took a lot of whore baths with baby wipes. Ya know, when you only clean the important parts. Yes, my mother has always referred to that as a whore bath.
I thought they were a little crazy when they sold their house to buy a 3oo sq. ft. RV. Not because being nomadic is crazy, but because I didn’t know how they wouldn’t kill each other living & traveling in such a small space. Maybe it’s my mothers decorating sense, or her super anal cleaning but the inside of their RV doesn’t seem small at all. It feels like a smaller version of their old house. Just as cozy and inviting.
In fact amazing the only day I thought I might lose my mind was when I spent an afternoon teaching my mother WordPress, Instagram and Twitter so she could start a blog herself. Thank God she always has wine! Plus, my office wasn’t that bad. Oh, and that blog is up and running now. You can follow Mama Dynamo at Ya Gotta Wander. Caution: She cusses too.
I’m finishing this post sitting in the airport, waiting to board my redeye 1am flight back to NYC, and I’m more than a bit sad to be going back. As much as I am a city person, I could have easily just left it all behind to live off grid in that RV. Anonymity in a space bigger than some studio apartments I’ve seen, for a laughable fraction of the cost, sounds pretty damn good. As long as my parents didn’t live in it with me, of course.
Mostly it was nice to spend time with my mom without ever having to discuss the unspoken knowledge of the life I lead. Out here in the desert, I’m simply her daughter. Not a Showgirl, not a Stripper. Just a daughter who can’t wait to climb the next mountain, search for bones, giggle after too much wine and piss outside. Like a good little midwest girl should.