Location: Gloster, Mississippi

I wasn’t sure how to feel as we drove our new camper off the lot.

This had been a dream for so long, and I’d been researching and anticipating this for weeks. Driving home with her, I felt…exhausted.

We drove straight to my Jay’s parents’ home to park her. They live about 2 hours away, deep in southwest Mississippi. My emotions were all over the place, and that turned into tears. Not tears of happiness, no. That would have actually made sense. Tears of stress, anxiety, and frustration.

I was a ball of anxiety. Every noise, every word, every bump in the road made me grit my teeth and clench my hands to keep from snapping for no reason. It baffled me, but I couldn’t get through it.

If you deal with anxiety, you know what I’m talking about – it’s the volcano that’s about to erupt. For me, it usually erupts into tears and angry fits.

I’ll spare you the details, but within the hour, I was sobbing in a Wendy’s bathroom. Not exactly how I pictured my first day with my “second home”, that’s for sure.

The thing is, I was hungry, which is basically 90% of my problem most of the time. I was fine within an hour or two of eating and crying it all out.

We set up camp, visited with family for a few hours, and then crashed on our little bed (emphasis on little – we fit, but it’s definitely not made for a 5’9″ woman and 6’3″ man).

Apparently, I’m not immune to emotional breakdowns even when things are going great.

Everything was going my way, but I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry for a while. A lot of baggage and fears from my past came up in my head, and I had to work to get refocused on the here and now.

Sometimes a good cry is all we need to release the pressure. No shame.

Now that all that emotional mess is a bit more settled, I can focus on enjoying here are a few things that we’ve learned so far:

1 – Close the screen door.

Horseflies aren’t fun to chase around a tiny camper.

2 – iPhones have levelers!

Using a leveler on your iPhone (through an app) is so much easier than an actual leveler for some reason.

3 – Respect the campers on the road, people.

I will never overlook campers on the road ever again. Give them a wide berth. You can’t stop quickly, change lanes quickly, nothing. Don’t cut off campers, don’t cut off 18-wheelers, just don’t do it.

4 – You should probably get along really well with the person that you will be camping with.

Thankfully, I can enjoy Jay’s presence a good 90% of the time. The other 10%, I’m content to go off by myself to regroup and relax.

5 – Be a team.

Parking a camper, setting the legs down (or whatever they’re called. See – lessons!), leveling it all out, etc requires work and teamwork. I know that plenty of people camp alone, but that’s not what I’m talking about – just like in a regular home and regular situation, different people have different roles and responsibilities to fulfill. It makes things go faster and easier.

Current list of priority purchases or tasks:

1 – Pillow-top mattress.  Ugh. Can’t wait.

2 – Name the camper. Currently, I’m considering Wanda, Saoirse, or Esther.

3 – Find boondocking sites.

Planned destinations over the next 2 months:

Mountain Home, AR – visiting Jay’s business partner (at Peak Solutions), and our friend, Chris Chamberlin.

Pikes Peak, CO – we’re traveling with family up to Pike’s Peak! Jay will be riding his Harley most of the way while I pull the camper. Visiting CO is another dream come true.

Happy trails!

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