May 30, 2014 - Personal    21 Comments

Moving Forward

I thought I’d give a status update, an indication of where my head is in terms of Haven and future travel plans in response to some comments I’ve received.

Let’s start with Haven. My goal with this property is to develop it slowly over time so that when Miranda is no longer liveable, I will have a paid for home to move into. So converting the grainery into a liveable house is a long-term plan for me, but there are immediate things that need to be done to ensure that the structure does not deteriorate.

As for the property itself, I want it to be very, very low maintenance. I intend to be away from Haven during the winter months from now on and eventually take even longer trips that could see me away for years and do not want my neighbours to be stuck with the sight of a neglected property, nor responsible for doing my maintenance (it’s not like I can hire a landscaping company out here!)

So I am researching xeriscaping and beginning to collect hardscaping materials so that I can start pulling weeds and sod and replace them with plants that won’t grow out of control and/or inorganic materials.

I’m therefore spending a lot of money, time, and effort on Haven this summer because I am going away soon, and for a long while, and I don’t want to be overwhelmed when I get back.

Going away?

I had a thought for last winter that was too late to pull together after Neelix died unexpectedly. That thought was to drive to Mexico in my truck and rent an apartment for the winter.

I’ve come to realise that the only big bucket list item right now that is overwhelming anything else is the wish to live in another country for a while, one where the main language is something other than English or French, and with a different culture. Mexico is within reach right now and would definitely satisfy that itch.

RVing to Mexico is just too daunting a prospect, what with two vehicles and two borders. Plus, staying in RV parks wouldn’t really be living in another country, but rather living with a group of like-minded ex-pats. Renting an apartment in Mexico in a Mexican community is much more what I have in mind.

A few weeks ago, a blog reader sent me some information on apartment rentals in an area she goes to every winter, as well as leads on what would be the perfect apartment for me. I’m not quite ready to contact the owner of the place yet and make arrangements to rent (the size of the apartment being so small that there’s little fear of it disappearing), but I’ve started my research and am committed to leaving for Mexico in October!!!

So the cat’s out of the bag and you can all breathe easy now that you know that my nomadic tendencies are alive and well. 😉

There is a lot to think about, especially banking and internet matters.

I know that Scotia Bank exists in Mexico, so I will go to a branch in Moose Jaw and Regina to see about opening up a secondary account with them so that I don’t have all my money in one bank and so I can get help locally if needed.

Internet is going to be extra important now that I have my new amazing client that requires tons and tons and tons and tons of bandwidth a month. So I have to make sure that I can get in Mexico the 40 to 60GB of bandwidth a month I will need, reliably and without going bankrupt. And, please, no suggesting that I find a place with a WiFi hotspot I can tap into as I am not a thief. 😉

I am so excited about the winter ahead, even if the thought of leaving Miranda behind for eight months is more than a little daunting! But she has taken me where I needed to go and it’s time to continue my traveling adventures with Moya. I am so looking forward to an easy drive straight south through Wyoming and Colorado without worrying about taking a huge rig through all those mountain passes.

Eight months? Thereabouts. I’d like to tag a month in the States on both sides of the trip. There’s no problem taking my truck out of the province that long and a letter to SK Health will ensure continuity of my health coverage. I’ll have been in Haven eighteen months when I leave in October. I don’t think an eight month absence will be excessive, but rather a much needed mental health break. 🙂

So all that to say, I’m pretty sure my travels with Miranda are over. I want to continue blogging, but I don’t know yet if it will still be on this blog or if I’m going to start a new one. I’m not in a rush to make that decision since I am still living in an RV and will continue to write about RV life. Just remember, you can look forward to a post about coating your RV rubber roof! 🙂

Right now, I’m about five years ahead of where I thought I would be today, but in an even better place than expected. Having a property I own outright never factored into the new life plan I put together in 2008. How secure this place makes me feel is incalculable. It makes me comfortable taking risks, making big plans, and continuing to live as I am determined to. This place is true financial security.

That my RV travels lasted five years instead of ten does not feel like a failure to me, but more like a triumph and a reminder that when I set goals, I move forward doggedly, obstacles be damned. And I’m most definitely in the market for a little travel trailer. Probably not this year, but likely the next. Maybe it’ll be the Miranda II. With me, who knows? 🙂

There’s lots of good stuff coming down the pipeline. So just remember that every post that has me expending energy into my property is a reminder that I am thinking of pulling out, not that I am getting rooted. Much as I love this place, and I do, it is a port of call, not a final destination.

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  • Thanks for the update. I wish you luck and prosperity in your future endeavors. Have you ever read Tioga George? I know he had internet when he was in Mexico but I don’t know what the limitations were. He has a blog now and I’m sure you could contact him to ask. Here’s the link to his present blog.

  • Oh and there’s also Kevin and Ruth that could probably be very helpful.

  • So now we know! Good for you, you will love the culture. I have a few leads, as you know.

    Banda Ancha in Mexico can be slow and is only good for 3 GB per month for +/- $30 so it is not the solution. You would have to go to ADSL from Telmex or another provider or cable.

  • You’re a determined lady so I suspect you’ll work out a stay in Mexico just fine. If you think you’ll get a small camper someday you might want to look out for a good used “egg” like the Casita or Scamp. Something like that might be light enough for Moya to pull.

  • Glad you are not done traveling even if Miranda is. I love the idea of renting an apartment in Mexico and really learning how to live there.

    For future reference, this is my currently favorite small camper company–and it is Canadian which might help with paperwork.

  • Linda Sand, thank you for the info about Escape trailers! Other Linda, my friend L has a truck like mine (Ford Ranger) and tows a 17″ Casita without any trouble. So I know that’s about as big as I can go.

    Croft, thank you for the info about landline internet in Mexico. I think my best bet will be to make sure it’s available where I’m going and talk the landlady into getting it set up for me before I arrive. I won’t be able to wait a month plus to have the service installed when I get there.

    Sandra, as far as I know, I follow George’s blog. He mostly used public internet, which I have an issue with when it’s for more than just basic email checking and internet research.

  • I’m a young female full-timer who’s lived in a 17′ Casita for over 2 years now. If my mid-sized Dodge Dakota can pull one I’d imagine your Ranger could pull an egg too. Escape would be easier for you given that they’re made in Canada. Great thing about egg trailers, no roof seams to leak. Mine is a ’99 and while occasionally a rivet cap gets loose and leaks it’s easy to fix just pop another one on, I haven’t had any leaks for over a year now though, just inspect the roof every 6 months or so and replace the ones that look questionable before they start leaking. They hold up amazingly well. Good luck whatever you choose and I hope you find a great apartment deal in Mexico.

  • Becky, OMG, I can’t imagine full-timing in a 17″ Casita! I have no idea how my friend L spends almost eight months of the year in his! Of course, I work from home, so I’m inside a lot and staring at the same four walls!

    The gas mileage on L’s Ranger barely changes when he’s pulling, which tells me that something that size and weight is fine to pull with a Ranger since the truck isn’t straining at all. Also, my Ranger, while older, has a slightly more powerful engine.

    Escape trailers seem rare, but there’s other brands, like Trillium. I wouldn’t mind going with something older since that means you get into fewer electronics and things that can go wrong.

    Thanks for your input!

  • Sounds like you have it all worked out. I am sure you will have a great adventure and lots to write about. Perhaps you can soon write about travels without Miranda.

  • Isn’t there a 6 month limit re leaving Canada and still receiving benefits?

  • Liz, some provinces allow longer stays than six months now. SK is not one of them, but ALL provinces allow the occasional overstay if you advise them (once every so many years). I’ll have to see what my options are for the following winter, but for this coming winter, there’s absolutely no issue.

  • Caroline, Travels Without Miranda doesn’t sound as catchy! 😀

  • Both Telmex and Megacable have dedicated lines are available. I used to know the details but they are foggy at the moment but I believe you have to sign up for a year but the costs are not that much more per month than you would pay for the 3G stick. Not sure if there is a cap on the monthly GB use, I don’t think so because that is the system the RV Parks use.

    I would suggest having the owner of the apartment set it up in her name and that way she can have the internet turned on or off for a month at a time for future renters or if you decide to return for yet another winter. Locals get more privileges with the phone system than gringoes do.

  • Looks like lots of excitement in your future. It’s wonderful news on the business front for you. Another transformation.

  • What a lot of excitement you have planned! I foresee a road trip to WY or Colorado in our future. Lunch is on us! I’ll run it past the Bear and see what rolls to the top.

    We are LOVING RVing. I’m “patiently” (ha!) waiting until retirement. Each time we go out, it’s harder to return to sticks and bricks. I’m slowly starting to get rid of things at the house. It looks like we will be selling it about the time we retire.

    Oh, “Miranda II” would do just fine. Or “Baby Anda”

  • Contessa, I got the scoop on Telmex from their site. Sounds very reasonable! I know I will definitely need to get a local to get the service hooked up for me.

    longdog2, thanks! 🙂

    P.J., lunch with you two is always a joy! I am so glad you are enjoying RVing! And you just named my new rig for me, the Miranda II, or Baby Anda for short! I love it! Anda means to walk or go in Spanish, and Baby Anda is close to bebienda, to drink, and there are lots of cervezas in my future. So the perfect name for the Mexican chapter of my life!

  • Hi Rae
    I am posting this here as I am not signed up with Facebook.

    I do not recall what you roof material is, but would be cautious about using fibre-glass to seal the roof cap seam. When the vehicle is on the road or moved there will likely be some movement between to cap and the remainder of the roof. This would crack any fibre- glass applied and renew the problem. The presence of a dip in the roof concerns me also, it suggests a problem with the underlying structure. Possible rot? I know cleaning off old caulking is a major problem!!! but it is the only way to get a proper seal of the seam.

    Sorry to rain on your parade

  • Ken, nice pun on that last sentence. 🙂

    One of the things to keep in mind is that at this point, I have no intention of taking Miranda back out on the road. I’ve had problems with other leaks in the overhang (the bane of the class C motorhome, unfortunately) and I would not feel comfortable taking her back out without having the entire overhang, roof, walls, and floor completely redone. A quote for just one wall was over $1,000, so I’m guessing there is at least $3,000 worth of work to be done.

    Add to that about $5,000 in mechanical work, including the dealing with suspension issues and new tires, and my utter lack of desire to drive this behemoth again.

    So I’d rather look at buying a smaller, part-timing rig for travel. Any money I put into Miranda at this point is to keep her structurally sound so that she can remain a comfortable home, but not necessarily keeping her road worthy. She is almost 20 years old and was never meant to be lived in full-time.

  • One other thing you could consider is to have a complete freestanding roof built over Miranda. This would be built on six or so posts properly buried in the ground and would protect Miranda’s roof from snow and rain, the only exception would be anything blown under the roof which would not be much. The advantage of doing this would be that the structure could be re-purposed when Miranda has moved on.

  • The roof I am thinking of is common in the north and has no walls, just a supported roof overhanging Miranda by maybe three feet on all sides.

  • Croft emailed me a picture of the structure he had in mind. I replied that it was something I have thought, but decided against because I get so much light and air from my roof hatches and skylights. Between the hills and the trees, sunlight here is very hard to come by and I am not prepared to live in shadows at this time. Later, who knows?

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