There is a magical place that exists here in America. A place where anything is possible. A place where you can essentially shower in the bathroom. A place where you can buy anything your heart could ever desire. A place that never closes.
That place, my friends, is Walmart.
Walmart has always been near and dear to my heart, well before living in a van was even a twinkle in my eye. When I was a high school student, I worked at a camp in the middle of nowhere, and a trip to Walmart was a delight, a small taste of freedom. Little did I know that Walmart would go on to be one of my all time favorite places, and without sounding too dramatic, a lifesaver.
Over the summer of 2016, I took a road-trip that ended up changing the trajectory of my life. I left Nashville bright eyed and bushy tailed, entirely unaware of how often I was going to be stopping at Walmart’s along the way.
While I was on that road-trip, I posted a lot of beautiful photos of the incredible places we were exploring, and while that wasn’t a misrepresentation (there were a lot of incredible places that we visited), I discovered looking back that I never posted any photos of the time spent in Walmart parking lots, or when I was grocery shopping, or any of the other unglamorous activities that occurred whilst living in a vehicle.
We need to embrace Walmart, and the freedom it gives us, and try to find the same sense of excitement when sleeping in a parking lot as when we’re out on the open road. Knowing that there is a place you can stay, no matter where you are in the country, provides a lot of peace to a lot of nomadic folks. BLM land can sometimes be hard to come by, and not every city is a chill with people sleeping in their cars as others. Walmart is certainly not glamorous, nor is it photogenic, nor is it exciting or exotic, (essentially it’s no Target) but it is consistent, and when you’re in need, it’s going to be there.
It’s not a perfect place. Walmart has it’s flaws. Regardless, I love her for what she is. A safe haven for the weary traveler, a one-stop shop, a home away from home. Walmart forever.