My Dream, My Van.


Many of you may recall a very excited post from last May where I actually bought myself a VW Westfalia travel van! Yes, it was exciting indeed. In fact, it was and is my dream car. I saw it online from a family leaving the country, and despite its high mileage couldn’t resist the great deal. Having taken a loan for some home repair (Yeah, yeah, hold your judgment. We’ve all raided the repair fund one day, haven’t we?) I had the cash on hand. So I jumped. Oh, the euphoria. I had manifested my dream car. No matter that it was now in Cuenca, Ecuador, and I was thousands of miles north spending the summer at home in New Mexico. The distance felt like a minor detail.

WELL… that distance is becoming more of a burden. I have yet to actually SEE my dream car, and due to the generous efforts of a dear friend who I’ll admit helped push me into said purchase, it remains in storage in Cuenca, accruing storage fees and some other repairs that increasingly are making my great deal not so great. But the dream lives on and I’ve been trying to bring the vehicle north to Mexico. I felt like it was within a couple week’s reach when all of a sudden none of the information felt right and I felt like I was heading for big, expensive trouble. Apparently I had none of the paperwork I needed (that had never been conveyed to me despite numerous requests), and the shipping company said it would not ship my vehicle after all. So it remains in storage in Cuenca and we’re back to the starting line.

I have a couple of options. I can fly down in December, drive the van to a Cartagena, Colombia dock, ship it to Panama, and then drive it up to Mexico over a couple weeks. This would make Aiden miss several weeks of school, but oh-the-adventure. OR I could sell it to a lovely couple, wash my hands of the headache and mounting costs, and remember a fine moment with my dream car that never really was. But damn it felt good in the moment! Plus I’d have a good chunk of money back in the bank at a time when money is extremely tight (and yes, that home repair still needs to get done).

The one thing that speaks to me on this front is that I have yet to find that adventure partner to drive with me, and being a single female with a young boy in an old VW on Central American and Mexican highways feels sketchy these days. On the other hand, when does one get this opportunity. I mean, really? Or rather, when does one really grab this opportunity and make the most of it. The hard part was getting a van, right?

So please send me your suggestions and insights.
There are times on the road when my greatest sadness is not having people on hand with whom to share ideas. This goes for so many things: questioning which housing location is best; whether to buy or not to buy a temporary car while living in one location; where that circus class is that everyone else is talking about; or how to find the immigration office to get… something I apparently don’t have, according to the immigration official who stamped my passport when we entered Mexico. I was too tired to understand what exactly I did wrong on my immigration form. The point is, one of the difficulties of traveling solo, even with a great and helpful child, is that in the decision-making department, you are indeed and always, solo.

I know everything gets figured out. Or it doesn’t. But some of these decisions hang on me with quite a weight. One friend thankfully reminded me to only focus on what I WANT. So is it adventure? Or comfort and simplicity, without fulfilling the dream? I’ll go try for some more clarity.
In the meantime, feel free to chime in. You all have been so very helpful in the past.



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