The Everyday Trainer Podcast

Life on the Road: A Solo Van Life Story

September 29, 2023 Meghan Dougherty
The Everyday Trainer Podcast
Life on the Road: A Solo Van Life Story
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this week's, I'm recording from the road and I'm talking all about the trip to California, traveling alone with 4 dogs, and what lead me to take the time off to travel and live the van-life dream as the owner of a dog training business.

I chat about the wonderful people I've gotten to meet and amazing experiences I've had but not without mentioning the realities of life- everything comes with some good and bad, and social media doesn't always show that.

We get a little mushy, but it's about time for a mushy episode. You know the drill, grab yourself a tasty drink and enjoy.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome back to the Everyday Trainer podcast. My name is Meg and I am a dog trainer. Today's episode we're talking about life on the road. I'm going to talk all about how I'm solo traveling across the country with four dogs I'm sure you all have seen on my social media, so I'm going to talk about the logistics of that, what it's like traveling as a female solo, all of the wonderful people that I've gotten to meet, and you know the bittersweet side of this life. So you know the drill Give yourself a tasty drink and meet me back here. Hello and welcome back. I'm taking a little bit of a break from our interview style podcast and we're doing a bit of a check in this week. So I haven't done a check in episode since being on the road. I believe we started with Austin Dog Culture, my good friend Clayton and Winsley they are literally my favorite people on the planet and then we had our live episode at Primal Canine. Last week there was no episode. I was busy having a mental breakdown and this week I was like you know what, let's do a van episode. I haven't recorded a podcast episode for my van in a little bit and I feel like I need to check in with y'all because life has been truly wild and wonderful and crazy and sad and all of the above. So you know, I want to share that with you. So to just give you a little bit of an update, whether you're listening to this episode currently as it first comes out, and you're staying up to date with all the travels and podcast stuff, or if you're listening down the road, I'll give you a bit of synopsis of what's kind of going on right now. So I am currently in California. I'm actually recording this from my van with my four dogs stacked right at my feet, I'm parked in somebody's driveway and yeah. So I basically took the month of September off from Orlando from the dog house and I'm traveling in my van with all of my dogs, getting a bunch of really awesome dog trainers on the podcast and getting to meet a bunch of people and, yeah, live in the van life. It's kind of funny because probably two years ago well, no, maybe three years ago. Now I have a journal and I wrote down in that journal. I am traveling the country with my dogs in my built out van, interviewing dog trainers for my podcast, and that's exactly what I'm doing and life is just wild. Life is truly, truly wild. It's been so crazy for me because I got Clayton and Winsley on the podcast and Clayton was one of my first podcast guests and I started my podcast, I believe, pre-covid, and ever since then Clayton and I have been super close friends. He's one of my favorite people and it was all because of the podcast. So this podcast has brought me so many opportunities and so many relationships and so many connections and I'm just so so grateful, like this. Y'all know I love my podcast. This is for me, this is my little, you know, verbal journal that I get to share all of my deep, dark secrets with y'all in this podcast, because it's literally just me talking into a microphone, listening to myself talk in my headphones. So it's a very, you know, personal thing and I haven't really done a check-in episode in a while since being on the road, so let's talk a little bit about that. Now the logistics is I have a team of trainers back at the house, so my business is still running in, fully functional, and we're still training dogs. But I was very I mean was, you know, like a month ago very hands-on in the business, you know, driving around training dogs doing, doing all the things, doing all the things all the time, 24, seven, never stop working. I talked about taking a break on some previous episodes. My original plan was I was supposed to take off in June or in September. Now I wasn't able to take off in June. I had to cancel that trip. I, you know, had some personal stuff go on and I also broke my toes and I was like you know what, it is not the time. The universe is telling me to not go on this trip. So all the girls on my team were like that's fine, but you have to take off soon, because they know, they know that I'm dying. I work for you know, about seven days. And then they're like, okay, you need to leave the house. Like you got to go, you got to take a break. Like okay, okay. So I wasn't able to take off in June, took off at the beginning of September, hit Austin first, hung out with my friends Clayton and Winsley they're the best I busted my chin. I thought that I was cool and could go skate on a pump track and I've never dropped in on anything before and it wasn't even that big of a drop in. I am just like not that good, I guess what I mean? I've never done it before. So like, of course I'm not going to be that good, and I busted my chin on the concrete like cut my chin open, bleeding everywhere. It's healing up nicely, I will say, as I'm like touching it, you can probably hear that I am probably going to have like a cool little scar to remember that from. So that, yeah, that was kind of how I started my trip was busting my face open in Austin and then I scurried on over to Gilroy, california, with Primal Canine and that's where we filmed and recorded the most recent episode of the podcast. I'm not really sure, to be quite honest with you, where we're at in our episodes. I think it went Clayton and Winsley and then our live audience podcast. So last week there was no episode because I was busy having a mental breakdown which you know we'll talk about in just a sec here. So, yeah, I loaded up all four of my dogs I'm traveling with Zoe, lucy, who are my kind of original Goldins, my old lady. Zoe is the lighter Golden, lucy is my red Golden, and then I have Minka, my Malinois, and Millie, the Golden Retriever puppy that you've probably seen on my stories. She's adorable. Everybody loves her. She was really a kind of like a raisin train situation, but when I got her she did not have a very good temperament for that and so I don't know. I wanted her to be a service dog but I was like you're not going to be a service dog. So my goal with her is let's just make her super, super confident and then I'll reel her in. I have to say she's pretty confident. I'm pretty good at raising confident dogs. If she could give me the middle finger, she would. She's definitely in her teenage phase, so I'm actually in the process of E-color conditioning her, which I filmed a little course on yesterday the process of me E-color conditioning her. So hopefully I'll have that available to you guys soon. We got an E-color course coming. I'm super pumped about all of my dogs are on E-colors now. I uh you know, posted on social media that I'm the worst dog trainer and I'm traveling across the country with four dogs and I only brought one E-color. I am a simple gal when I tell you that the leashes that we sell are the only leashes I use. I'm not kidding you Like. I just have a bag of leashes and that is my dog training gear. People always ask me like, oh my gosh, what do I need to bring? When I'm like traveling with my dog and I'm like you know what, I am literally the worst person to ask because I am just a little van rat and my dogs are little van rats and we don't have a lot of things and we don't have a lot of luxuries. We are literally just outdoorsy and go hang out outside and that's our fun time. I don't have a lot of toys. I don't have E-colors. Well, now I do have E-colors. I did end up buying some E-colors, but we keep it simple around here. That's kind of my, that's my jam is we keep it super simple. So I finally got E-colors for all the dogs. That has made my life so much easier and I'm like, wow, e-color training is literally the best thing ever, like it's just the best thing ever. It gives your dog so much more freedom. The communication is so clear. I was getting so frustrated with my dogs, especially Millie, because she's just in that like teenage phase where I've never corrected her before, so she is just giving me the middle finger. I took her to the beach and I was like Millie come and she looks at me and then she looks at this person that she's about to tackle and she looks at me and she runs over to the person and tackles them and I'm like, oh my gosh, I need to E-color train you Don't tie. And yeah, if you ever find yourself getting frustrated with your dog, make sure you have clear communication. And sometimes that clear communication can come from an E-color which I don't know. I think E-colors are literally the best thing to happen to dog training and dog owners. It's a true blessing, especially with life on the road. I don't really have my dogs leashed up too much. I'm able to just have them off leash and have that super clear communication. So if you want to learn more about E-color stuff, I have a couple episodes back on E-color training and all that jazz Anyways. So I've been living out of my van. Tomorrow is the well, I'm recording this on the 28th, tomorrow is the 29th. Now, the reason that I'm doing a bit of a check-in episode this week is one because I feel like I haven't checked in with y'all in a while. This is like my little journal and I haven't really done like a just Megan episode in a while. So I wanted to do that, but also I've been spending all of my time editing these podcasts and these podcast videos and all of these courses that I've filmed and all of this content. I want to very quickly realize that I am, in fact, not a video editor and I need a video editor. So if you edit videos, please send me an email. Support at the everyday trainercom. Help you, girl out. I do not have the time to edit all of these videos and podcasts anymore. It is getting out of hand, which is a good problem to have, but yeah, so that's kind of. Another reason why I want to do a check-in is I was going through all of these episodes of these really awesome trainers that I got, which I'm super pumped for you guys to listen to. So we have another episode with Mike Jones that we recorded at Primal. We recorded two episodes back to back live audience, so the next one with him that's going to come out in the next couple of weeks I kind of have to decide. The order is with Mike Jones and Katie Matthews, and then I also got Oscar Mora on the podcast, emily Mahare and Shane Murray. So a lot of really good episodes are coming your way, and I just wanted to check in with you personally before we get to that, get to that good stuff. But they are all so, so wonderful and amazing, like they're just the best. They've hit it off right away and I had so much fun recording with them. We have a lot of projects kind of in the works with all of these trainers, so I'm super excited for you guys to see all of the new stuff that we've got coming out, and it's all thanks to this trip and networking and meeting other dog trainers. I think the dog training world can feel very isolating sometimes and sometimes it can feel super cutthroat. And trust me when I say I've been through so much garbage in this industry and the people that I've met out here are just just genuine people genuinely want to help each other out. I am so blessed and grateful to have had the opportunity to just connect with all these really awesome trainers Super cool and I love to see all of this like collaboration in the industry. That's what it's all about. All of us are in this to help dogs and help owners, and if we can come together to do that, we just get to help more people. And very recently I can't remember if it was on the episode that I've already published with Mike or the one that is coming up. But Mike Jones asked me what my why was and I paused for a second. I was like, oh shit, I haven't asked myself that in a while and I kind of had one of those moments where I like zoomed out and I was like, wow. So after we recorded that episode I had some time alone and I was really asking myself, you know, like damn, what is your why? I knew I knew what my why was. When I first got into dog training. I always wanted to be the resource that I wish I had, for no, I always want to be the resource that I wish I had when I was struggling with Lucy and I've definitely become that. I, you know, help trainers or no, I help owners that are in those positions where they're really frustrated with their dog, and that's such an isolating place to be where you're frustrated with your dog and you don't know what to do and you're like reaching out to people and you don't know who to trust and all of that. So that's kind of like why I have this podcast and why I have everything that I do is I want to build that trust with you guys to show you like, hey, I'm a real human being and we're training real dogs and I can, you know, help you. I've been there, I've struggled, I've, you know, cried every day over training Lucy and what I'm supposed to do with her, and that feeling of frustration. So I know what it's like to be there so definitely that was my why when I first started and, it's for sure, still you know part of my why now. But what really got me with that question was when I've been back at the house. I am in survival mode and I think so many of us sit in this place and stay in that place of survival mode where it's like I just got to get through the day. I just, you know, I just got to get through this thing, I just got to get through this project at work, and then I'll be better and then I'll feel calmer and then I'll feel more relaxed. And you know, I think this is why so many people struggle with their dogs is because we're in this survival mode and our dogs are picking up on that. Our dogs have an amazing sense of smell and they can smell that cortisol flowing off of you, I promise, but I'm no stranger to this place of survival mode and it's kind of funny. I was, you know, supposed to take off in June and do this trip. I wanted to go up to Oregon and Wyoming and maybe up to Canada, all of these states and I ended up canceling for, you know, some personal reasons and I also broke two of my toes. So I was like all right, the universe is saying not right now and kind of my agreement with everybody is they're like all right, megan, if you don't leave now. Like you have to promise us that you're going to take off soon. Like you have to get out of the house, you have to take a step back from your business and compassion fatigue is a very real thing, burnout is a very real thing and I am no stranger to either of those. You know I've talked about that on previous episodes, talking about the burnout that comes with being a dog trainer. And taking a break is very important because I get to step out of that place of survival mode and step into a place of creativity and for me, everything that I do is art and I think when you're in survival mode you don't get to do that, you don't get to create art, you don't get to. You know, and when I say art, I mean it could be running a business or writing a book or, you know, making videos, like, whatever your thing is like. It can be art, but it has to come from a place of authenticity, from you, and I think it did go. Mike asked me that question of, well, what's your why? And I paused, and it was because of that, because I have been operating in this place of survival, that I haven't really been able to ask myself that question recently. Though, why am I here? Why am I doing all of the things that I'm doing? I think it's important to check in with that, whether it's why am I training my dog? Why do I have these goals with training my dog? Why do I why? What's my why? For you know, running a dog training business, being a dog trainer, what's my why? That's what's gonna get you through those moments of burnout and those moments of compassion, fatigue, and I think allowing yourself to take the time to answer that question is extremely important. So he kind of tipped me off to that and I was like, okay, I definitely need to like, sit with this. What is my why for everything I'm doing? What is my why for this podcast and the social media and my business and training dogs and my trainers and you know the whole operation. What really is my why here and today I had a bit of a serendipitous conversation with a man at a coffee shop. I was sitting working at a table working on my laptop and he looked over at me and he goes what are you working on? And I was like well, I'm the owner of a dog training business, so I'm just doing some computer stuff working on my business. And he was like that's really amazing, that's your art. And I was like what? And he was like that's your art, your business is your art. It doesn't matter what anybody else says about what you've got going on. Like that's your art, you have to be happy with it. And that was another one of those moments that really just kind of like touched me and maybe take a step back a little bit, because it's really hard to create from a place of survival mode. And I think my why kind of plays into that, like the whole idea of you know, you can't pour from an empty cup, sort of thing. Like my why is to help as many dogs and owners as possible in a way that aligns with my values and for some time it was to be that trainer, to be that person that's specifically working with owners. And as I've kind of grown, I've realized that my strengths are sometimes people's weaknesses, and so I'm able to help more dogs and people by building a team of trainers that are able to do that and supporting a community of like-minded dog owners and having this podcast to be able to reach more people. Because I have, you know, these things as my strength. This is my art. I love creating for that and having that person tell me that today I was like, wow, you're right, and I really got to sit down with myself and reflect on you know that why and how far I've come, and it really brought me to a place of like. I don't know, I just feel more motivated, and that's kind of been the point of this whole trip is to be able to take a step back from my business and make decisions from a place of creativity instead of a place of survival mode. So my trainers kicked me out of the house at the beginning of September and I've been on the road for four weeks now living out of my van. I don't have a fully built out van. It's just the four dogs and myself and I have a bed now. So I have a lot of camping gear, I have a star link and essentially I just drive around and find places for the dogs to run around or I find places for us to go for walks together. And it's kind of funny my van has turned into basically like a giant crate, like I am no better than a dog. I just want to go on walks and then take naps. So my van has really become that and this has been a great experience and this has always really been my dream to travel around in my van with my dogs, recording my podcast. I've written it down in my journal and I made it happen. So I'm very, very lucky and fortunate for that. Now, as far as logistics go, I know people are like. I get so many questions from people that are like aren't you scared to travel alone on the road? Or like, what's it like being a solo female and traveling and traveling with four dogs? I will tell you, the scariest part of this trip for me was not traveling alone. The scariest part of this trip for me and I told one of my friends this is before I left I was not in a very good place. I was waking up every day with so much anxiety that I just didn't want to wake up, and I'm sure somebody out there can relate. But basically I would wake up in the morning and be smacked with this wall of anxiety. I would check my phone and have, you know, a million people reaching out to me and I have a team of people who need me and owners who need me and all of these people who rely on me, and I would wake up, take care of everybody, go to bed, do it all again. So I was getting to the place where I didn't want to wake up anymore. I would wake up and just dread starting my day because I was pouring from an empty cup and my biggest fear for this trip was that I would take the time and I would take the space and I would do what I always wanted to do and always wanted to. You know, like what I love doing, which is traveling with my dogs and doing the podcast. My biggest fear was that I would still feel that feeling, that feeling of I just don't want to wake up, I just don't feel motivated, I don't want to be here, I don't want to do this. I'm just so, so tired and so, so drained. My biggest fear was that I would, you know, reach my goal of traveling across the country in my van with my dogs recording the podcast, having the business run, even when I'm not there. I would do all the things that I've always said that I wanted to do and I would still feel the same way. I'm not scared of strangers, or, you know, truck stops or sleeping alone in my van, or, you know, being alone in the forest. That stuff doesn't scare me. But what does scare me is that feeling of hopelessness that I think can sometimes come, and for me it comes with that burnout, that compassion, fatigue, and my fear was that that wouldn't go away, that that would be stuck with me forever. And while I can say it's not, I can also say that, you know, life comes with good and bad, and someone recently told me that only a lazy mind sees things as good or bad, sees moments as good or bad, because there's good and bad in every moment. There's always balance, there's always 50-50 good and bad in everything, and I think that's the biggest fear that I've ever had in my life Good and bad in everything. There is no either, or, and that really sat with me because I think, from the social media perspective or even the perspective of this podcast and everything that's kind of going on in the industry or everything that's going on with me in this trip and you know the views and traveling with my dogs and everything just seems so picture perfect. I can tell you that it's not Turns out, you can't run away from your problems. But I will say, like getting some time has allowed me to, I don't know, get out of that like flight, fight or flight, like I didn't really realize how, just how I've just been operating out of this place of survival, of let's just get through the day, let's just get through the day, let's just get through this, get through this, get through this, like you can't create from there and you just I just found out that I came home this trip has definitely allowed me, you know, the time and the space to kind of like process all of those feelings. But I mean, I'll tell you as wonderful and magical as like the van life is and traveling and doing all of this wonderful stuff. You know there are some downsides for me and I think on social media we don't always share that. But you know, for me it does get super lonely and I'm the person who takes care of everybody around me. Who takes care of, you know, my team and my clients and you know my colleagues. I take care of everybody else, but for me I don't really have anybody to take care of me and I do get super lonely sometimes. I am, you know, spending a majority of my time alone. What you kind of see on social media is it's just a highlight reel and we have to really be able to recognize that. And as easy as it would be for me to come on to this, this podcast, and say, oh my gosh, my life is so amazing, I'm so grateful, which I am. My life is amazing and I am grateful. And in the same, you know, in the same coin, I am lonely and I don't necessarily have somebody checking on me or, you know, even knowing where I am. I, you know, I had a moment on this trip where I was alone and I was feeling. I was just feeling really, really alone and really, really sad and I was like, wow, if anything like happened to me, nobody would know, like nobody know would know for some time, because it's not like I'm married, I don't have a significant other, I don't have, you know, like somebody that I'm talking to 24 seven, who if I stopped talking to they would be like, hey, meg isn't, you know, responding to me, should somebody check on her? And that's like a, that's a tough, tough feeling. You know to know that, damn, if anything happened to me, like nobody would really know right away. There's nobody, nobody checking on me and you know nobody who's who's got my back, and sometimes that can be really, really hard for me. But this, you know, being able to travel and spend time alone has allowed me to really sit with that and I've been able to kind of see the good in that as well too. You know like there is a sense of freedom that I have. I get to make decisions for myself, and I don't think a lot of females find themselves in that position or put themselves in that position, and it's not easy. Existing in this industry as a female has been the most difficult thing I have ever done. This is this is this is an extremely difficult industry to last and be successful in, and I think even more so for me as a single female. Someday I will tell you all of my trials and tribulations and people who have tried to screw me over or people who have, you know, said that I'm one thing and whatever tried to either, you know, bring me down or put their own beliefs on me, put their own judgments on me. So while I would love to go and say like everything is wonderful and I'm so happy and it's amazing, it just wouldn't be real. And when I was talking to this guy today at the coffee shop and he was telling me, you know, you got to make art, you got to, you got to create. Your business is your art, I was really thinking about that and I was like this is my art and art isn't always just good. You know, art art makes you feel something. It makes you feel good and also melancholy and maybe bad or sad, and I think all of it is a part of the human experience. And I think, you know, as this podcast kind of being my personal journal, I think it's important to share that side of it as well. So I have gotten the opportunity to meet with so many amazing dog trainers and build this community and meet awesome people and do amazing things and, you know, I literally like camp parked by the beach and wake up to the sunrise and you know like I am truly living the life. I don't want you to think that that comes, you know, with with with no negativity. Life is all about balance and it comes with that good and that bad. But I do have to say I am very grateful for you, the the person who's listening to this, because if nobody were listening to this, I probably wouldn't have all of these amazing opportunities that I do. So I'm super grateful for you for listening and being here and supporting me and hopefully you can relate in some way to. You know, the feeling of things can be really, really good and amazing things can happen, but it's okay that we don't always feel perfect. In rainbow and butterflies we can, you know, also feel a bit melancholy about moments. Everything has both. Everything has good and bad in it. So, yeah, that's kind of you know the feels around this trip and just kind of you know the emotional check-in that we do every now and then, because I treat this podcast a little bit as my diary and, as I'm saying that, I'm recording from inside my van, I'm laying in my van bed staring at the ceiling. So just know that it's coming from a very personal place. Now, logistically speaking, I do have to acknowledge that I am an, in fact, a crazy person and I cannot sit still for very long, which is why I really love the van life. So, logistically speaking, I drive a all-wheel drive I think all-wheel drive sprinter van. It's my pride and joy. I love it. It is my little home, it's my little shoebox. I love it so much. So over the past month I have been living out of my van with my four dogs. I have four roughland crates stacked in the middle and I have my bed in the back and basically my whole life has been out of rubber-made tubs. Now I thought that it would be a lot more difficult for me to do things like you know, shower. But everybody that I've met has been extremely supportive or maybe I just smell and they've offered me spare bedrooms and showers and to park in their driveway. I parked my van at Primal Canine for a couple of nights. I stayed there. Mike Jones, let me stay at the facility. I've stayed at people's driveways. I've kind of slept everywhere. So how it works if you're living out of your van, if you're not really like familiar with the van life I don't have a fully built-out van. All I have is a bed. So I, well, I have a bed and I have like camping gear. So I have like a little camp stove and like a what's the thing that boils quick, quick jet boil. I have a jet boil and, to be quite honest, I wasn't much of a Susie homemaker back in Orlando and I really didn't cook or like use the kitchen much at the house anyways. So my routine hasn't changed so much from that. I honestly just eat out a lot, and that might seem crazy that I eat out for like almost every meal, but again, I am one person and I wasn't really cooking before, so I just basically live off of coffee and smoothies and any food places that I find and Taco Bell Good old trusty Taco Bell. But yeah, that's kind of what I'm doing for food. Now, if I am out camping which I have also done I have my little camp meals. So I have a rubber made tub in my van that has like a bunch of dehydrated meals and it sounds kind of disgusting, but they're actually really good. And I got into backpacking for a short period of time and I like fell in love with these freaking freeze dried meals and if you know. You know they're honestly pretty delicious. So anytime you see me out in the forest, I'm eating those meals for pretty much every single meal. Now for the dogs, I am not able to feed them raw on the road, so I just have them eating farmena kibble super convenient. Actually, I don't want to say it's super convenient, it has not been super convenient. Farmina is very, very hard to find, I believe. I don't want to mess this up, but I believe it's an Italian brand and so not a lot of stores in the US have it. So I really have to like drive around and when I find a store that has farmena I stock up. So I have like two bags of farmena right now, and before I leave the city I'm probably going to go grab another one, just just to be sure that I can find it. So the dogs spend, you know, a lot of their time in the van, as do I in the crates. But what's cool is I find that they really like the routine, because the van is kind of like a big crate, so like we all go into our crate and then I'll drive us somewhere fun and we get to run around and play outside and have so much fun. And then we come back inside and nap in our crates. So I'll nap in my van and the dogs will nap in their crates, or we'll drive somewhere new and that's kind of how our routine goes and honestly, it has been so much fun. People ask me if I get lonely, and obviously I get lonely. I think I think I felt lonely before this trip and you know that's something that we don't have to get into this episode about. But I, you know, spend a lot of time running my business and not a lot of time socializing, so there's definitely a loneliness factor that comes into my life. But, to be quite honest with you, I really enjoy spending time by myself and I always have. I would be the kid that would like lock themselves in the bedroom and just like me quiet time. So that's kind of how I am and I really enjoyed it. I enjoy spending time by myself genuinely and I spend a lot of time by myself, like more than most people, and I think too, because most people are in like relationships or at work with a lot of other co-workers and while I do, you know, have co-workers and a team and all of that stuff. It dog training is just a little bit different. We're not doing like team things and team projects every single day. It's, you know, you train your dogs and go to your lessons and we're all kind of like running around all over the place. So it's not like we get too much time to just kind of like sit and hang out anyways. But people ask me like oh my gosh, don't you get lonely? I'm like, yes, but also I spend 24-7 with my dogs within like arms reach of me, and the separation anxiety on both sides is very, very strong. When you sleep in the van with your dogs and you do everything together, I, you know, take them all out to go potty. We all go play at the same time, like we're all doing the same stuff at the same time because they go everywhere with me. Oh boy, if and when we go back to living in a house, there will be quite the adjustment, but for now it's honestly really fun and I love it so much. As a kid I used to bring stuffed animals with me everywhere and I would have like literally 10 stuffed animals that I would take everywhere. And now I've realized that I'm doing the exact same thing, but now it's with real animals and I just have a van full of dogs, so a lot of our time is spent, you know, I don't want to say in the crates, because we spend a lot of time outside, but when I'm driving the dogs are in the crate. It's just the safest place for them to go. And then I think my favorite part is I really don't like spending that much time inside in a house anyways. So basically my whole life is just like where can I drive to go and let the dogs run around, or where can I go to walk the dogs? So, like today, I went to Santa Cruz and, you know, parked my little van, let all the dogs out. We go for a long, you know, a couple mile walk, hang out at the beach, do a little bit of training. Everybody goes back in the van, they take a nap, I go to a coffee shop, work on my computer, and the nice thing about my van is it's a passenger van, so I have the rear AC and I can just leave it running and lock it. And then I also have a temperature monitor in the back so I get text notifications of the temperature in my van and I can always check it at any point with the app. So I really love that. It just gives me the peace of mind when I do have to walk away from my van. I always just leave it running and you know it honestly stays so icy because I do have a passenger van, so I have that rear AC and it's just like, oh, it's just wonderful. Now, as far as working on the road goes, I recently just got a star link. If you don't know, a star link is basically just like a little satellite thing that gives you Wi-Fi. So I would constantly go in and out of Wi-Fi before I had this thing and I would go into the woods and I would have no service and I would be in the forest by myself and I'm like, hmm, this seems slightly irresponsible. So I invested in getting a star link. I have a battery in my van which is how I charge all of my things and is actually how I'm recording this podcast right now, which is pretty cool. But it's just a portable battery and my van charges it as I drive and then I can plug in all of my stuff. So I can plug in my podcast stuff, I can plug in my computer, my camera, yeah, all of my things into that battery. It's literally the best thing ever, and then as I drive, it just charges itself again. Now let's get to the e-colors. I left on this trip with literally one e-collar and four dogs, which is honestly very on brand for me, because I am the worst at remembering to charge my e-colors and keep them charged and connected and all that stuff. So I recently got the Garmin's I think it's like Garmin's Sport Pro with three dogs connected to one remote, which has been super, super handy. So I'm like a real ass dog trainer with all my dogs on e-colors. Look at me, go and you know I give people the e-colors feel a lot because I, you know I obviously love e-colors just because of the clarity that it brings and how, how much freedom it can bring your dog right. So just to give you an example, I'm staying at a friend's house and they have turkeys in their yard and if I didn't have Minka on an e-collar, she would basically have to be on leash 24 seven because she could never be trusted around those turkeys. So because I e-collar trained her and because now I finally got e-colors, she can have the freedom to like run around the yard and I don't have to worry about her murdering somebody's turkey. I can just tap on the e-collar when she starts to fixate on the turkey a little bit. So finally got some e-colors with everybody, god bless. It's been wonderful. I honestly haven't had my dogs on leash much at all. We went for a long walk today but other than that they've been off leash the whole time and I'm like the e-colors just the best it really is. But we've gotten into a nice little routine of essentially I wake up, I'll go to a coffee shop, go to the bathroom, grab my coffee, get the dogs, we go for a walk. Once everybody's tired out, we come back in, I'll grab some lunch, take a nap in the van, do some work. Dogs will nap. Then we do it all again. We go for walks or we go for hikes and honestly it has been so nice. I think living the simple life has been really good for me but also very challenging, kind of like what my good friend at the coffee shop said today. You know like there's always good and bad in every situation. So it's it's been really good for me because it's just allowed me to like simplify stuff and not off operate out of this like go, go, go, go go, because I really am a crazy person and when I'm back at the house working, I'm working 24 seven like it literally doesn't stop. And this trip has allowed me to slow down. But with that slowing down, I'm forced to face all of the stuff that I have put on the back burner by filling my days with an endless list of to-dos. You know we stay busy when we don't want to sit with ourselves for too long. So I've gotten the opportunity to sit with myself. And again, good and bad with that, I urge anybody to go on a trip just by yourself, a road trip preferably. Sit with your thoughts. Everything will come up, I promise you. I laugh, but it's, it's. It's been a wild ride. So I've gotten the good and the bad. I've gotten the times where I'm surrounded by groups of amazing, wonderful people, and I also, you know, have had some times where I haven't seen another person in over 24 hours. I would love to do an episode talking more about traveling in the van once I am back home in Orlando, and we'll kind of do a little check-in recap of, you know, the things that I've learned as I have traveled alone in my van around the country and maybe what I plan to take away from this experience, but in the next coming weeks we have a ton of really awesome, amazing, wonderful people on the podcast. We got Mike Jones again, we got Oscar Mora, emily Mehar, shane Murray and a couple others I got planned for you, so I'm gonna wrap it up there. I gotta say thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for being a part of my little community and my journal and listening to me rant, and I hope you all enjoy this side of it as well. I think it's important to share both. So thank you so much. I'll see you next week.

Life on the Road
The Importance of Finding Your Why
Van Life
Life on the Road With Dogs