COVID made me settle

Life Update: I moved.

I’ve been MIA for about a month on here as I was spending all my off time packing and securing a new apartment. That, and educating myself on the true freedoms or lack thereof in America. I fully support the Black Lives Matter movement- for more of my stance or to expose yourself to what I am learning check out my personal IG where I share POC posts every day.

And I am finally settling… I mean I am settled. The big move was last week- June 10th. I was able to slowly pack all of my things between my breaks and 6 days off (in 2 weeks). Then in just 1 day, I packed a 15-foot UHaul from both my temporary spot in Frederick MD and my storage unit from when I hit the road to travel. Why did I move?

Vanlife is on hold.

My original plan, pre-COVID 19 was to build out a 2019 Promaster. In fact, I have the entire layout measured out to a T. I even marked off a room and situated it as if it was my van. In fact, on March 13 I went to make the purchase… and then quarantine hit. I continued to watch the van and try to figure out if it was the best choice in such a time of uncertainty. At the time I wasn’t working. With a recession approaching, businesses shutting down, and travel restrictions increasing my plans were quickly changing. How would I explore? Where would I be allowed to park? How will I afford gas? All of my original answers to these questions were shattered. So… I got a job.

Once I had secured a job I was ready again to purchase the van- and the price dropped! I called the dealership and scheduled to have them drop it off to me that Saturday- because I could not miss a day of training and the dealership had limited hours. We did all the paperwork by email and then… crickets. Apparently, they sold MY van the next day!? To say I was livid would be an understatement. However, as a traveler, one of the first lessons you learn and incorporate into your daily life is how to let go of control and pivot/transition in the circumstances you are given.

Vanlife in my future.

I still plan to get my van and explore the world but for now, I have pivoted with the times. I am an avid subscriber to ‘Eamon and Bec’ and ‘The Matneys’, both parties had to completely abandon their vans and fly home. They discussed the struggles they were encountering and even said they are unsure when they can get back to the lifestyle based on all the new regulations. I’ve found other vanlife builders are having major setbacks on getting the essentials to make their vans a home- i.e. fans, solar panels, batteries… etc, as all the factories were transitioning to making PPE or shutting down.

Obviously, things have been phasing back to “normal” but with a second wave of COVID on the horizon and the current one still looming; COVID IS STILL VERY MUCH HERE AND REAL– I decided the best move would be a semi-permanent place near the mountains and with a city to explore. After checking my workplace restrictions- which states I could work in and looking into the benefits- like no income tax, low housing costs, and green space… I chose a place on the map I had never been to. So where did I end up?

Knoxville, TN.

I have been to Tennessee many times but never to Knoxville. I moved here entirely sight unseen; I didn’t even do a video tour of my apartment- I was nervous. With some of my family’s help, I was able to get my UHaul on the road around 9:45 AM 6/10/20 and arrived at my new place at 6:30 PM on 6/10/20. Prior to arriving, I hired 2 local guys to help unload the truck. They got me unloaded and within only 2 days I was fully unpacked. I love it! I really like my new place, and good thing, I am stuck with it for at least 14 months.

It is now Tuesday, June 16, 2020, and it’s time to go out and explore… and also find a shower curtain. I forgot how many things I gave away when I was ‘getting rid of everything’ albeit somehow I still have so much.

Next Travel post: Arizona  


  1. Todd Jones

    ‘Apparently they sold MY van the next day!?’
    Oh my word, I can’t imagine that happening! How unprofessional.

    I’m finding myself in a similar situation. My wife and I purchased a van, built it, and then the covid outbreak happened. We had saved up some money, but we had both already quit our jobs and planned on living on savings while we were on the road. Instead we didn’t feel like it was a good idea to start our travels in early March so we have been hunkered down in WV while trying to find some work to help us rebuild our savings.

    Best of luck to you in Knoxville! I hope to see your future van build

    1. Kaitlin

      thanks!! that’s awesome that you finished your build. Domestic travel is still an option as things are starting to phase back- get out there while you can! =)

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