Practicing Happiness: A Memoir of Van Life

So, I did a thing.

I quite like the thing, actually. I never pictured myself writing non-fiction, and definitely not non-fiction about myself. But I was trying to turn my blog — all fifteen years of it — into something that I could easily save. It wound up being easiest to make ebooks with Vellum, many of them. I thought at first three, then I thought maybe seven, because I wrote a lot of words in those fifteen years.

But while I was fixing formatting and cutting the boring posts, the ones I don’t care about now and won’t care about 20 years from now, suddenly I found myself writing a book. I became quite obsessed for a while, waking up at dawn and starting to work, stopping at 11 PM.

My life in Serenity, my camper van, lasted for four years. What was important about those years? What mattered most? What did I learn? What would I want to tell someone else, someone who was dreaming about life on the road?

It was sort of amazing to trace my own evolution through those years. The day after the first time I camped in a parking lot, I wrote, “I have never felt more Woman Traveling Alone than when I was awake at 3AM with street lights shining in my windows. I’m not sure I can relax enough to start enjoying your average Walmart parking lot anytime soon.”

Three years later, I was writing about the differences between street camping and parking lot camping, giving the win to parking lots, without even remembering that once upon a time, parking lot camping was scary.

Anyway, it was fun to write/edit, and I hope that it’s fun to read.

Practicing Happiness: A Memoir of Van Life