Another beautiful sunny day. I spent the morning trying to straighten out auto insurance issues over the phone. Because I do not own a printer or a fax machine both businesses I have to deal with are required to snail mail documents to me which is really slowing down the process. Very annoying but sometimes that is just how technology has to be. I asked if I could attach a digital signature to an emailed document but was told that was not acceptable. In my mind I want to know how that is any different than a faxed document. Of well, I’ll just spend the next week watching for something to show up in the mail.
That process reminded me about finances and the type of work I do. When we first hit the road, I was at a loss of how I could generate extra income. My husband receives a small monthly income but it is not quite enough to met our needs. I have always had small businesses throughout my life so I figured I would find some way to make that work. I had been creating and selling jewelry both at a local flea market and on line on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OriginalPoetryJewels) for the past few years anyways so I figured I would continue to do that. Then I studied the craft show laws for the new state I am in only to discover that it was never going to work due to huge fees that this state imposes. SO I had to set back and rethink my strategy. So First I decided to open an Etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/shop/OriginalPoetryJewels) and see how that went. It is okay but with current shipping rates its not a steady income by any means. SO I decided to do a little research and find out what people do that live in RV’s and travel a lot. I wish I could remember which blog I stumbled across because I would love to thank the writer but I remember he had all kinds of advice for things like photo sites that pay for nature pictures, travel companies that pay for articles about travel locations, and about 20 other really useful ideas that I would never have thought of on my own. What really stood out though was a recommendation to check out a company called Upwork (Https://www.Upwork.com) which allows clients to hire freelancers for a wide variety of online work. Because I have a varied background and love to write, I signed up with this company and started applying for writing jobs. It did not take long for me to find I had almost too much work to handle. I have become a ghost writer for several different people. I wrote a novel and many self-help books over the past few months. I’m not getting rich by any means and my husband thinks I should focus on writing for myself since I have self published some children’s books on amazon.com (As Gabe Grows Series by Peggy Sue Florka). For now I am enjoying working for people around the world and getting paid to research and develop books for others. I can see his point though and have started several projects of my own that I will eventually self publish.
Out side of those work opportunities, the campground manager approached us in November and asked us if we would like to work for him in exchange for our site rent. We thought about it for a few days and then accepted his offer which was really quite generous. So for one day a week we provide campground services which range from desk duties to bathroom cleaning and lots of things in between. It seems to working out very well for both him and us. We get to meet a lot of very interesting people and it gives us something to focus on rather than just being fully retired. Of course my writing never lets me be fully retired but I like being challenged and with the campground job, the book writing, the jewelry making and selling, and the everyday normal tasks that everyone does, I stay very busy.
The hardest thing I think we face is that living in a tent and using a screen room for an office tends to put us at the mercy of the weather. When the winds are strong, sand blows around and is not a good environment for my computer. If it rains we have to store most of our items either in the tent or in the back of our truck and again the computer is at risk. If the temperature drops too low, we have two small heaters we can use but even that is not always enough and sometimes we are forced to huddle in the truck. And of course we also have the days when it gets so hot that my computer shuts down even with a cooling fan operating underneath it. The sun comes up at seven in the morning and is totally set by seven at night so when I decide to work into the late hours of the evening, which I often do, I end up working by the light of a lantern. Its takes some adjustment but we seem to have gotten it down pat after seven months.
Campground tent living is a unique experience and requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Some days my husband and I look across the table at each other and shake our heads in disbelief that we are really doing this and are doing it so well. He tells me I am tenacious and not like most woman. I tell him that he is wonderful for putting up with me and my strange ways of looking at our reality. Our choice for alternative housing is not a matter that should be taken lightly and is not for everyone.