Rosemary On The Road (& A Cookbook)

Illustration by Sami Armiger 

Originally, I was going to come here to talk to you about change and how exciting and liberating it can be. Although, because my mind is racing in a thousand different directions, I'm suddenly feeling tangled in the ropes of fear and distress. I feel powerless and a bit lost and lonely in an adventure I've decided to embark on. An adventure that is set for take off, but can't seem to get the engine rolling strong enough.

Allow me to bring my metaphors to life. One month ago, I set my dreams of "#vanlife" aside and sought after a teardrop trailer on Craigslist. On an afternoon in April, I took a long, drive down to San Diego in bumper-to-bumper traffic to take a look at the trailer I'd been admiring through photographs. There, I fell in love with an idea and made one of the most impulsive decisions of my life. I exchanged a big wad of cash from my savings account for a pink slip and a custom built beauty of a tiny home.

I celebrated in my car on the drive back to LA while singing and dancing to my favorite adventure songs with the windows down. It wasn't a van and I was perfectly content with that. I made announcements on Instagram including an announcement specifically focused on explaining the fact that it was not a van, as if I had to validate myself?

As the excitement settled, I immediately set out in search of a vehicle with towing capability. I somehow found myself in a big scary office at a dealership negotiating like some kind of grown up. I shook hands. I signed paperwork.

This all happened within the same week as my trailer purchase. As soon as I drove out of the lot with my new adventure-mobile , I lost my cool. What on earth did I just do!? Did I really just sign away my beloved Ford Focus, Winona, to the suit and tie jerks at the dealership!? I was just congratulated by many on my new purchase, yet I was crying so much I had to pull the car over. This was only the beginning of many sleepless nights surrounded by the question, "What am I even doing???"

At this point, I should mention a couple of roadblocks:

1. The trailer, Rosemary, is living a 1.5 hour drive away.

2. I don't yet have a hitch to pull it.

3. The permission I had originally been granted by my landlord to keep the trailer locked safe in the complex parking lot, was withdrawn.

4. (My landlord is a piece of work, to say the least).

To continue pushing myself past those roadblocks, I booked a campsite in Kings Canyon with only a weeks notice. I found myself putting down a deposit for a very expensive hitch and making plans to drive out of the way to pick up the trailer on my way to camp. I keep pushing and holding on tight to this commitment I made, because how else does one reach their dreams and get 'er done??

Well, I don't have an answer to that question yet. One week later, when I was notified that the parts for my hitch were in, I fell short on time (and mental strength). I paid a restocking fee and promised myself I'd try again later.

Then, I drove to King's Canyon in my sparkling (used) car, where I slept in a tent and didn't mind it at all. The sequoia's scooped me up and told me stories in the form of meadows, rivers, and canyons. In the midst of an 11 mile hike, I stood at the base of a waterfall and let the mist cool my mosquito-bit skin. I ate a nectarine on a rock with what the ranger told me was, the best view of the park. I let my thoughts wander to all corners of my mind without reaching for my cell phone as a distraction. If I remember correctly, the biggest worry I had during the whole trip was the moment I realized how badly I had to pee, but couldn't find a big enough rock to hide behind in a field ferns and the skinniest trees I've ever seen.

Now, I'm back in LA. Not much has changed. Rosemary is still parked too far from me and the car/rv storage units in this city are full to the brim. It's true, I really don't know what I'm doing. Maybe I'll give in and sell her and try again with a van and maybe I'll figure it out and things will fall into place before then. A million different scenarios have crossed my mind, each ending with me chanting the same mantra: don't give up yet, you can't give up yet.

I've trailed off into a path of the same back-and-forth talks I have about Rosemary every single day. So, here's one thing that is certain:

No matter the vehicle, I am writing an on-the-road cookbook. 

(Stay tuned; there's more exciting details to come!)

In the meantime, you can follow @rosemaryontheroad on instagram for updates!

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall