Sunday, January 10, 2021

Week 1: Myrtle Beach

I wrapped up my first week in Myrtle Beach. Every morning I wake to this sign in my bedroom, highlighted by the sun, while listening to the ocean waves lapping against the shore. I want to pinch myself.

My Morning View

I admit my mind is having a difficult time parsing out emotions this week. That may have to do with the crazy shit that happened at our capitol but it also has to do with trying to figure out if I'm on vacation or not. The reality is I'm not on vacation, yet I'm living beachside. It feels crazy. 

Within 24 hours I settled into my temporary home, purchased food, rearranged furniture, deep cleaned, bought simple necessities and navigated my neighborhood. I'm going to like it here. 

My 8th Covid test came back negative. As far as I know I have never had Covid. I hate Covid.

Negative Covid Test #8

I have been working through the challenges of living a nomad life. 

No car. In Minnesota I live in an urban setting and have been walking more to transition to life without a car. I've come to enjoy my daily walks. My initial thought was I would have my first 'large' grocery order delivered but quickly realized time was my biggest asset so I simply purchase a backpack full every day. The weather makes it so easy to walk and I'm enjoying exploring my neighborhood. I have a soda addiction so I must admit I've learned the toughest thing to carry are liquids (which includes wine and beer) but I figured it out eventually (pro-tip: single cans of beer). 

Mail. My apartment building does not accept packages and I am not renting a mail box. I've discovered you can have anything delivered to UPS for a $5 pick up fee and I'm tapping into Amazon Lockers. Brilliant.

My Office. I work a lot and I'm on the phone a lot so I need my office setting comfortable. I was hoping I could use my TV as a monitor but quickly realized...ya, no. So I purchased one off Facebook Marketplace. My monitor at home is huge but this new one can fit in a carry-on. I'm preparing for my next gig. I'm short and need a foot stool - I quickly realized the reason for an ironing board. 

Table-Top Ironing Board Footstool

My Office - Dish Drainer as PC Stand

Internet. I'm working off a common WiFi. The speed is really good but it doesn't reach into my living room. My travel buddy Steve suggested a Wi-Fi Extender. Amazing. It has been added to my packing list. 

Solo Life. As I mentioned previously this is the first time I have lived alone in 27 years. Annelies and I talk nightly, and I miss her, but I'm loving it. Friends have asked to visit but I've said no. First, this isn't a vacation as I'm working. Second, I'm really enjoying my time alone. Covid makes things weird but I have already met a couple people in my building and I'm satisfied with my human contact. Covid has taught me to be more comfortable with my own self.

It is odd because my simple daily life has transitioned so easily to Myrtle Beach. I wake up, eat, work, poop, pee, drink, walk, read, make connections, sleep, and repeat. Our surroundings do not make our life. Our actions make our life and I'm looking forward to continuing switching up my surroundings. 

There are TONS of shells on this beach

Friday, January 1, 2021

Winter Getaway 2021

I flew to Myrtle Beach today where I will draw out the winter oceanside. My 7th Covid test gave me the all clear yesterday. I hate Covid. 

If you are a regular you know the beach is my happy place and I'm from Minnesota. Going south for the winter has been my dream for 53 years (ok...maybe 35). Every decision I have made the last 35 years has focused around my "retirement and traveling". I'm still working but my job hunt three years ago focused on finding something remote to make this possible.

Why Myrtle Beach? Great question. I spent over twenty (20) hours researching where I wanted to land. Due to Covid I thought staying within the United States would reduce my risk of it being cancelled (I called that right). My goals were: 1) I didn't want to see snow, 2) the lows to be above freezing, 3) the beach and shopping would be accessible by walking (I’ll be without a car), 4) the Covid risk wasn’t the highest in the country (ruled out Florida)  and 5) a "culture" where I would feel safe and fit in as a single woman. My plan is to never return to the same place twice, so I'm not looking for a perfect fit but the next few months I will be doing my best to become a local in Myrtle Beach. 

6am Flight from MSP

I'm staying at a condo I found through Airbnb, although I am renting directly through the owner to save money. Searching in an area with lots of condos is smart to leech off those that purchase but do not use full time. I’ve been doing it for 20 years when we started visiting Daytona Beach every spring break and when I secured this lease rates were super low due to Covid.

Packing for this trip was the biggest stress. I’m a minimalist as well as low-consumer so my goal is to not buy new. I’m going with a carry on and backpack and half of what I packed is for my office. 

I’m not sure how much I’ll post but I’m sure I’ll be back to share how this feels. I have not lived alone for 27 years. 27 years. Crazy, huh? I’m preparing my soul for the empty nesting transition this fall when Anna goes to college. I will miss her and Paradis but I’m confident we will all thrive.  

Happy New Years my friends! Get the vaccine when it becomes available so we can all travel normally again. Please. 

View from my backyard