Hey guys. So my blog isn’t going to be done forever (don’t worry), but after midnight tonight, I will no longer be graded on it! I low-key CAN. NOT. WAIT. I’m hyper competitive, and I could do without the added stress of constantly trying to beat out my classmates. I wanted to use this last *graded* blog post to give some “final thoughts” on what I have learned, and my experience with this project throughout the course of this semester.
Firstly, I want to say thank you. I have been overwhelmed with the response that I have received from complete and total strangers. People have been encouraging me from across the globe (I’m not kidding, people have been reading from 62 FREAKING COUNTRIES), and it’s brought me to tears more than once. Literally every time I posted a blog, people commented back encouraging me to keep going, giving advice from their own experience on the road, or simply to tell me they had enjoyed what I’d written. As someone who is incredibly critical of literally everything they do, this encouragement made all the difference to me. So thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate all of you so much.
Secondly, if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout these last 96 days, it’s that #vanlife is HARD. It’s so much harder than I anticipated. Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) takes about 3x as long. It was an unusually cold and long winter, and I felt it. I was lonely A LOT. Who would’ve thought that an extrovert would have a hard time living alone? I still haven’t fully figured out how to eat well/efficiently in the van and my body & my budget have taken a hit for it. Sometimes I just wanted to go to the bathroom without someone knocking on the freaking door. There’s a lot of kinks to still be worked out and it’s been a frustrating process. Again, this blog & my social media accounts have been nothing but a source of encouragement for me in those darker moments.
Finally, for those of you who have been here on the ground with me in Nashville…wow. WOW. You guys. You have blown me away with your generosity and selflessness. From constantly offering showers, to always letting me do laundry, to giving me a couch to sit on when I just needed to veg out, to letting me live in your backyard. Just, wow. I will never have enough words to thank you for everything you’ve done for me these past few months. I know that I have not always been a *delight* to be around, but you’ve stuck it out with me, and I am eternally grateful for you. A thousand times thank you. I love you all so much.
So that’s what I have for you. If you take one thing away from this post, please let it be my gratitude, and know that if I know you personally, or you just left me a comment one time, you have made my life better. Thanks for keeping up with me on this ridiculous, hard, funny, frustrating, incredible journey. I’ll see you all on the other (ungraded) side.