STATS – Day: 5 | Distance: 722 miles | Location: Shrewsbury, MA | Money Spent To Date – Gas: $86.74| Food: $23.79 | Play/Misc: $31.93 | Lodging $0.00
I have a confession to make.
I’m afraid of nearly EVERYTHING – heights, water, tight spaces, getting lost – the list goes on and on. One thing I’m not afraid of is facing my fears. I challenge them constantly! I want to get to a point where I know I CAN survive them. I WILL make it through the experience.
When the first hiccup of my trip happened where I didn’t have a place to stay for a night, that all too familiar panic attack began in my body. I get this tight little ball of nervous energy at the top part of my chest, just below the base of my neck. My heart quickens to a hummingbird pace and my breathing stops or becomes erratic! I breathe slowly and force a rhythm. I self-talk saying “you’ll be good, let’s make a plan, breathe…” round and round the chants in my head go. Sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours.
The organic farm I was planning to stay at fell through and even though I could extend my stay at Carolyn and Steve’s house I still needed at least one night to between New Jersey and Maine. All the campgrounds and Airbnb stays mid-way were a bit expensive for my new lifestyle. Then I thought “what about a good ole Truck Stop!”
Truck Stops are a great place to catch a few hours of sleep or sleep overnight. I’ve heard that Walmart is another place, but haven’t checked that out yet. My experiences at truck stops are that no police or security guards will come knocking on your window and ask you to leave. I call this “car camping”.
Of course car camping is not the IDEAL situation, especially when the back seat of my car is piled high with “stuff” needed for all the other kinds of stays I planned on experiencing on this trip. At least I have a car! So….I’m in the front seat. Here are some tips to help your front-seat-car-camping-experience go as smooth as possible.
General Truck Stop Rules
- Remember that Truck Stops are for Truckers! Be respectful and kind to everyone. Clean up after yourself.
- Park away from the customer parking and the main entrance of the store. Do not park in a big truck’s space, these are designated, find a small car spot. Plus you’ll be away from traffic and lights which makes getting to sleep easier.
- Earplugs and a sleeping mask are golden!
Front Seat Sleeping Tips
- Drink Booze – you’ll find yourself comfortable in any position.
- Go to the bathroom. The worst is having to go after you’ve pretzeled yourself into a sleeping position.
- Do some stretches and limbering up before settling in for the night.
- If you have a stick-shift like me, heavily pad the whole emergency-brake and gear-shift area.
- Sleep in a position that is different from sitting in your car when you’re driving. You’re body has already been in the position for a while and will get sore easily. For the front seat I’m partial to:
– The “V sit-up“. Have your head and back against the passenger side door, your butt on the seat propped against the center console and your legs straight up leaning against the driver’s side seat and head rest.
I slept about 5 hours of the 8 hours I was there. Not a bad impromptu rest on the road.
NEW EXPERIENCES ARE WAITING FOR YOU!
“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself… no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” – quote from Paulo Coelho/”The Alchemist” – a book I’m currently reading and so perfect for my journey! Thanks Carolyn!
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