One Year Living Life On The Road - May 2019

One Year Living Life On The Road

About a year ago, I set off on this journey of being truly “location independent”. I bought an RV that I affectionately call “Traveler”.  I changed my place of residence to a P.O. Box.  Then I bought my first Michelin Road Atlas. And I began to live my life on the road.

Next to joining the Navy, this has probably been one of the most life-altering and non-conforming decisions I’ve ever made. And easily one of the best. I have grown and been challenged in ways that I couldn’t have begun to imagine. I have met some of the most wonderful people and seen some of the most beautiful sights.

And I’m only just getting started! To answer the question of “how long do you plan to do this for?” that so often comes up in conversation… I have no idea. I will continue to live my life on the road until it no longer excites me, which doesn’t look like any time soon.

Life on the road
Hiking in Joshua Tree NP

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I often refer to myself as an introvert because I truly find that I recharge best on my own. Living life on the road as a solo traveler has allowed me plenty of time to be totally on my own. And there is so much about that which I love and cherish. 

Many people talk about how solo travel helps you become more independent, better able to rely on yourself, and more comfortable with being alone. While I totally agree with all of that, I have found myself learning and growing in another way.

In an interesting paradox, I have found that solo travel has helped me learn to lean on others more graciously. It has helped me learn to more deeply appreciate connecting with friends and strangers, alike. Solo life on the road has helped me become more social and less averse to putting myself out there. This life has helped me to open up and connect more deeply, everywhere I go and with everyone I meet.

Maybe solo travel is like an adaptogen, it gives you what you need in that moment. I’ve always been fairly independent but I’ve not been very good at leaning on others for support. Generally, I’ve always felt more comfortable alone or with those I know very well but have struggled opening up to acquaintances and strangers. I love the way that life presents you with the exact lessons you need in the ever-lasting search for balance and harmony.

To all of the friends, family, and strangers who have become friends, that have helped me along my journey…

I want to say the deepest and most heartfelt ‘thank you’. 

Whether you have provided me with a place to park, a warm meal, a ride, an authentic conversation, or a genuine smile… you have helped me grow as a human being in ways beyond measure. You have reinforced my belief in the good of humanity and strengthened my trust muscles. Thank you for allowing me to receive your kindness and generosity (even if I was awkward about it). It is my desire to pay it forward every chance I can.

Parked amongst friends in AZ
Parked with 'strangers who became friends' in Quartzite, AZ

My Travels in Stats

The engineer in me loves to see statistics represented, so I thought I’d share a few of my traveling statistics in visual form. Plus, it seems like a good way to recap the year.

Keep in mind that I’ve been traveling my whole life and have included all of these in my statistics. This was not all accomplished in one year! 

A few disclaimers: I’ve included Washington D.C. as it’s own state, bringing the total number of states up to 51.  Additionally, I don’t count a state as “visited” unless it feels significant (i.e. airports and just driving straight through don’t count). I counted 60 National Parks of the US and its territories. I used the United Nations recognized count of 195 countries.

Places I've Called "Home"
States Visited
29 States 57%
States Visited with Traveler
17 States 33%
National Parks Visited
21 National Parks 35%
Countries Visited
13 Countries 7%

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I love hearing from you! Spread the Love and share this post with someone!

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

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  1. Lisa says:

    Hi Marcelle!

    I’m fairly certain Florida is already checked off but if/when you are back this way, St. Augustine is a fun stop if you haven’t been here and we could probably fit Traveler in the driveway.

    • mphene says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa! That is such a generous offer! I loved visiting St. Augustine when I was living in Jacksonville. Next time I’m in the area I will certainly let you know! <3

  2. John says:

    Great post. Back in the day 😉 when we drive everywhere, I lost track at 38 states in my ‘66 Olds Toronado. Drove through a lot of those. I’d stop at some chain like Cracker Barrel but not, and buy the state’s refrigerator magnet and put it on the door of my glove box; not a lot of plastics then, it would be hard to find a place to stick them today. Lack of community tends to sneak up in one and pounce when you are at your weakest; your post is spot on. Hope we see you and Traveler out our way sooner rather than later.

    • mphene says:

      Thank you, John! It’s true, not a lot of places to stick magnets these days! The longer I live the more I believe community is one of the most important things we can grow and nourish. I’m grateful that you are part of mine <3

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