So I got stranded in Buellton, which is 3 miles West of Solvang, CA. Solvang was cute with it’s awesome Danish architecture. It was like I was transported to the Danish countryside… in the middle of fucking nowhere. Danish meals, pastries and wine tasting was how I spent my day there. But alas, my journey north needed to continue. And after I passed by Ostrich World USA (yup, that’s right). I stopped for gas before continuing north.
And boy was I thankful for stopping because my front driver side tire was not quite as straight as it should have been. And also thankful that there was a mechanic just across the street.
Normally I just stay in the van in any situation really. But I looked across the street at a cute little Danish style building which happened to be a Days Inn. Now for $70, not just a bed (which is unnecessary) but I get free wifi, a shower and breakfast. Totally worth it.
I surprised myself at being this comfortable when essentially stranded in a little town. I feel weird ever being scared of a situation like this, but it has me thinking a lot of the last time/ first time I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. Granted it was not as nice of a situation but, I think the main difference was my approach to it in the beginning. There’s nothing like breaking down on the highway and having to keep pushing your van to make it to Bakersfield and then eventually finding a church parking lot on an empty street, to park and stay the night until you can call a tow truck. That wasn’t the first time in the van but it was the first time in the van outside the LA county and definitely the first time in a desolate church parking lot; the only place lighting up the street surrounded by farmland. I remember being so scared and crying on the phone talking to Jack, wishing that he could just somehow magically be there.
But then in the morning my attitude was much different and I managed to make the most of the situation. I mean, the mechanic that I went to couldn’t fix it the same day so he let me stay in the van and left his wifi on for me after hours. The guy even set me up with an extension cord for my computer. Talk about a chill as dude/shop.
Now with this sitiation, I definitely feel more relaxed. More accepting of whatever is going on. And I like that. Just going with the flow is really the way to go. I’m learning that more and more these days. It’s easy to get hung up in certain situations and when things don’t know the way you had planned, everything seems to get flipped upside down. But when you don’t set such definitive expectations you really give the opportunity to let some amazing things happen.
I’ve met some nice people here. Granted alcohol makes it easier when the only place to go is a bar. But still. I do what I do best and go out there and start talking to people. I find it so interesting to hear other people’s perspective of the world. Shit, I even got some free American flag suspenders from some guy who broke down the reason why he wears them. To support our troops, the ones he can’t join because of a medical condition.
It’s all about perspective really, and I sure have been given a different view being here. I’ve spent so much time in the city that it’s great to talk with country folk again. Sure not the same type of country but I think we’re in the same boat in that we have values that we’re trying to uphold. We’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. And I may live in a van but I’m one of the lucky ones. Because I can do this by choice. I don’t want for food or shelter or anything of real consequence. I choose to do this and I have that choice. It’s not always that easy for others, no matter what type of lifestyle I choose to live. This last minute adventure has reminded me of that and I will continue to keep that in mind.