Sometimes You Just Need a Little Mother Nature

Hello friends! (Hi, Mom!) It has been far too long since I’ve visited. With all the tediousness of life and the mundane, day to day living I haven’t felt like I even really had anything to write about. Van life is still closer to a dream than reality, although baby steps are being made and I am very excited about even the smallest progress in that area. I had intended my next post to be about my travel dreams and all the places I hope to visit. But then something rather unpleasant happened.

Now, this is not my story to tell so I will only give the necessary details. My best friend needs me. She and I have known each other for somewhere around 15 years and in that time, we have been closer than any two humans have the right to be. If you believe in soul mates, she is mine. I love her like family and feel insanely protective of her. Unfortunately, my dear best friend is going through a rough time. One of those rough times where you start to question all your life choices that led to this very moment and wonder about your very existence. The kind of rough time that, for all the pain, you come out better and stronger from the experience. And I know she will.

So we have decided that some serious best friend time is just what the doctor ordered! We were reminiscing about our trip to Asheville, NC a few years ago and wanted to recapture that. We started planning another grand trip to some other random location. It was great fun until reality hit. We (mostly me) didn’t have the funds for that kind of trip, especially as soon as we hope to go. Alright well, next idea. We take a train trip someplace close and stay one night and ride back the next day. Well, no, that was still pretty expensive and not enough actual trip time for the money. Next.

Luckily, we love the planning almost as much as the trip itself because we were brainstorming ideas for quite some time. I just kept thinking how great it would be if I was van life ready, we could just take off and go wherever, camping in the car at night after our daily adventures.

Wait a minute! Camping! Somehow we hadn’t had the idea to camp yet. I knew from my van life research that there are many places you can camp for free, like National Forests. So the decision was made, we are going camping! We did decide against the free camping route however, opting instead for a local park. With less drive time we get more time out camping and even with the cost of the campsite, it works out to be less expensive as well. Plus, Hanna Park has everything we could want. Beach, woods, lakes all in one convenient location, which means one less decision for us. You can even rent beach cruisers, mountain bikes, kayaks and all kinds of fun outdoor adventure gear.

We plan on making this trip like a healing retreat. Both of us need some time in nature to ground ourselves. We have a few plans for that, meditating on the beach in the morning and drinking tea by the campfire at night. If anyone has any more suggestions for things we can do to make this a retreat-like as possible, please leave a comment below! We would love to hear your ideas.

The Oak King and the Holly King

Happy Yule, everyone!

Today is the winter solstice. So today, I wanted to tell one of my favorite winter stories, the legend of the Oak King and the Holly King. There are a few different versions of this Pagan folk story, all with their own little differences, but I want to share the story my mom originally told me when I was a little one.

On the longest night of the year, the Holly King and the Oak King battle once more. They fight for the favor of the goddess and control of the Wheel of the Year. Now, it’s important to know that the two kings are brothers, twins. They are two sides of the same coin, two aspects of the Horned God. They are two sides of a whole and without one, the other could not exist. They battle twice a year, once at Yule and once at Beltane. The Holly King is the ruler of the winter. He is the Dark Lord, ruling over the dark half of the year. He represents new beginnings and change, inner knowledge and mysteries. As winter begins, the Holly King defeats his brother and rules the Earth until the summer solstice.

 “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” — John Steinbeck

A Perfect Winter Day in Florida

One of my main goals with this blog is to keep it as open and honest as possible. So, even though I am no where near hitting the road yet, I think I still have plenty to talk about. I spend most of my time these days doing “research” for van life. This is better known as watching YouTube videos about van life all day. I had planned on doing laundry today but it was raining and I didn’t feel like walking down to the laundry room. That’s not to say the day was wasted by any means. It was one of those days where everything felt extraordinarily comfortable so between that and the rainy, cool weather I was pretty much in heaven. My dog, Bronson, seemed to be okay with the lazy day as well. He was able to go on walks in between bands of rain and because I wanted to make sure he was able to go enough, I took him out every time there was a break in the rain. So he got to go on quite a few more walks than normal today. Not that either of us really minded, it was kind of beautiful out. But this is my favorite kind of weather. 

“Never get so busy living that you forget to have a life.” -Dolly Parton

The Journey Begins


Thanks for joining in on the adventure. I would like to get this kicked off with a quick introduction. My name is Taryn and I’m 27. Right now, I live in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s the same city I’ve lived in most of my life and if I’m being completely honest, I hate it here. Jacksonville seems to be the kind of city where you love it if didn’t grow up here and you absolutely can’t stand it if you did. I’ve wanted to leave this place since the concept made sense in my brain. So, this blog will hopefully be about just that. I plan on starting van life soon and I’m going to be posting about the whole thing right here. This blog will cover the entire journey, from getting everything ready to hitting the road. This is about  challenging myself to live a full life and learn all it has to offer. Too often we let our fears control us, I know I’ve spent most of my life not really “living” because I was too busy worrying and I’m tired of it. To quote one of my favorite songs, it’s time to get busy living!

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”— Seth Godin