Yesterday morning I had all the optimism in the world. I was working my last day as an EMT in occupational health. I had a decent patient load that I was looking forward to as an easy day. Mark had a plan to check out of the amazing Airbnb that we had been staying in for our last days in Phoenix.
I rode my bike to work for the last time, assuming that Mark would be picking me up at the end of my six hour day. I clocked in for the last time, checked my last emails, saw my patients and prepared to say goodbye to some of the best co-workers I have had in my entire life.
What a Wild Ride in the Wilderness
Then just after 11am Mark sends me a text that the car wont start. The car that holds all of our belongings as we are driving across the country- starting tonight. We called AAA, had the battery replaced… and it still wouldn’t start. So we made the choice to tow it to a AAA repair center.
We had two bikes, a large dog, and our basic life supplies while everything else was in our car. I took a few deep breaths, and my plan of making it across the country in the next few days was crushed. So Mark and I took an uber to Uhual to rent a pickup truck, which is the cheapest car rental option by far. We got the bikes and Ares to a 2 star hotel near the repair shop.
Sometime during this drive we got a call from the repair representative saying that due to them being busy they would not get to our car that day and they are closed on Sunday’s, so we wouldn’t know what was wrong until Monday morning.
At this point both Mark and I had made the choice to treat this as a new adventure challenge with good attitudes. We went to dinner at a local brewery, returned the Uhual and took the most bizarre uber ride back to our hotel.
The driver, also named Mark, drove a small black Nissan. He had driving gloves and a matching outfit, including sunglasses. When Mark picked us up we had with us two four packs of beer and four single serve dog food cans, and of course we don’t get plastic bags so we have this in our arms. He shared with us his great hate for Ron DeSantis (AKA DeSatan) who we also have a strong distaste for. It was a fun yet strange ride with a fellow liberal who also didn’t know how to use google maps, despite having 5,000 or so completed rides.
Back at the hotel we drank our beers and complained about the less than fast internet speeds.
The next day we unexpectedly had a full day in Phoenix with nothing we had to do. Now this would have been great had it not been 118 degrees outside. So hot that when I put my feet in the hot tub it was much cooler than the air.
As we are millennials who are now unexpectedly a few hundred dollars poorer due to car issues and a hotel stay, we went to Target. We spent two hours walking through every single aisle and buying nothing, before continuing to walk through a Marshalls, Micheals, Five Below, Best Buy and finally a Whole Foods. Mark and I had a lovely hot bar lunch before trekking the half hour walk in the desert heat back to our hotel room.
Our dog, Ares, greeted us with a bark and we began life inside our hotel room. The night was uneventful and consisted of my kindle dying without having a charger, lousy internet connections, and watching cable TV for the first time in MANY years.
Finally Eastward Bound
Monday morning finally rolls around and we drink our sad free coffee from the lobby while we wait for the mechanics to open. We take a 20 minute walk in the 96 degree heat and find out that our starter is bad. The fix will take a few hours and put us back about 850$. So we approve the work and walk back.
My parents have been an immense help and have assisted us with the unexpected price of our repairs. I am so grateful for them and also thankful for the advances and the privileges that we receive from having economically stable parents who are able to help us when we run into hard times.
In summary our first few days of the nomadic lifestyle have been less than ideal, in fact just rather rough. I think that is just the nature of our adventures. The first big trip we took I ran Mark’s phone through the wash and he had to buy a terrible flip phone to survive a month. The first cross country move we took he lost his glasses in Lake Eola the night before we needed to leave and had to wear an old prescription to drive a 1,500 or so miles. This time the universe decided just to mess with my intricately planned trip in any way possible.
Our journey will continue as we are now driving as far as possible toward Atlanta as we can.
The nomad life has begun and we are well equipped for the challenge.