This one will be a 2fer. Update on my RV, my trip across the south, and present mindset on my move to Orlando
After driving five days across 7 states and 1,000 miles, I finally arrived at my new home: Orlando.
The experience was a little surreal driving down I-4 and seeing familiar buildings like the Crowne Hotel. I had gone to Orlando almost exactly a year ago and had only seen these sights from a plane and walking. Now, I was entering the city in a RV on the highway. Speaking of which…
Thankfully, the RV performed beautifully the entire drive down. I found out that 65 mph seems to be the sweet spot, and it starts sounding off at 70 mph. I was worried initially that the engine wasn’t shifting past 40 mph, and my RPMs were running up to 4,000 so I posted on a Yahoo Rialta tech group and got a great answer:
It is probable that you have the 5 cylinder engine. It will get to high gear at 40 under normal acceleration
and it will run 4000 RPM at 70 MPH. – 60 MPH will be about 3500 – 65 will e
The 2001 Rialta has a 6 cylinder engine and has different specs .
Along the way, I slept at a friend’s apartment in Washington DC, couch surfed in Richmond, and slept in the RV both in Raleigh and Savannah. Thankfully, no police or curious guests came knocking. I just parked on the free weekend, metered spaces near downtown. Nothing better than walking back from the bars to your RV and going to sleep. However, I did find some annoying paradoxes.
If I want to be 100% invisible then the windows and curtains have to be closed. But in order to stay cool, I have to open the windows with the curtains up. But opening the windows invites both eye balls and sound. Also, even with cold weather and rain outside, the RV is so well insulated that it’s still burning hot inside for hours. It wasn’t until midnight that it was cool enough to sleep in. And then, I wake up by 8am due to noise and heat and can’t fall back asleep.
I did have a supposedly great $60 12v huge fan, but it broke along the way. Hopefully I can get that returned or a replacement. Also, keeping things grounded is hard on my wooden floor. My chair and desk kept rolling around during the drive.
Oh yeah, I also got my cabin A/C fixed. They just filled it up with a pound of freon, but it’s still not enough to cool me totally cool while driving. Why am I going down south again?
Anyway, since I purchased the RV and brought it back home, I’ve clocked around 1,300 miles on it. If I include the trip when I purchased it, probably close to 2,000 miles.
I wrote my thoughts on this page while staying in each city. Overall, I was surprised to find I like the South a lot more than I thought I would. Even more uprising is the number of northerners I meet who now live down there.
I finally got to Orlando this afternoon after some 5-6 hours of driving and fighting off sleep. I made a rash mistake of accepting a month to month lease in a room near downtown. The original room I wanted was way too small, but they had a much larger and slightly more expensive room available, and I readily accepted. I guess the lack of sleep and desire for a shower cut my brain. It’s not a horrible place, but I feel like there are better options available for this price.
After getting here, I talked to two of my friends and couldn’t believe what I’m actually doing. This is nuts. WTF was I thinking? I drove to a city where I know no one. Not for work or school. It’s 1,000 miles away meaning anything I left at home (a ton of clothes, my desktop, my steamer, etc) is inaccessible. I likely won’t see any of my old friends while I’m down here. My hometown’s weather was just cooling down to that perfect temperature. And, now, I’m in Florida where it rains every day, their lows are 79 degrees, and mosquitoes are everywhere.
Nevertheless, it was the right choice. Driving city to city would of killed me in the long term. Not enough sleep, no showers, and so on would of been all too much. Staying at home doing the same thing I’ve been doing this entire year would of just lead to hopelessness and despair.
In fear and trembling I start my new life in Orlando. But also with excitement, hope, faith, and confidence.
Each time I move, I bring less and less. This time just my laptop, a few gadgets, barely any clothes, my bedding, a tiny desk, and my office chair that I’ve owned for over 7 years now. A single wok. No cups, no glasses, no plates, no desktop, no bookshelves. Only 4-7 actual, physical books with me.
And probably the hardest challenge of a new city beyond meeting new people? All the small stuff. Those tiny things that you never have to think about at home, but now, everything is in question. Where do I go to buy groceries? How do I do my laundry? Is my roommate okay with me using his butter?
This time a year ago, I also moved with high hopes and dreams. Except that time, I thought I could hole myself up in a room and create greatness. This time, I traveled to a new city to train with one of the best. To work under a teacher face to face. But still, I must be insane. Then again, normal is just what everyone perceives the average person would do. And living the average person’s life is only so good if you happen to be in a privileged position in that society. Because in the end, the illusion of normalcy is to sustain that social structure, those patterns, habits, and activities that keep a group, a city, a nation moving. Without that consistency, you’d be like me in a new city utterly lost and thinking they’ve gone insane.