This little room that I’m currently renting is proving to be exactly what I needed for the time being. A semi quiet, non intrusive, maintenance free, place to recharge and hatch my evil plots. While the neighborhood is not the best, the location is ideal, just a short walk over to the stores, and the landlord is very laid back. No lease, no security deposit, when I am ready, I can just walk away with no strings attached.
In late May I will be flying up north for a week to visit family. Normally when I do this trip I only stay for about 4 days. Since I have no home, and no furballs to take care of, it really doesn’t matter when I return. But, it is up north and I will be bored by the second day. So a week is about the max I can stand. I do want to make sure everyone is ok up there. I have several close relatives all over 80 and health concerns are beginning to surface. At some point, I will probably have to arrange to spend extended periods of time up there to take care of them. It’s ok. I’m good with that. They all did so much for me over my life, so I owe them. This trip is a visit to say hello, but it’s also a good time to make some future planning in case the time for me to come up is sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, as I said, this room is working out quite nicely. I have actual internet and as I announced last week, I got another website done for a client. I could use a couple or ten more of those to get me through the summer months. I’ve also started back into app coding, including learning how to code for the Apple Watch. I’m not completely sold on the thing but I do have some ideas on adapting some apps for it. It’s not too complicated compared to the iPhone code so I should be able to pick it up quick. Still having a hard time selling the concept of an app to anyone down here. This island is so far behind the times when it comes to technology.
As for the rest of the year, plots and plans are being formalized for any number of scenarios, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. I’ve looked into several options for the summer, any of which could happen, depending on finances.
I’ve found some rather attractive air fares out to Maui from Orlando. Leave early June, return early Sept. Getting to Orlando is no problem as the Greyhound makes a daily trip up there. I have friends I can stay with overnight for free and with some bus and commuter train savvy I can get to Orlando International pretty easily. Then an all day flight and I’m in Hawaii. I haven’t made any reservations yet and I may well lose the window to the good airfare, plus I haven’t fully researched where to stay while out there, but it all looks doable, if not this summer, later in the year.
If Maui does not work out there is always the Appalachian Trail. This adventure has many plusses and minus’s. My cunning plan would involve starting at the trailhead at Springer Mt. in Georgia, beginning in early June, and see how far I get with the general intention of making it to the halfway point at Harpers Ferry in late August, early Sept. It would mean hiking in summer when the cold is not as cold, and I would not be on any particular schedule, meaning I could do side trips along the way. However, I will need hiking gear. Good hiking gear, the really good lightweight stuff is expensive as all hell. One could easily drop $1500 to $2000 and still not have all one needs. There are cheaper alternatives but one sacrifices comfort, weight, and durability for price. Not to mention I may well get up there and my knees would give out in the first week, meaning I spent a lot of money, which I don’t have, on stuff I can’t use anymore.
The other issue is that while I’m hiking, I won’t be making any money. So in addition to the gear I will also need enough cash in the bank to cover the costs, food, occasional hostel or motel, return trip, snake ante venom, bear claw removal, etc. It would not be much, but there are costs involved in undertaking such a venture. Three months with no income could make things a bit tight.
One other minor issue is the sudden popularity of backpacking. Thanks to a movie called Wild currently out, and another coming soon called A Walk In The Woods, every middle aged mid life crisis wannabe will be out hiking. I am already hearing on the forums and news about the trail being packed with hikers. The shelters and other places to stay will be crowded. As appealing as spending three months in the woods sounds, this may not be the time to do so. It’s still on the table but I am thinking of perhaps waiting, doing some much shorter hikes at other spots to see how I like it, and work on the AT for next year, or later. If it happens, great. If not, no big deal.
That leaves the third main option that I am thinking of, which is stay put in Key West for the summer. I might be able to resecure the room I am currently renting if I wanted to stay until fall or beyond. I’ve joined some housing groups on Facebook which are much less scammy than Craigslist, and I will see if anyone has any other living options including trading rent out for some webwork.
Staying put in Key West is not a bad thing by any means. I won’t have to worry about weather now that I am landlocked and maybe I could pick up some more web projects to get me through. I still have not decided on what I want to do about renewing my captain license but if I do, I really need to stay here to take care of that matter. I may also be starting work on a new web project with the Mermaid Hunter. He has an interesting idea he is working on now. If it goes, it means Nikki will be coming back to do some new shoots. I don’t want to miss out on such an opportunity. But it really comes down to if I can afford a place here and maintain an income of some sort. Maui may be a more better option in the winter. The AT might calm down a bit next year. And who knows, other adventures may pop up.
So for now, I’m chillin’ and plottin’. Stress levels have dropped tremendously since I sold the boat. Still miss the cats desperately but I’m doing ok. It’s nice to be able to relax for a change.