Jan 2021

Martinez, California

We round up the excess of residential life, finish all that paperwork, and navigate the nuances of moving out to mobile self-containment.


Welcome to my poorly timed (for pandemic reasons) travel log. Within my first night I discovered just how many people there are in a similar circumstance. The rest stops and common boondock-able areas are packed full of RVs, motorhomes, cargovans, minivans, and sedans insulated by their occupants' laundry. Sometimes entire families are making do with their tiny shelter. While inspired by their resiliance it's still a sad disproportion of circumstance. A small handful have gone all-in to what seems to be a thriving existence of mobility with solar or wind to assist their well-maintained machinery. I'm nowhere near any of that, somewhere in the lower-middle with a minivan, a modest power supply and solar to boost but there's a lot more to be done.


For the sake of all of us on the road and at home, I've been taking a few extra steps of precaution to deter the spread of covid-19 and any mutations, and look forward to the day when we can offer a hot pot of coffee around to those making do with their mobile circumstance. For now I must stay distant and consistent with wearing a mask & having clean hands, and allow my germaphobia to guide us through the disease vectors of any communal space or public facility. A fresh bottle of soap may appear where public restrooms have been left unattended in their upkeep, (as most local efforts are working under-or-without their budget) and in an effort to help the local environment I've been clamping up any litter found along the way for proper disposal.


I have a human companion with me, and aside from her inspiration to be a team of road-custodians she's been great at keeping my head on fairly straight. I know we are both generally depressed people but the kind that are happy to have each other. (two traumatic brain injuries to go please!) I know we can support and handle ourselves as our problems are moot, as there are larger and more significant problems in our time.


The blindfold that was ripped off during the last four years is our constant consideration. The cult of ignorance in this nation and the provokers(and profiteers) of it all are our biggest fear. Their hatred alone has caused trauma for generations. We are wholeheartedly against the bigotry, fascism, and all around hatred that has been prevailing across this nation.

I grew up in the 90s surrounded by a form of racism that was easy enough to shame-away. But, I realize that was my priviledge. It wasn't in-my-face or as inconsequential as apparently half of the country wants it to be, or rather as it has always been...IT IS as bad as I'd ever feared. It is an absolute nightmare come to life. We have all felt the horror from the murders of George Floyd(2020), Breonna Taylor(2020), Elijah McClain(2019), and Treyvon Martin(2012). They were victims, yet their stories reflect a small fragment of the number of black & brown men, women, and children whom have been murdered or felt their lives threatened by racial injustice. The attempted insurrection by those in power/priviledge is a clear sign of failure as a country. We have only goose-stepped ourselves toward another civil war era of divide, fueled by the systemic lack of countenance. With Joe & Kamala in office I have some hope, but it is clear we cannot depend on our leaders to solve everything.



During these first weeks of living in our van we've drawn a curiosity and occasional paranoia among others. But fear not! We are a friendly couple of nerds who keep to ourselves(for covid-reasons), respect the communities we travel through(as long as they respect others #BLM), and might even do a little tidying up along the way. We will maintain our anti-racist devotion and seek to make progress wherever we travel.

-Matt & Mariel