While the rest of the Amazon Camperforce folks were getting ready to head out close to Christmas, JJ and I were mentally gearing up for another 5 weeks of work. We were repeatedly informed that our extension request had gone through, and that we could work for up to 4 more months, as long as we notified the company at least one week before we intended to leave. We were going to play things by ear, (or rather, by bank account), and work just long enough to save the funds for 4 months off.
Yes, this is foreshadowing.
This past Friday, our Monday, our HR rep visited us at lunch with some bad news: none of the Campers would be allowed to extend and we would only be working through the 21st. We had some conflicting feelings about the situation. On one hand, warehouse work is not my cup of tea, and I won’t be sad to be out of the loud, chaotic environment. However, we were specifically working to have enough money to be off until our summer job starts in May. Now what?!
I told JJ that we were taking an emergency afternoon off and we started discussing plans. We had a couple competing factors. We wanted to get home to Ohio, and we’re never going to be closer, and Texas, due to a the complicating factors that arise from joining the union as a Republic, has no federally owned land where we can stay for free. We need a plan that we could enact right away.
So, here’s the result of our planning session, or rather, where I cried a lot, and then JJ talked some sense into me and we got to work.
After Amazon, we will head to an RV park about 300 miles south of here, in Livingston, TX, which is part of our RV membership club. The park allows dry-camping (that is, without hookups) for just $5 a day, and we will have access to the wonderful facilities there, like showers, a library, and an exercise room. We need to take a few days to fix a roof leak (and by “we” I mean JJ) and then we can put the RV in storage there for just $30 for a month. (And for my non-RV readers, let me tell you…this is an amazing bargain! Normally, RV parks are more like $30/day, and storage is at least $100/month!)
Next, we drive to Ohio in 2 days, between whatever winter storms are coming. With the cat. Oy vey. But then here’s the fun part: we visit family, friends, taco trucks, and our beloved Columbus, OH ice cream institutions. So, Ohio peeps, we are coming home! And we can’t wait to see so many folks we’ve been away from so long. We will be in town for a couple weeks, so we should have time to do everything we want to do.
And as for the money issue in all this, I’m looking at this as a chance to practice all the virtues that I’ve been talking about on the blog: frugality, valuing experiences over things, flexibility, and an adventurous spirit. We are far from destitute, and I can either freak out, or embrace the opportunity to be off work for far longer than any vacation I ever could have taken in my past life.
This change of events also means that I will have more exciting content for the blog again, and pictures!
It’s also nice to feel excited for what’s up, rather than beat down by the prospect of more work that does nothing for my soul. And what’s up this winter? Probably New Mexico, which offers an awesome deal for camping in their state parks. For $225, we get a pass that is good for dry camping for a whole year. New Mexico is covered in state parks, close to the hiking and adverturing we’d like to do. My inner planner is coming alive again, ready to find the next amazing experience.
Just 4 more days of work, and we’re off!