Yesterday I opined about the varying responses I get to my espousing that I am going to live in a van, down by the river. I was quite sure that it would be A Good Thing, (with apologies to a formerly incarcerated role model for home makers). Today, I muse about how odd it is that people have read some of my words.
I’d posted that link to my Facebook page, which resulted in a flurry of old friends contacting me to say that I could stay in their homes and/or driveways. This was quite flattering and sounded pretty fun. I started getting excited about seeing these old friends and hanging out with them and catching up, but then it started to seem like, well, cheating. In Travels with Charley Steinbeck actually stops the book for a couple weeks when his wife meets up with him in Chicago. If I just drive from town to town seeing people that I already know (though some of these folks I haven’t seen in twenty years, so there is a certain amount of unknown in there) am I really traveling?
Those responses from the Facebook people were something, but when I went to Prayer Meeting (what a group of friends and acquaintances I have facetiously call Wednesday night happy hour at a local watering hole) a surprising number of people seemed to have read my little post and had nice things to say as well as helpful advice. (Tip: if you get one of those plastic detergent bottles and pull out the funnel top, it makes a great urinal.)
And as if that weren’t enough, A good friend and celebrated mommy blogger linked to my post on the Facebook (it’s a wildly popular social networking site that you might have heard of). This resulted in a flurry of friend requests from strangers. As a rule, I don’t accept such offers from strangers, but flattered that they were interested in my little sojourn, I created an “iliveinavan” group (so that I could limit their access to my stuff if I so chose), and accepted their offers.
So I decided to go ahead and embrace all of the various social media. I set up a Facebook Fan Page, so that people can “Like” me to follow my Vananigans rather than “friending” me. I set up a Twitter account so that people can hear me tweet. I set up a Flickr photostream where you can see photos of my preparations (and later, we assume, my travels). And I linked all that stuff together, best I could, here on iliveinmyvan.com.
Meanwhile, a surprising number of comments on the Mommy Blogger’s page included not only great ideas of places that I might check out, but also offers of victuals, libations, friends for Thor, places to park and access to running water.
Perhaps it’d be interesting to try to tie together a period of time with old friends, another string of strangers who follow me, and, of course, a week-long bout of staying only in Walmart parking lots.
Thanks for your interest, folks.