I’m often asked why I started this lifestyle, and I always answer “It’s complicated.”
I started traveling when I left England way back in 1986 because I was born with a desire to travel, but once in the States I got into an abusive relationship and was ‘stuck’ for about ten years in Indiana and Michigan. It was when I left that abusive relationship in October 1996 that I camped on my own for the first time, and felt the true joy of life again.
A few years later I started writing a book about my story, and what it was like to have freedom once again after being under the control of a psychopath for ten years. The idea was to show other women that it IS possible to get out of an abusive relationship, and it IS possible to do it on your own and build a truly wonderful life for yourself again. (Given, I am a single woman with no children and understand that for women with children, it’s an entirely different matter).
I wrote several chapters of this book, but I reached a stumbling block and the book was put on hold for many years. I now feel that I’ve healed, and my injuries have healed, both physical and mental, and I no longer feel the need to complete the book and publish it. However, I spent a lot of time writing the first few chapters, and have decided that they are still very worthy of sharing.
My hope is that this story will reach a woman (or man) in a similar situation to mine back then and that person will gain strength and encouragement from these words. I will be sharing the first few chapters with you; you do not need to read the end of this book to know the outcome because it is written on every page of this blog.
The story in my book was the beginning of my camping alone, but many more things happened in my life that led me to where I am now; choosing to live in a van, amongst nature, instead of a stick-and-brick home. Click here to learn more: LOSING ALMOST EVERYTHING REPEATEDLY LED TO MY NOMADIC LIFE, AND I HAVE NO REGRETS.
This was part of my book proposal when I was attempting to get an editor interested in it all those years ago. I will be publishing Chapter One today and one a week through December. I’m not sure at this point how many I will share in total because some of them are incomplete and I have no desire to complete them anymore.
About the book:
This nonfiction book is the story of a woman who, in September 1996, runs away from her abusive husband and sets out to look for a new life. Roxy had left her husband several times before but had always run to friends for help. This time is different. Finally, Roxy realizes she needs to change her behavior if she is to remain hidden from her husband and gain her independence forever. With nowhere to go, no one to help her, and very little money, the author is at a loss what to do. She decides to camp alone in an Indiana State Park, fairly certain her husband, Harry, would not guess her whereabouts.
Roxy finds the solo camping experience exhilarating, although a little scary. When she realizes she needs to get away from the area completely, she sets out across the country in search of a new home and life. She travels 4,400 miles, camping the whole way, exploring back roads, state parks, and small towns.
After a month of traveling through several states, she finds Estes Park in the Colorado Rockies and falls in love with the small town and surrounding mountains. She rents a motel room for the winter, and in the spring decides to camp near Comanche Peaks Wilderness through the summer, while she gets back on her feet financially.
The camping experience turns out to be much more than Roxy expects. She develops a strong bond with nature and experiences wildlife in a variety of ways—both humorous and scary. The healing power of nature engulfs her as she works through her insecurities and learns to be a strong, independent woman.
As fall approaches, Roxy is forced to find a cabin before winter settles in. When she finally moves into her new home and hangs up a calendar in the kitchen, she notices that it is one year to the day since she left her husband. As she stands in the kitchen and turns on the faucet, Roxy realizes it has been a whole year since she had a kitchen sink.
In the book, the author tells how she met her husband and how the abuse began. Roxy also reflects on some of the abuse that took place during the relationship and the steps she took to gain the courage to leave him. However, the story is primarily a celebration of freedom and independence after the abusive relationship ends. It conveys the message that women can be strong, both emotionally and physically, if need be, and that women are capable of managing on their own. We can suffer abuse and still come out whole. We can experience hardship and it can make us love life more rather than feel bitter toward it for the unfairness it throws at us. The message will be that true strength does not come from muscle and brawn but from within, and that women can handle enormous changes in their lives by taking it one step at a time—just like Roxy did in this incredible adventure.
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