Roaming With My Buffalo

I decided to do something daring before I turned 30. Editing the travel stories submitted to the magazine I worked at was entertaining, sure, but made me long for my own adventure. So a month before my 29th birthday I quit my job, flew one-way to North America, bought a Chevy Suburban, and drove it across half the country — twice. Billy, here, was my only company. His four feet gently swayed over the grasses and bitumen and hillsides that stretched out before me, rendering every landscape one where the buffalo — my solitary, two-dimensional buffalo — roamed.

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Whoever decided that living out of your car had to be a messy, stinky, disgusting affair is wrong. Cleanliness is next to godliness–even if you have to spit your toothpaste into a canyon when you’re done brushing.

Girl in Car

Last year I lived in my car for three months and three days. Like any experience, there were pros and cons. It’s trying to find those silver linings in everything we go through that I look for, because if life has taught me anything it’s that there’s truth in the adage tragedy + time = comedy. My days were routine, like most people’s. I went to the toilet, brushed my teeth, ate breakfast and worked on my laptop. The only difference was that all of that was done in Starbucks. After breakfast I’d drive down to the shore, put the car in park with the windows down and go for a beach walk or crawl into the back of the car. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was the life I made for myself. A life of waiting.

I wish I could say I spent those three months chasing horizons and hiking to waterfalls. Mostly I was peeing in bushes after dark, reading in the back of my car or playing guitar.

Sunsets and ciders in Autumn

Not having access to a well-stocked pantry, bank account or kitchen meant I had a somewhat more rigorous diet regime than ever before, and when the days grew shorter, the gym was a nice place to stay warm, watch TV and sit in the hot tub. Exercise was merely a byproduct of the luxury of not being in the rain and not wanting to get kicked out for treating the gym like a movie theatre.

I guess the point of this story is this: bikini bodies can be born from the most unlikely of places, even if it’s from having to wrestle your clothes on while lying down in a car. Show gratitude whenever you can.

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