6 Down – 6 to go.. No regrets..

March 16 is my anniversary. It is the anniversary of 6 months living full time in my car on the road. Well not always on the road.. sometimes moving into BLM land for a stay, other times exploring a city and finding home on asphalt. 6 months as a nomad, with 6 months to go.. then I will celebrate all I have been given and revisit what the future may hold. So far no regrets and excited to see what next..

Last month I wrote a blog on 5 months in.. I reminisced about what’s different and what’s the same leaving a life as I knew it. 5 months in ‘New Beginnings’.. What’s different..what’s the same..

A month later I believe God has me right where He wants me.. giving me the opportunity to meet like minded people ‘a tribe of nomads’ if you will,

A morning hike with ‘new’ like minded friends

to be able to travel, save money, grow in my faith, make a difference in other’s lives and explore the great unknown.

I can honestly say that I am quite content. There has not been a time when I wished I was somewhere else, living in a different rig or at a fixed address. My gypsy soul is soaring and being filled up with new encounters, experiences and enthusiasm each new day.

Christmas gift from my daughter

The only emotional challenge I have been experiencing on occasion is the ‘desire’ to hear from my grown children a bit more often.

I have learned to be grateful for what is given me instead of what is lacking to help me through these ’emotional moments’.

My daughter and I were visiting with one another and I was given the opportunity to chat/catch up with my Grand sweet peas through video chats but for some unknown reason that has subsided. I wait with hope and curiousness (one of my 3 stated feelings in my recent video) for the next time. In the meantime I savor the memories.

To stay in touch (which is in my control) is to send my 3 and 5 year old grandkids postcards of all the cool cities I’m visiting. I send little freebies like fun book marks from the libraries I visit. Just recently I scored with some cool stickers to include in these random mailings.

Went off on a little bunny trail here (video teaser link below😊).. I pray to God that my children and grandkids will always know how much I love and care for them. More on family another time (or not)😊

If you like; please visit my channel where I share how I’m feeling overall in 3 words and my ‘self check up’ on my emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health.

https://youtu.be/otTolYrznZ0

Today I sit in the Walmart parking lot enjoying the activity.. coming and going of people and vehicles. My neighbors consist of other movers and groovers!

Nomad Neighborhood at Walmart
My ultimate therapy.. the Walmart kind!

When I move to another city to find a new home; Walmart is my initial go to. It’s like moving into a familiar neighborhood of the past. The people change but not the location.

While enjoying my reduced sandwich/lunch; my neighbors were getting their awning cleaned.

Getting her clean and looking good.. at Walmart!

It’s just like sitting out on your front porch and watching your neighbors across the way in sticks and bricks doing an outdoor home project. Who would of thunk.. Walmart parking lot. I ❤️ Walmart.. It is my cheap therapy!

In celebration of 6 months of New Beginnings.. Off the treadmill.. Into the great unknown New Beginnings.. off the treadmill ..into the great unknown I am going to spend a week moving around between the city and BLM land. I may pop in at a caravan or two and visit with some recent new friends.

What’s ahead? Well only God knows but as far as I can see and anticipate.. Spring! National Parks! Going to head up to Lake Mead in Nevada then up to Zion and 5 other highly recommended National Parks in Utah.. https://nps.gov

If I have the time Colorado and Idaho will be in my April agenda before starting my summer camp host job in National Snoqualmie Forest.

Oh my! So much to look forward to. I’m learning and growing on this Serene and Simple Life Journey. I feel that God is using me to inspire, encourage and help others. I am blessed with new friends, new surroundings; a new and meaningful way of life. No sad days sitting alone in my sticks and bricks, no side job to pay just the rent and wondering about making ends meet, no draining my account with my establishing my business https://sayitdisplayit.com

‘It’s a good day to be alive’ reiterated from one of my fav You tubers Solo Sinclair from Africa https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZNTPW6HM9hhnaEi_m44axw

and I find joy in the journey. 6 months in I feel extremely blessed and encouraged about the future both professionally and personally. Perhaps down the road I will meet a like minded ‘guy’ nomad to share memories and experiences with😊.

Who knew that 6 months ago my life would open up like this. I thank God for placing this chapter to experience this kind of freedom. 6 months in.. 6 to go.. a year.. living a life of ‘no regrets’.

I hope you too are living a life of ‘no regrets’. However that may look for you.

smiles and joy,

Linda

Breaking it down.. What’s serene? What’s simple?

One of my goals in this chosen lifestyle is to live a serene and simple life. As they say ‘so far..so good.’ Perhaps it is a desire of yours as well to live out your days/years with serenity and simplicity. I have been living in my Acura Sedan fulltime for almost 6 months. ‘Serenity Sedan’ is her name. A ‘nest’ is the style of home I am living in. So now you may be wondering what could possibly be serene or simple about living in a nest; aka..car dwelling. I created two lists and organized the serene and simple of my life as it is now into two categories.. 1. the ‘serene’ 2. the ‘simple’.

Serene is the easy one.. in no particular order..

  1. Mountains
  2. Water
  3. Trees
  4. Nature
  5. Sunrise
  6. Sunset
  7. Clouds
  8. Flowers

When first choosing a nomadic lifestyle and go on this journey I knew that serenity would be all around me as I adore and embrace the outdoors. It is my serenity! Throw in a picnic table, a lounge chair or a blanket to sit on and I’m good for the entire day.

People often comment that we are not living in a vehicle though instead we are living outside our home..aka..rig. It’s true! I’m pretty certain I have spent more time in the great outdoors; in the last 5 months than the last 5 years combined.

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Serene and Simple Life

 

Surrounded by nature also gives me the opportunity to spend quiet time listening for and hearing God’s voice.

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It’s all here!

It is a continual prayer request of mine for Him to slow down this entrepreneur mind of mine.. which I refer to as ‘the train’ and savor the moment at hand. God is providing me this very gift in the open air surrounded by mountains, water, trees and nature.. sometimes one at a time.. sometimes all at once.

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Takes my breath away

I like to refer to the landscape as ‘God’s masterpiece’ so intricately and beautifully designed. Sometimes it requires being quiet and still to hear the wondrous sounds of nature.. water trickling, trees blowing, nature talking.. My mind cooperates. Voila- Serenity.. a serene life.

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The still of the day

List #2: Simplicity

In no particular order-

  1. morning coffee, evening tea or coffee
  2. closet of clothing
  3. pantry and refrigerator
  4. bills and/or expenses
  5. shopping
  6. housekeeping
  7. laundry

You may be wandering how are any of these made ‘simple’ except for maybe the coffee.. Let me explain ..

1. Each morning I turn the ignition on Serenity Sedan for 10 minutes.. good to take the chill off the interior of my nest, good to keep the engine lubed, good to heat up the water with my handy dandy 12 Volt coffee pot. Simple.

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Coffee Control Center

2. Next.. clothing.. my wardrobe ‘closet’ consists of 8 mesh, light weight clothing bags organized by tops, shorts, capris, long pants, dresses, outfits for craft show participation and under garments. One at a time, I simply grab the appropriate bag of what style of clothing I’m going to wear from behind my seat. On my lap I unzipper the bag and choose my outfit of the day or 2 or 3 days.. I have between 10 -15 different pieces of each clothing type  all folded up neatly in a sachet form in their own separate bag. Done.

3. 1 fabric box for the pantry, 1 small insulated lunch box for my refrigerator. Fabric bag of canned goods on floor in the back.. Probably enough food for at least 2 weeks.. Simple meals, no endless deciding what to make for a meal, no missing ingredients, no hunting for a recipe. More later on what I actually eat. I promise you I’m not going hungry!

4. no bills to hand write and send out, all monthly automated withdrawls for car insurance, phone and a storage unit (80% filled with product I sell in my business) , expenses are gas, food, entertainment. I’m living somewhere between $500-$700 a month depending on how much I travel. Simple.

5. shopping is pretty much non existent except for food and an occassional purchase         of a top or bottoms from Walmart or Target.  I no longer wander around looking at and dreaming about and buying containers, office or decorative household. No nest space left to fill up with random, non essential things! Minamalism = maximizing the checking account. I will write a blog down the road on budget..More time to search out the ‘free’ in life.. the great outdoors! Simple.

6. housekeeping in my nest lives by the oldie but goodie organizing cliche- ‘a place for       everything, and everything in its place.’ It is critical to put everything back in its                 place otherwise it is nest/car chaos in no time! No housekeeping other than a quick           dusting of the mantle (dash) or wiping the table top areas clean with handi                           wipes..Simple as that.

7. laundry once every 2.5 weeks or so. Who ever told you that we need to wear a different outfit everyday? Since when does a top become labeled ‘dirty’ after one..two or even three wears? Yes; I do the smell check and on occassion check in with one of those kinds of friends who will speak the truth.. no stinky me.. I’ve asked. 🙂 Simple!

There you have it! ‘Serene and Simple Life’ as this blog and you tube channel are appropriately named.IMG_3144

The basic heirachy of needs – air, food, water, shelter and clothing is being fullfilled in a serene and simple way. My wish for you is that would also experience serenity and simplicity.. how ever that make look for you!

smiles and joy,

Linda

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The Gratitude themed Collection

 

A day in the life.. a nomad city dweller

If you read last week’s blog you know I was pondering ‘what to do, where to go’. Well I decided to head back to familiarity.. not as in the city I ventured to but as being a nomad in the city.. a nomad city dweller.

When I first started on this journey as a nomad it was basically moving from one city to the next as I worked/exhibited at shows selling Say It Display It product on the weekends.

I adapted and learned about living in, around and outside my Acura TL.. which I fondly named ‘Serenity Sedan’. She is 16 years old and I am excited to see her live to at least 200,000 miles.. only 13,000 to go!

Here is a break down of a typical day in the life.. in the city..

Morning..

The routine morning part of my day when I first moved into Serenity Sedan was senior coffee at McDonald’s. I decided I wasn’t going to spend money each day on coffee. I now warm up my car for 10 minutes and use my 12 volt coffee maker https://amzn.to/2SQGCWD to heat up a cup of water and indulge in some yummy Folgers or Maxwell House.. reminds me of my mom and dad and days gone by..img_3046

While having the first of two cups of coffee I sometimes dig into some scripture on my Bible app and/or read from my Jesus calling devotional. Brushing my teeth at McDonald’s, in my car with a spit cup😊 or at a park restroom is also a morning priority. It’s enjoyable to me to straighten up Serenity for the day; just like if I were living within 4 walls.

The little table that connects to my steering wheel is a great little table to manage my morning routine! Car laptop desk multi work table https://amzn.to/2MaVRXS

 

Daytime..

An entire day at the library working on my business with social media is endless. I charge up all my devices while I’m there.

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plugged in at the library

Visiting parks, Walmart or Dollar store for food, mailing orders, Facebook scrolling, video watching, email catch up are other ‘to do’s. Blogging and keeping up with the You Tube learning curve keeps me busy.

This past week I hung out in Lake Havasu.img_2886Google maps audio is my friend to find incredible places to go. Rotary Park was introduced to me by asking her ‘parks near me’. I spent 2 full days there leisurely walking, taking lots of photos to use in my product line https://sayitdisplayit.com and exploring.

My Gas One grill https://amzn.to/2SQMoYe was my go to for breakfast and lunch on a couple occasions. Fun!

Evening..

back to Serenity around 7pm – 8ish.. put my black out reflectix up (draw the drapes😄) make a lil nest of pillows in my front driver’s seat (where I sleep), practicing crocheting, knitting, more FB scrolling, You Tube.. eyes closed around 10-11pm.

 I have slept in 80+ temps with a 10in. O2 Cool battery operated fan to 40 degrees the past 2 nights with 2-3 layers of clothing, double layer of socks and a wool blanket tucked around me..

I’ve also stayed quite warm and cozy in the COMFY brand fleece lined sleep sweatshirt- seen on Shark Tank, (shown here is a picture from the ad) https://amzn.to/2snRNub disclosure- **links to product here are from my amazon affiliate site where Amazon rewards us for doing their marketing.. no cost to you and a big thank you from me!

City nomad dwelling is awesome.. of course both city and BLM desert dwelling both have their pros and cons.. It is easier to work, play and connect (literally – the internet!) in the city.

Being in the desert I slow down and recharge my battery.. my brain as well as my power! Of course parks are great to set up my solar and charge my power bank too!

Jackery portable power station-

https://amzn.to/2CiHoEl

Jackery 50 watt solar panel

https://amzn.to/2Xqqei8

I think I’ll just go back and forth between city, blm land and National Forests.. life as a nomad.. you just never run out of new scenery and a new place is only the turn of a key away!

smiles and joy,

Linda

Where to Go.. What to Do

‘BLM’ which stands for Bureau of Land Management has been my home for almost two weeks.  I have been hanging out near Parker, AZ but actually in Earp, CA near the Colorado River border. The law for staying on BLM land for free is you move at least 25 miles away every 14 days. It’s time to move! I’m trying to figure out where to go and what to do next.

I’ve had some busy, productive days and a few not so much. Just like my former life; some days seem to drag on endlessly while others just fly on by. Of course the fly on by days outweigh the endless days. I’m sure that has something to do with age.

Where did the time go? Bob Wells from cheap rv living visited on 2 different days to interview and video me in Serenity Sedan.  Interviewed by a celebrity -Bob Wells..not once but twice! ..making a difference  

I  spent 2 days in the town of Parker doing some Walmart therapy, mailing orders and even taking advantage of a $2 shower at the La Paz County Park

A couple days I just hung out on my home turf reading, practicing my knitting on a beanie I’ve been working on since RTR and of course Facebook and you tube are always time fillers or wasters.. depending on what I’m looking at or reading! I even set up the four foot table stored in my garage (trunk😊) that I use for setting up at craft shows with Say It Display It

I did some writing for future blogs on my laptop; one evening till dusk. I’ll use some of my musings from my blog to publish another book about my life as it is now, which I refer to as the second leg of my journey. 

If you like; check out my latest blog showing off my office in the desert! https://youtu.be/xZf0W_fekTk

I’m struggling a bit with what to do next and where to set up my next home. Do I want to be in a city near the library, traffic noise (white noise for me) and public facilities or do I want to continue to be a camper on BLM land?

Lake Havasu is having a winter fest with spectacular fire works. To me it’s more fun doing something like that with company but irregardless I’m pretty certain that is where I’ll head next.

Even though I’ve chosen to be alone for a couple weeks, joining up with a caravan is another option. During the fall and winter Cheap rv living sets up official caravans for people to head to the same location, make new friends and partake of company.

There are 3 different Caravans to choose from; currently in southern Arizona. As I mentioned in an earlier blog I’m not interested in caravaning full time but I always enjoy meeting new people and am curious about what they are doing as a group. Alone..Groups or Caravans Of course if I don’t catch up with them now I can always find them later down the road.

I’m not sure why I’m having a tough time deciding what next. Part of me is content just passing the time here in this serene area with hardly anyone around. Another side of me is ready for the next adventure to see what I can see and/or being around a little more civilization.

For now I think I will just stay put a couple more days. When I’m feeling this dilemma I ask God where He wants me to go or what He wants me to do. I’m always wanting to be available for God to use me through this car dwellers lifestyle journey He has me on too. I’ll remain still, here in the desert and listen for His answer. Until next time..

smiles and joy,

Linda

5 months in ‘New Beginnings’.. What’s different..what’s the same..

It brings me delight to celebrate significant and meaningful times in my life and those of others. We all have them.. first job, anniversaries, milestones in children’s lives, good health reports etc. On February 15 I celebrated 5 months living in my car that I fondly call ‘Serenity Sedan”.

You may be thinking what’s the big deal? It is a big deal to me because 5 months ago I embarked on a ‘new beginnings’ with no other place to call home. I took a leap of faith and with a grateful attitude embraced the great unknown. I’ve lived in sticks and bricks for 60 years. I’ve been working for 45 years. Life as I knew it was going to change in a dramatic way.

I’ve been thinking about what’s different and what’s the same since the beginning of this journey. I don’t miss a bed, I don’t miss a fridge or microwave, I don’t miss a tv, I don’t miss looking at my stuff and the same 4 walls everyday.. Who knew!

For the first 3.5 months I was a stealth city nomad. I lived in Serenity Sedan within a 200 mile radius of the shows I was exhibiting in with Say It Display It®️.

Since the beginning of the women’s rubber tramp rendevous I have been living on BLM (bureau of land management) land in Arizona for the most part. Recently I’m doing some stealth city dwelling in between to change things up and to be closer to my offices (parks, McDonald’s libraries) and sometimes civilization.

My eating style changes depending on where I am. In the city I’m eating ‘no refrigeration needed’ food such as tuna, peanut butter, nuts, power bars etc. I shopped regularly at Walmart in the evening for discounted salads and sandwiches that I stored in a smaller soft side cooler with some ice from McDonalds or Subway to make a picnic out of the next day. McDonalds is a lunch/dinner combined especially if I was using their facility to work at all day. Taco Bell, Panda Express and  Chick Fil A are a special treat.

In the desert or on blm land I use my Gas One grill to fry an egg, heat up soup and some other tasty meals. All quick and easy. I rarely cooked in my sticks and bricks life so no need to change now!

My nest is organized and everything is completely accessible from my front seat. That was a work in progress over the course of the first 3 months. Before I left city dwelling I downsized my wardrobe and swapped a few pieces of clothing for others. I have a storage unit where I did some exchanging of bedding and also let go of a few things.

Since day 2 or 3 of New Beginnings I have been sleeping in my driver’s seat in a reclining position. The first couple days I slept in my front passenger seat. It got old very quickly moving stuff around and climbing over the console to move my location in the early morning.

Before I took off into the great unknown I needed to downsize my product display to make room to store product in my trunk for one year. During the the craft show circuit I would restock weekly after a big show. Now I carry product to fill on line orders throughout the year.

Each day I grow a little more confident and content living as a nomad. I’m especially looking forward to the Spring when I start traveling more and making some new memories with exploring National Parks. I’ll be semi stationery from mid May through the beginning of September as I work as a camp host in Washington in the Snoqualmie National Forest. Before I know it I will be 1 year living as a nomad.

I love this flexible and ever changing journey I’m on with ‘new beginnings. I guess you could say that is really what has stayed the same.. my attitude towards change. I’ve always embraced change.. scenery, people and places. My zest for life remains the same.

I wish you joy in your journey whether you embrace change as I do or you prefer familiarity instead.

smiles and joy,

Linda

Interviewed by a celebrity -Bob Wells..not once but twice! ..making a difference difference

It was a rush of excitement to see Bob Wells; founder of cheap rv living walking towards my home.. Serenity Sedan, with his videographer Cliff. On January 5, 2019 I was given the sweet opportunity to be interviewed by him, a soft spoken, kind gentleman  for his you tube channel cheap rv living Bob is making a tremendous impact in other’s lives and is making a huge difference in the nomadic community.

One of the first questions that popped in my head as I listened to Bob’s opening speech at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous was whether he would be doing tours of various rigs at the event. I was excited to share my ‘how’ living in a sedan full time. His you tube channel is packed full of both how to’s in this lifestyle and interviews of people from all walks of life with their homes on wheels. Afterwards I approached him to ask him if he would be. He thanked me for the reminder to announce his interest in doing tours. After having my photo taken with him he directed me to his videographer to see about a schedule. My hopes soared.img_1940

The next morning his assistant KC announced that we should email her and she would be in touch. As it ended up; there was just no time to film all us passionate nomads at the RTR. The waiting game was on and patience! We received further instruction that Bob would be videoing after the two week event. We were given the GPS coordinates and told to come to the location on Feb. 1 to get our place on the calendar. That was a Friday. I was scheduled for the following Tuesday. Oh my; what would I do in the meantime with my excitement overflowing.

Off to Walmart for some therapy I went. I bought a new top for this special occasion and a ball cap to symbolize  new hat – new day! I’m not a hat girl but it will come in handy for those windy and/or dirty hair days!IMG_2530

On Saturday before the shoot Bob came walking over the backside of my home of about 10 acres 🙂 (BLM land) as he had just finished a couple video tapings.. We chatted for a few as I poured out a quick summary of full time life on the road as a nomad. I was giving him a preview of what he was in for.

The morning finally arrived! Passion poured out of me as I shared ‘a day in the life’ in my home.. an Acura TL. Bob bent down at the front passenger side, opposite side of where I was seated with his camera as I demonstrated my sleeping arrangement and waking with my morning routine. I showed how my entire day can be managed from my driver’s seat if it were a bad weather day or if I choose to stay inside in my home. As Bob and I talked; Cliff videoed everything from the outside using his camera and tripod.img_2506

I was able to share my ‘why’ about choosing this unconventional lifestyle at 60 years old. New Beginnings.. off the treadmill ..into the great unknown

Bob is notorious for asking all of his guests 2 specific questions. 1. How do you support yourself. 2. Where do you do your doody.. or how :). Answers:

1. small savings  and my Say It Display It business on line (website, Etsy and amazon) showsimg_0683

2. collapsible ‘out of sight out of mind’ potty from Amazon..img_1434

After finishing the tour of what I call ‘my nest’ we headed to my garage.. (the trunk) to provide his audience an overview of running a business from a sedan as well as everyday life. We got about half way through the tour but the wind gusts of 35 mph were interfering with the audio. Cliff made the suggestion of having a Part ll to the story. Bob agreed that would be cool. I was stoked! Not just one interview but ll! Had it not been for the wind that may never have occured. I say God is in the details.img_2133

On Thursday we reconvened. We spent an hour or more going over the basics and the beauty of running a business with no rent or mortgage payments! It was a glorious time in the sun, in the desert backyard with my home..sharing with Bob Wells; a celebrity with cheap rv living, rubber tramp rendezvous and nomad community who is indeed making a difference.img_2594

My hope is that God would use me to make a difference; empowering others to take a leap of faith too if it is a desire they have to live in this lifestyle. Nike would say ‘just do it’ if you are one of those feeling like there has got to be more to life then waking up, going to work, going to bed.. and repeating over and over.

Stay tuned for the video debut with Bob here and on you tube Serene and Simple Life

Thank you in advance as you follow along.. sharing with your friends and acquaintances; as you are empowering and making a difference for them too!

smiles and joy,

Linda

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A Nomadic Lifestyle.. a Gypsy Soul

I’ve never been one to stay put for very long. In the last 12 years I have moved 14 times within 11 cities. That equates to approximately once every 10 months. Yes; I have broken a few leases but always found a new renter to move in to avoid the hefty charges!

The Urban Dictionary defines a nomad as N. 1. one without a home who moves around freely without ties holding them back. 2. a constant or full-time traveler. I am experiencing the time of my life being able to live life now as a nomad. Over the course of the last 19 weeks since leaving a life of sticks and bricks I have lived in 18 different cities and four cities on BLM land. That equates to moving an average of once every 6 days. I’m pretty certain we can call me a nomad!

A gypsy soul is referenced in Wild Heart; Gypsy Soul – Odyssey as ” a person in need of change or an adventure. A gypsy soul seeks for the next best thing in any situation. They can be very passionate and inspired by different ideas, attitudes and experiences. …Sure, gypsy souls have a wild heart.” This is a very good read and sums up a gypsy soul quite nicely.

My daughter gave me a very personal, fun gift this past Christmas. This wrap signifies my lifestyle.. my happy heart. I wear it as an addition of me; the same way you wear a wedding band.

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The gypsy soul in me has been released to reside in the great unknown. For 16 years I was quite happy and content to stay put in one city, raise my children as a single mom and build a substantial career in the direct sales industry. Today I feel that God has propelled me into the second leg of my purpose and journey here on earth. The full time single mom hat has been exchanged for a new hat.. a serene and simple one.. embracing new experiences, growth, change and people.

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I’m loving this new way of living in my Acura TL full time that I fondly named ‘Serenity Sedan’ while continuing to build my business Say It Display It , as well as sharing my journey with you here and on my you tube channel- Serene and Simple Life

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Through my musings I hope you may receive a tidbit or take away to inspire you in your journey to experience the great unknown or just a simple understanding of how 1000’s are choosing to live.

Thank you for coming along and your awesome encouragement in new beginnings; living life as a nomad with a gypsy soul.

Smiles & Joy,

Linda

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