Go to Seattle, Dance with Europeans

I’m on the road again, sort of.

I’m writing from Green Tortoise Hostel in Seattle. I’ve been here two nights and couchsurfing this weekend.

Meanwhile, the RV transmission is getting rebuilt and should have the RV back in working order next week. Also, I filed an insurance personal lost claim so hopefully I’ll get some cash for my stolen items from two weeks ago.

The past few weeks, I’ve been staying with some good friends in Corvallis and exploring the beautiful Oregon country side. But, I’m getting antsy to leave the North West especially before the bad weather kicks in.

Last weekend, I was in Portland via Greyhound. The Farmer’s Market there is incredible as well as the Powell Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore in the world.

I also meet up with Tom from Tom’s Adventure, a former Rialta RV traveler, globe trekker, and successful internet entrepreneur. It felt really good to be able to talk to someone else about RVing and business. Funny enough, I felt like selling the RV afterwards though because of how nice it is to be in a house.

So, I’m in Seattle. My primary reason for going here was to buy a new backpack or luggage bag at the Tom Bihn store/factory. The only brick and mortar place possible to buy these amazing bags which are handmade in the US. The place is rather small and located in an industrial block penned in with machine shops and warehouses. In the background, I could see rows of sewing machines with old Asian ladies working away. I think I saw Tom Bihn himself possibly moving into an office or maybe just the manager.

I ended up buying the Aeronaut, their largest luggage bag that also works as a shoulder duffle bag and backpack. I also really liked the Synapse which is the only bag Tynan uses. It’s probably the lightest and most versatile daypack, but I still have a messenger bag and need something with more volume and flat space for dress clothing. The aeronaut is incredibly light and doesn’t look all that special. But it has backpack straps that can be zipped away. Almost all the bags they have can be enlarged or compacted in size which was pretty cool. My goal is to be able to live with just the Aeronaut and a daypack.

I’ve never stayed in a hostel before, but this Green Tortoise I’m pretty sure is the nicest hostel in the US. There are individual bathrooms, free breakfast, and a really great location. All of it is incredibly clean, safe, and nice. There’s a lounge area with computers and a television where people can eat and hang out although most people are just glued to their laptops. There’s mostly a mix of Europeans, Koreans, and a few Americans here. My only complaint is probably the beds are rather small.

Last night, I went out with a group of Europeans, an Australian, and a few Americans to standup comedy and a few local bars. It was a fun, drunken night. Someone kept the wheels greased with shots and drinks so I was pretty happy and got to dance with an Aussie. Hostels are a great way to meet some Europeans in the US.

I’ll be couchsurfing the rest of the weekend and then going back to my friend’s on Sunday. My host is busy both Fri and Sat nights though so I’ll be left to my own devices again.

With the RV fixed next week, I’ll have to decide whether I’m selling the RV or keep traveling. Based on the poll votes so far, the majority want me to stay in the RV forever. If so, I would need a number of upgrades. First, a swamp cooler could make summers in the RV livable in a low humility environment. A swamp cooler pulls in the dry, hot air outside and pushes it through a water sponge. The water evaporation cools the interior. I still need to figure out if winter living is feasible though. In that case, I could also get a high efficiency propane heater, but money money money. Not to mention the frozen water tanks. Swamp cooler, propane heater, and a high efficiency DC refrigerator. Each of them costs around $600, and I have no idea how to install any of them.

I’ll likely keep the RV for now though. I want to drive down through California and back to Colorado via Nevada or New Mexico. Not sure yet. I’ve never seen the SW before though.

Primarily, I want to see San Francisco, the startup capital of the world and probably one of the few US cities that full time RV living makes sense. Then I might make some trips to LA and San Diego where I know a handful of people, but I’ve also visited both cities before. I am interested in seeing Claremont University which has the only Ph D Program in Positive Psychology.

Chances are high I’ll be back on the East Coast for the holidays either early November or early December with or without the RV to be seen.


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