Sex and the Single Camper

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Valentine’s Day has recently come and gone.  What could be more befitting than the subject of the above title?  I’ve always been a true romantic, though not always an optimistic one.  Some may be surprised to know that when I decided to become an RV-living gypsy, I gave very little thought about having a love life.  I guess it was for a good reason.  In the four and a half years I’ve been single, I have had not one long-term relationship.  This is not by choice, though relationship gurus and teachers of the Law of Attraction may tell you otherwise.  Maybe I’m still holding on to deep issues from my messed up childhood.  Could it be that I’m not visualizing Mr. Gypsy with enough focus and faith to bring him forth into my life?  Erm… No.  I want a relationship.

Though there may be some truth to the above, I honestly believe having (and keeping) someone good in one’s life has a strong element of luck, timing, and circumstance at the heart of it.  It is the hand of fate.  But, I digress.   I didn’t consider the issue of dating when making my decision to be a nomad because my luck with men has been beyond disappointing (i.e. shitty).

After a lot of fruitless Internet first dates and relationship false starts, I’ve grown to accept my hand.  I have to share that Internet dating is a horrible way to meet someone.  In the online world, people tend to have a shopping cart approach to finding a mate.  A date becomes more expendable because three more dates can easily be scheduled that week.  That guy or gal you’re really hitting it off with keeps any sort of commitment with you at arm’s length because there is a bigger and better deal a click away.  These Picky Pickers fail to realize that it is just as difficult meeting someone special online as it is meeting someone randomly on the street!  Online dating only gives the illusion that there are countless numbers of people that you can happily be well matched with.  Having said that, I do have four friends who have met their spouses this way, but there are also people who win the lottery.  I sometimes wonder if becoming a gypsy is a way for me to prepare for a life alone… an exciting, fulfilling and adventurous life, but most likely, alone.

What I didn’t consider with this lifestyle was how potential suitors would perceive me.  I realized that many men may associate women and vans with EASY SEX.  At the dealership where I work, some men have dubbed Eunice as the Shaggin’ Waggin’.  I was even asked, in jest, if I had “Christened” my van yet.  I wasn’t offended by this question, as I was also wondering when that would happen!  Though they are being playful, I can’t help but ponder if at the heart of their folly, they perceive women with vans (especially vans with beds) as more “sexually accessible”.   I feel that I’m no more or less accessible than any other and truth be told, I’m a healthy woman and have needs.

With dating, I find there are adjustments I have to make.  By adjustments I mean defenses.  Months ago, I was on the phone with a older successful gentleman that I was set up with by a mutual friend.  He asked me the awkward question, “Where do you live?”   I jokingly told him that I live “everywhere” and how I moved into my camper van.  He chuckled in a fatherly way and asked if our friend knew that I was doing this… as if I was in some sort of trouble.  Though he seemed okay with it, I realized not every man would be comfortable with the way I live.  I passed on meeting him in person, but from our conversation, I decided not to talk about my lifestyle until I knew that my date would be cool with it.  Also, it’s a good practice in safety to hold off on giving that piece of information until trust is established.  Though I have an alarm system and an NRA sticker on the back of my rig, why invite trouble?

I want to be a gypsy, but I also would like to have a meaningful relationship.  Since most people have a traditional home, I would most likely be expected to settle down if I meet someone worth while.  However, I can’t alter my plans for someone who may not come into my life… or worse, someone who does.  God forbid someone comes into my life for the sole karmic purpose of bungling up my plans!

For the first time in my life, I fear finding the relationship I want.   Since day one, I asked myself, “What happens if I meet someone within the three months that I am giving myself to leave Connecticut?”  I didn’t dwell too much on it because, seriously, what are the chances?  I do recognize that my needs and desires push and pull me in different directions. This life stuff is complicated.

I figured I should actively find a way to merge my gypsy lifestyle with finding a life partner.  Maybe I could go online and join groups to find another vandweller to whom I can be suitably mated.   It makes perfect sense, but I think I’ll pass on that idea.  Forgive my prejudices when I say that I believe many men who choose the nomadic lifestyle (with the exception of men who are under 25, divorced, or jumped in with a wife or girlfriend) are either gay, confirmed bachelors, or eccentric loners.  Since the main biological goal of men is to attract women, most wouldn’t choose this lifestyle if having one in their life for a permanent relationship were a priority.

I figure I’ll keep things joyfully open-ended by traveling the U.S. and perhaps meet someone along the way, maybe “settling down” if the things worked out.  After all, it’s a big country out there!  If not, I’ll continue on with my gypsy ways.  I have tried to guide fate’s hand my moving my online dating profile to parts of the country that I’m interested in exploring.  However, I admit this was done mostly out of curiosity to see which parts of the U.S. I was considered most attractive.  Not surprisingly, it was not in my own state!

Though my online excursion was mostly experimental, I did connect with an interesting man named John* in Ohio (my most popular state).  From what I could tell, we shared many of the same values and beliefs.   This appealed to me because most men I happen to meet tend to be agnostic/atheist and have values opposite from my own… I tend to skew towards “Midwestern”.  He had no problem temporarily carrying on a long distance relationship and he was open to moving outside of his state. We spoke on the phone for a week before deciding to video chat on Skype.

The Saturday we were to chat, I broke from my usual weekend schedule and set up my laptop at Dunkin’ Donuts for our 3pm date.  Though a plain Jane, I made sure I wore makeup and had my hair back so he could easily see my features.  I rarely use Skype, so I made sure the speakers and microphone worked and that the webcam was well positioned.  I was ready!

At around 2:55pm, in walked two men.  Like all of the other patrons coming in and out, I barely noticed them.  They were the opposite of each other in appearance, stature and bearing.  The first man was tall, fair, with a robust build and carried himself with a slow and steady confidence.  The second man was dark, much shorter, with a compact body that was controlled by quick sharp movements.  The first man picked up his order and turned away from the counter.   I looked up from my laptop and his eyes met mine, lingering longer than a passing glance.  I saw that he was ruggedly handsome.   He said hello and I returned his greeting as he sat down at the next table facing me.  I put on my headphones and continued with setting up my video call.   He insisted on starting a conversation with me anyway.

His name was Beau*, an avid outdoorsman who has hiked and camped all over the U.S.  One of the things that impressed me most was that he enjoys camping, even in the dead of winter… that’s pretty hardcore.  We talked for hours until his friend dragged him out of the shop.  He asked me out for a date before he left and I accepted.  Beau called me up an hour later and we went out to a dinner and a movie that very night! That was a month ago and we’ve been spending time together almost everyday ever since.  I have also come to know that not only does he have a love of nature and travel, but he is also in touch with his spirituality and has reverence for God.

I can say that I’ve had a beautiful Valentine’s Day!  Perhaps I should take back what I said about going online to find love.  After all, I have met someone special while on an Internet date!   Jest and butterflies aside, what now of my gypsy plans?  Oh, that hand of fate.

*Name changed to protect the innocent and infamous.

39 thoughts on “Sex and the Single Camper

  1. Great ending, but I keep wondering what happened to John? Happy you found someone who seems perfect for you!

    As soon as I was ready to go on my journey, 3 men appeared on the horizon and I decided my travel plans were more important at this point in my life. Funny how life challenges you to see if you REALLY mean it. Alone again, naturally…..

    • Thank you, Jennifer! To answer your questions about John, I quickly sent him a quick IM on Skype, postponing our chat to latter that evening. After Beau left, I video chatted with him as planned. He was a really cool guy, but I did have a few reservations after finally talking with him “face to face”. I decided to text him goodbye after my third date with Beau and he was not very happy about it!

      Funny about how you had three suitors right before your journey. Hearing things like this proves to me that there is an invisible hand at work. Life does challenge and test us. Hopefully, in my case, I will not have to choose between one thing or the other. My new guy seems to have a little gypsy in him! 😉

  2. Hi mocha,
    I am so interested in nomadic life. I have been looking at a couple of vans like yours. i have been reading all your post and your youtube videos. Are you planning on doing anymore of them? I became sad reading this one because I’m scared you might end your journey like another blog I was getting information from. I’ve been like a child waiting on christmass for one. I want to do this so bad I can taste it. Reading your post has help me answer some of my questions. I would like to know what do you plan to do when its time for registration of vehicle and to renew license because in my state you have to have mail to a physcial address.

    • Howdy Lady, I’m glad to hear that you are interested in being a gypsy and found my posts helpful. I’d like to do more videos, but I’m not sure of what to do next since I haven’t really traveled yet. Maybe I’ll do something on my heating system. Regarding vehicle registration, I may just keep it in Connecticut. I currently use my P.O. Box as an address. The U.S. Post office now offers “street addressing” that allows your box to pose as a real address… for an extra fee. It really works; I applied for my gun permit with this address and the FBI cleared it! LOL I also heard that there is a mail forwarding service in South Dakota that many RVer’s like to use. I’ll look into that as well.

      To tell you the truth, I’ve been a little scared since meeting someone, as well. I’ve been getting closer to Beau, but yet I still want to continue with my nomadic ways. I have to trust that God’s guidance will steer me in the right direction. ❤

        • Yep… USPS offers this to compete with UPS’s mailbox services at much lower rates. As you know, they are scraping around to make more revenue! I’m not sure that every post office offers this service, but you should be able to find one near you that does. This service allows them to be able to accept even non-p.o. box deliveries… Though this isn’t always evident to DUMB UPS drivers who may try to return your package back to the sender after realizing it’s going to a post office. Sorry, I’m still frustrated over a recently botched delivery! lol UPS and Fedex drivers will soon catch on!

          Btw, I’m a 70’s baby, I should’ve known! lol Thanks for the video 😉

      • Thanks! I didn’t know that. I have really been doing my homework on this but I haven’t meet many women who are doing this(not yet). Its nice to get information from a womans point of view because we all know women see things differently from men(no offense to all you wonderful men out What is it like living in your van? What do you do to pass time? Do you stayin different location or do you stay in one, if so how did you pick your spot? Were you scared the first night and may felt like maybe you made a mistake? How long did it take you to shake that feeling? any info you could give would be helpful. Maybe you could do a video of a day in the life of mocha…would be nice. Sorry for the mini interview but I am eager to learn and know before I hit the road. I have one bug that is giving me a fit and that is income on the road..uugh!

        • Howdy Lady, I love living in my camper van! I haven’t regretted it for one second, even during the most challenging times. When I pursued this lifestyle, I was 110% sure that’s what I wanted. Coincidentally, that’s what’s needed to be happy as a full-timer! As for what I do to pass the time, it’s not any different as when I had my rental. I go to work, come “home” (or Dunkin Donuts), mess on Facebook, complete some projects, etc. The only difference, is that I make sure that I’m well parked, and that I keep an eye on my power usage throughout the evening. Since my employer does not know of my lifestyle, I will not be doing an “Day in the Life” video any time soon. However, I’m sure there are other videos like that online.

          I commend you for your passion in choosing this lifestyle. There are more women than you would think who live full-time in their RV’s/campers. Check out the links below for a start. Women Go Solo is a group on Yahoo you can join. There are women who are seasoned veterans and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Living in My Car is a blog by a lone female RVer named Jennifer, who was a great inspiration to me. Be sure to check out her blog roll which would be of help. She also has a great Youtube page full of informative/inspiration videos!

          Women Go Solo

          Living in My Car

          • Thank you soooo much! And I completely understand concerning video. I wish you much blessings. i love your writtening. I eagerly participate your next

  3. I’ve been living in my motorhome for 16 months now. Lonely, lonely, lonely after the ending of my marriage 2 1/2 years ago. Met a man named John and we became friends. Wasn’t interested in anything more. Absolutely not. Until about a month later when I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I seduced him (he claims that men are easily seduced…) because I felt SAFE with him. I knew he wasn’t a long term relationship candidate (for several reasons, including; he lives in the south, I’m ALWAYS hot down south. He’s not a cyclist; my next partner MUST be a cyclist, etc). But for the first time in my life, I had great sex. And I’m 55. I never could flirt with men I was interested in – too scary. But after John, I feel like I have new found confidence and am looking forward to flirting with the next gentleman who catches my eye. So, you never know where things are going to lead, I guess.

    • Karen, Congrats on your new awakening… this must be an exciting new chapter in your life! May a passionate cyclist from the north cross your path 😉 By the way, I visited your website and saw that you are a voice over artist. I do that part-time as well!

      • You’re a voiceover also? So interesting! Did you see that I’ve been living in my motorhome for 16 months (as of Feb 23) and working as a fulltime VO? I have a state-of-the-art studio with custom sound booth in the back bedroom. It’s where I’m typing this message from. Coming off the road this spring. I’m ready to be settled for awhile.

        • Yes, I have an agent who throws me work once in a while. I have definitely noticed your studio setup and it is SWEET! As for my self, I have a Blue Snowball mic, some acoustic foam and my Mac laptop… It’s just pro enough to get me by. I’d really like to pick your brain about finding work to do this full-time. I’m really looking for ways to leave my 9-5 in the next couple of months so I may hit the road! 🙂

          • I’d be happy to give you some info (I don’t normally do this with “strangers” for various reasons that I won’t get into here. You can find my phone number on my website. Give me a week before you call as I just had a death in the family and I’m still dealing with that and getting caught up with work.

  4. I sure do know that feeling, of wanting to be alone but not lonely. I recently ended a 2 yr relationship for a variety of reasons, and now she want’s to re-ignite it. AFTER I bought and outfitted a camper to hit the road. Keep in mind that for half the time of that relationship, i was living in my van, unbeknown to her, and still working my regular job. So, now, I’m ready to retire and roll to the southwest and she wants to fire things up again. I juggled the pros and cons of both scenarios and realized either way I go, I give up something. But, it’s more important to me to be who and what I need to be, at the expense of being alone, than to sacrifice my “self” for some sort of “security”. At 62, going on 63, yes, I still have those “needs”, and hopefully along the way I’ll meet gals who feel the same way I do, and we’ll “click”, and we’ll understand and enjoy what time we have together. Or not. For me, it’s not just sex, it’s moments of intimacy that are equally, if not more, important. It would be wonderful to meet someone who embraces the nomadic lifestyle, but I’m not holding my breath. I say, more power to you Karen, for your transformation, and for what appears to be “living in the moment”, and not selling yourself short for some sort of perceived emotional security.

    • Hi Jesse, Glad you understand. I didn’t really want a relationship because of the timing of my plans. However, that expression, “God’s plan is always on time” keeps me from pulling my hair out! I definitely emphasize with your situation, as I’m sure you do mine. My new guy is a free spirit and seems like he would be receptive to the gypsy lifestyle, but I won’t know for sure until the rubber hits the road… literally! Btw, I think you made the right call not starting up back with your ex-girlfriend People are often in the past for a reason!

  5. The whole sex in a van mentality thing just because one owns a van has always escaped me. I come from a world where everyone has to have vans to transport & show dogs! So no one actually thinks of them as a, um, hotel room.
    But I don’t live in my van, I use it as my daily driver. Now that I have a motorhome, the dogs & I go off to shows in it & some camping too.

    There are a whole lot of folks out there that live in RV’s & vans doing just what you are doing now. Some stationary (such as myself for now), some traveling all over the country. Fate does play a funny hand. You never know when or if you’ll meet up with someone.

    But then, there’s always get-to-gethers that folks join up into, so it’s always possible to meet someone at one of those. Or just plain camping somewhere.

    It sounds like you’ve already met someone that is fun & has lots in common with you. Time will tell you what you want/need to do. Best of all, it doesn’t sound like he feels sorry for you or thinks you are homeless!

    My sister told everyone I was homeless when I went back for a visit in my RV! I swear, it really ticked me off. I told her I am NOT homeless, it’s my choice to live in my RV & I’m happy that way! So you will run into that with some folks that just can’t wrap their minds around it all. She had everyone around her judging me. Worst of all, they all live at a campground too! I guess they forget….

    • There was a time I was interested in showing a dog a had. She was a King Charles Cavalier. It must be fun that you belong to this social enclave of like-minded people! That was pretty nasty what your sister did. Sounds like something mine would do… Maybe we’re related? lol I detect defensiveness with some bloggers living in their RV, making it a point that they live this way because they choose to, not because they have to. Though I understand where they are coming from (no one likes to be looked down on), I think it makes little difference because in the end, simplicity, self-sufficiency, and unforgettable experiences will be had by all! It’s good to know that more and more folks are living the RV lifestyle.

      Regarding Beau, I feel really fortunate we met. The more time I spend with him, the more of a match I feel we are. It supports my theory that there is more to our meeting than chance.

  6. I think it is ok to have a Mr Right Now. Not every guy is Mr Right, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one another for a while. When Mr Right does cross your path, I think you will know the relationship has that potential.

  7. Great post – inspiring, actually your whole blog is inspiring, thank you. I think the subject of ‘relationships’ for those that have departed from the rat race of society, is going to be different that what people are used to in ‘approved society’, just like most other aspects of life on the road and in a van are different than ‘life’ in the stix and brix, bow down to the boss world most people live in.
    I am a mid 40’s male, preparing for full-time life on the road. I have been mentally ready to leave the rat-race behind for some time, I have not yet hit the road because I have the luxury of time to prepare, and because there are some people still counting on me who I do not want to leave in the lurch. Besides the usual reasons for taking to the road, such as the need for freedom and not wishing to waste hard earned money buying other people’s houses and punching clocks, it is my belief that I will not find a meaningful relationship UNTIL I start out on the road.
    It is ink of the reverse of what some other people said (see comments about your article on yahoo vandwellers) – some seem to think they are ‘past’ having relationships or want to avoid the drama and being told what to do, etc. Well I too am not looking for any entanglement where me freedom is limited, or indeed where the person I am with feels I am limiting their freedom.
    I do not think I am cut out for a long term settle down somewhere type relationship, no more than I am cut out for living in a house and having bills and a punch clock job.
    I rather hope/believe that when I hit the road and meet other kinds of people, I might find what I have been looking for – that I know I wont find here in rat-race-ville. I think it might be very different that what I would have expected.

    • Hi, I’m glad to hear that you find my blog inspiring… Thank you! Full-timers may very well see relationships differently than “mainstream” folks… I think you may be onto something. I think we love our freedom and that extends to just about every aspect of our lives. Being a female well into her 30’s, I’m full of ambivalence as I’d also like to share my life with someone special and maybe, just maybe have marriage (again) and a family. Ideally, I would like my partner to be a gypsy and have a couple of gypsy kids, if possible. Will it actually happen? Who knows! The beauty of my lifestyle is that I’d be happy either way. Roy Orbinson said it best, “Fate knows what’s best for you!

      You very well may find someone (many times over) during your time on the road. As I mentioned to Lady above, there are a lot more women choosing this life than people realize. As a man in his prime, I’m sure that if you camp at the right places, your choices will be abundant! 😉

  8. Fascinating and I am glad I came across your blog. I am always a romantic and always have thought that if I am following truly what my heart says, then others of like mind (and heart) will be attracted to me. that goes for whatever aspect of life one thinks about. there are many gypsies in the world, so be patient, stay with your own life and the right thing will happen.

    • Hi Paul,Thank you for the encouragement. Your words ring true… I’m amazed how much I have in common with Beau. I wouldn’t have met him if I were still in my little apartment!

  9. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation
    but I find this matter to be actually something that I think
    I would never understand. It seems too complicated
    and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward
    for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    • Thankfully, no! He was a total fraud. Hopefully, I’ll catch up on my writing to explain what happened. Thank you for asking. 🙂

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