So, remember when I said that all my posts weren’t going to be ridiculously long? I lied.
There is so much to cover, and I blame not having Verizon at the ready when I moved out to middle-of-nowhere (GORGEOUS) Ogilvie, MN on myself.
Srsly, though, screw Sprint.
Where to begin? (i.e. is this a tiny house post, or a travel nurse post? → BOTH!)
On 27 August 2016 at 2230 (10:30p — y’all’s gon’ learn some military/24-hour clock time) I started driving from San Antonio, TX, straight through, to end up on The Sanctuary in Ogilvie, MN at 2130 (9:30p) on 28 August 2016.
23. Hours. Of driving.
Only slightly different on this journey is that I brought maybe ¾ of what I own and my two travel companion kitties (Olive and Gizmo, you’ll see them later!) in my car, as opposed to pretty much packing everything in when I moved to New York. It was nice, since I could actually see out of all of my windows and mirrors on the road!
Somewhere in Kansas I even met a band who had just played in San Antonio the night I started driving, too, so be on the lookout for a rundown of their album on Musically Modern Maven soon! One of those happy coincidences you can’t get from anything other than travel, you know?
The Sanctuary – Pt. 1
Understandably, as I drove up to The Sanctuary I was exhausted and perhaps a bit delirious, listening to The Neon Demon’s creepy-ass soundtrack in pitch black night. One of these days I’ll have to recreate the scene that played out as I nearly missed my turn onto the minimal maintenance road listening to “Are We Having a Party” and “Get Her Out of Me”; every turn fit with the tracks, the woods were ominous and looming in from either side, and the thought of “I’m going to be murdered out here!” was ever-present in my mind. I may or may not have laughed maniacally as I both accepted such a fate and acknowledged the absurdity of the situation.
All told, that first night was filled with so much uncertainty on my end. I had spoken with Bill and Brenda Campbell (proprietors) on the phone and via email, but didn’t know them from Adam. Of course I knew they were nice people, but here I am in the middle of East Jesus Nowhere with zero cell reception, other tenants I am both eager to meet and highly wary of (because I’m not an idiot), and I’m hosting a laundry list of other emotional and physical vulnerabilities. I’ve no doubt that anyone would have judged another in my situation for having a good cry, and normally I think I would have since I cry at the drop of a hat. But I didn’t!
Bill, Brenda, and my new friends, the family at The Sanctuary, were all so welcoming and accommodating that it was next-to impossible to justify holding onto any kind of fear. Bill set me and the kitties up in the Jay Shafer-model tiny house that’s now my home until the end of November, I had my first sleep in the loft to the only slightly terrifying sounds of a thunderstorm, and woke up the next morning to a veritable paradise view. I don’t think I ever want to leave.
But Why Minnesota?!
Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked this over the past month…
I accepted my first travel nursing assignment! That’s why! hahaha
There are many reasons why a person can turn to travel nursing. Yes, it is an opportunity to travel. Yes, it is an opportunity to make good money. Yes, it is an opportunity to gain more independence if you’re anything like me and had to move back in with your parents. Sometimes, all these reasons don’t add up to shipping off to Hawaii, though, people!
Where I’m at in Minnesota is going through a facility-wide shift in the nursing pool. They’ve contacted several contracting agencies, such as mine, to bring in competent, fast-learning nurses, such as myself, to get them over this logistical hump. Not only am I providing nursing support, but I am essentially full-on new staff with all the responsibilities of your average nurse in a facility. I’ve only got about a week to get up-to-speed, at that!
In fact, tonight is my last night of “orientation” to my assignment, and my first day on my own is scheduled to be Friday! Talk about fast learning!
This is only week 2 of a 13-week assignment, however, so I’ll be able to offer more insight as time goes on.
The Sanctuary – Pt. 2, and The Tiny House Movement
So back to the fun stuff!
I would be a total liar if I said I felt like I was on the cutting edge of this brand new movement and blah blah blah. This whole tiny house movement is NOT NEW. My blogging about anything tiny house related is NOT SPECIAL.
You’ve seen the tiny house shows on HGTV and fyi; you follow tiny house porn boards on Pinterest; IG accounts, Buzzfeed, and HuffPost are all bursting at the seams with tiny living ideas and quaintly staged photo-ops from dwell Magazine.
The reality is that tiny houses have been around for ages in varying form, and the tiny house lifestyle is more a necessity of a certain mindset than it is a decision, in my opinion.
What starts as a casual interest in browsing the many outlets of interior design inspiration can, for those who are of this mindset, evolve to asking the many “why”s behind tiny living, as it did for me in a big way.
Moving out to The Sanctuary, temporary as it may be (and I’ll admit, I wish it weren’t!), has already begun to answer a number of questions for my own “why”s. I’ve been interested to learn Bill and Brenda’s “why”s. Mary’s “why”s. Tish and Scott’s “why”s. When our schedules allow, I’ll be interested to learn Deanna’s “why”s. I’ve even been lent a book signed by over 60 tiny lifestyle visionaries discussing their “why”s.
The reasons for going tiny can range from the desire for financial freedom to the freedom to travel to the freedom of simply being oneself to the freedom from stuff. Personally, I’m still nailing down all of my “why”s, but who said anyone needed just one “why” or that “why”s couldn’t evolve?! Mine started shifting the second I got in because…
Did I mention that The Sanctuary is full of cats?! CATS. EVERYWHERE.
I’ve definitely found my people.
If it seems as though this post is all-over-the-map, it’s because there is a bottomless fount of inspiration to be found in researching and diving into this way of life!
It’s fxcking poetic.
There is simply no way for me to cover all of these topics plus my experiences in one post, obviously, else I’d be committing to writing a novel in one fell swoop. I’ve got to get to work in a few short hours! haha
I will be covering all of this and more over the coming days, weeks, and months, so I invite you to join me. Learn more about The Sanctuary while I’m here! And travel nursing! And crazy cat lady life! And Minnesota!
I know my friends and family are all intrigued, so if you’ve found this post by accident, I’m only slightly sorry, and welcome! Ask questions, comment, engage with me! 🙂
If you are already well-entrenched in this lifestyle and want to offer tips and tricks — because I literally just took my first crap in a composting head and didn’t die, but you’ve already got it down to a science lol — reach out! Let’s connect!
Personal/blog IG: @nomadnadiad
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or reach out via the Contact page.
Now I’ll leave you with the best part: PICTURES! (Off my iPhone… I can’t apologize for the quality, porque I just don’t feel it necessary to shell out for a pro camera yet! 😉
The view from my loft
Olive loves her kitty bed under the skylight — perfect for bug and bird watching!
My first morning view across to the storage loft
It’s cozy to sleep here, but feels more spacious than it looks!
I couldn’t have asked for a better writing nook.
The perfect landing space for my shoes, work bag, and miscellany.
I’m so glad all of my toiletries transport easily to the house in this little box!
The provided hotplate, which I’ve yet to use.
Yes, I totally brought my juicer.
The composting head! (TOILET lol)
There are provided plates and cutlery that I’ve not stored in here yet, but this is more than enough pantry space!
I was skeptical about a fridge as small as this, until I saw how spacious this one is!
With a sink installed, I’m still convinced I’d have enough counter space just for myself.
My books! Do I seem well-read?! (I’m so not lol)
I segregated my scrubs for easy access.
IKEA bags are the perfect clothes hamper, and I love that I can keep my dirty laundry out-of-sight!
My “business” drawer.
It’s not full-length, but I have hanging space!
Plenty of room for dress shoes and extra storage.
The makeup and accessories drawer — because I’m addicted, brought too much, and it’s a problem haha
I’ve yet to “kondo-fold” my clothes, but they all fit!
Ok, so it’s a tight fit, but they fit lol
My lil bit o’ home ❤ (I got it at Buccee's on the drive up, and these screws already happened to be here waiting for me!)
The view from the loft, down
King Gizmo… the little shit.
With the library ladder out for use…
And away for extra-space!
My ambient heater… which will come in handy when the temp drops!
The shower is perfect for the litter box since I don’t have running water… I have next to NO litter being tracked in the house, and I LOVE that!
Bill brought over two 2x4s for a makeshift catwalk… the cats love it!
The spacious main house meeting room
And another angle
Bill and Brenda are of Native descent, and also very spiritual… see why I feel at home?!
The view from the pond up to the main house and “my” tiny cabin!
Their logo is so beautiful, and adds yet another inviting element
side view 1
The bird feeder Bill put up for us!
side view 2 and my parking space
Pictures just don’t do this place justice 🙂
I’ll be back soon! Enjoy ♥