It’s been a few years since I have resided on land, and I have to admit, it is taking some getting used to. Besides the fact I no longer rock every time the wind blows, and I don’t have to check dock lines all the time, there is a bit of nice comfort to having ground underneath your feet, and a ceiling higher than what I can reach.
I have, surprisingly, occasionally nearly fell over once or twice whilst walking about the little room I am currently residing in. Either I still have my sea legs, or the beginnings of a stroke. Not quite sure which.
The room has a ceiling fan which I have almost knocked down when I stood up to stretch. The ac unit in the window has done a nice job of keeping the place cool. Too good actually. Between staying in the ac and going out and walking around in the 80 degree heat, getting sweaty, and going back into the ac, I’ve been fighting a cold since I moved here.
One perk which I became aware of recently. For the first time in nearly 15 years, I did laundry in a machine which I didn’t have to drop a pile of quarters into. Even more better, said washer and dryer are literally right outside my door, as is the bathroom. If there is a downside, I now have a big pile of loose change. Normally I throw pennies away, convert nickels and dimes to quarters for the laundry. Now I’m just getting a pile of change which I will need to get rid of. A minor inconvenience. Having a washer and dryer which actually works and don’t cost $2 per load is pretty damn nice.
Overall, the room is ok. Landlord and other tenant keep to themselves. There is one other who comes and goes. Not sure about him. Sunday morning he decided to sit outside right under my window, crank up the radio, get drunk, and have a one man karaoke party. I don’t complain as I have only been here for a week but I was hoping to not have to deal with drunks and noise. If it keeps up, I may leave sooner than expected.
If there is one thing which makes the room worth it all, it’s actual, working, fast, reliable, internet. It’s been years since I have had such a good connection. Downloads take seconds rather than hours. I can speed through web pages more better. All the ills I had trying to get online and stay online whilst on the boats are gone. Can’t tell you how much this means to me right now.
But, as nice and affordable as this place is, I don’t see it as a long term answer. And besides, I am not looking for long term. In late May I fly up north to visit with family. I will return to Key West the last week of May and from there, I am not sure yet what I will be doing. Income dictates everything at this point. The three options I have mentioned before, stay in Key West, go to Maui, go for a hike, all will require about the same amount of money to get through the summer months. I’ll get into details later in a future post. But for now, I’m not planning anything for more than 3 months at a time.
The room I’m renting now will be just the beginning of a long string of temporary places to stay. In terms of what I was looking for, this place met all my requirements: affordable, no lease, minimal, internet, good location, quiet. In the future I can see many possibilities. Other rooms, rv rentals, boat rentals, hostels, couch surfing, and tent camping. I don’t really care which, as long as I have a safe place to sleep and can get online to make some money. I want to avoid long term commitments, stay out of binding leases, and be able to leave in a moments notice should circumstances dictate. I’m going to try and trade out some webwork in exchange for a place to stay here and there. Never know. There might be some horse traders out there.
I don’t need much more. The room I rent now has more than twice the square footage the boat did. It has a closet, a bed, a table, and tv cabinet. More than what I need, but I can still relax a bit and do my thing. When I walk away from here, I can do so simply by packing up the backpack, handing over the key, and trudging out the door. I won’t have to worry about selling anything nor moving anything.
I’m still trying to get into the mindset of a digital nomad. It’s slowly coming to me. I went to the store the other day and found myself rushing around thinking I had to hurry so as to catch the bus or walk the long walk back to the marina. It suddenly dawned on me I could take my sweet time as the walk back was now only about 15 or 20 minutes. When the weather kicks up, I’m not fretting about the boat being tied off properly, nor the cabin leaking in the rain. And despite the income woes, I can still look ahead and realize the things I’ve been wanting to do, are now within reach. It’s just a matter of making them happen.
Yeah, I do miss the boat. Always will. And perhaps sometime down the road, I may well end up back on one, but not for now. This whole idea of not needing a permanent place, of being free to travel at will, to not be bound by leases, contracts, nor possessions, is looking more better every day. Think I will stick with it for awhile and see what happens.