A Year in Ramona

About 40 minutes outside of San Diego sits the unincorporated community of Ramona. Nestled in the foothills and surrounded by ranches and abundant wildlife, the town has been our home for the past year. The beginning of this month officially marked our one year anniversary.

Wow, time moves quickly!

Let’s take a moment to let that sink in and review the last year…

February 2016, we accepted our first park host position and moved into our little slice of paradise.

We had no idea what the year would bring and no idea how long we would stay. We learned what being a park host was all about and how great of a fit this park was (is) for us.

When we decided that we should find paying jobs, Andy refused to let me slip back into the retail world. He said that was not what this life change was all about. He quickly found a job and supported us so that I could figure this whole writing thing out.

Andy loves his job as a mechanic; he loves learning new things each day, working with his hands, and the people that he works with. He says it feels like he is getting paid to learn more about cars.

The other day, I asked Andy if he was still happy. And this is what he said:

“I can honestly say that I am happy more than 95% of the time. At work, at home, in life.”

I asked him how that compared to his happiness when we were in Minnesota. I mean, we made the change from living in a beautiful house to living in a motorhome. We downsized every part of our lives. Neither one of us makes a lot of money, nor do we have a lot of material things.

He told me that when he was working as a manager, he was happy maybe 60% of the time and that often it was less. What a big change!

On my end, writing was something I always wanted to do but was too afraid to do it. I was terrified that people would think I wasn’t good enough and that I would fail. When I was a manager, I was exhausted all the time. My creativity went down; my happiness level decreased. I was uninspired and I felt stuck.

I cannot thank him enough for pushing me and supporting me to start a writing career.

Since being on the road, I have had the time to explore what I want. Since working at the Journal, I have gained experience and confidence. The people I work with are incredibly supportive and I am writing more than ever.

My job with the Journal has brought me a great amount of happiness and it was totally unexpected!

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Over the past year, we have had a ton of visitors and have enjoyed touring the area with all of them.

We took an almost-catastrophic but still exciting road trip to Vegas.

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Though we have had quite a number of things break in our home throughout the year, we have managed to have a little bit of fun in spite of it all…

We have been fortunate enough to meet some other awesome people out here — as well as find a new hobby that we both enjoy (as if kayaking, hiking and snorkeling were not already enough)!

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I have been able to volunteer at two awesome places: the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center and the California Wolf Center.

We have enjoyed hiking, kayaking, wine and beer tasting, snorkeling, events in town, wildlife watching, and so much more.

In the last year, we have grown as a couple and as individuals. We love the experiences we have had, and we are thankful for this adventure, the town, the people we have met, and the opportunities we have been given.

So far, Ramona has been good to us and we look forward to continuing to enjoy it!

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