“You’re buying a what?”
An custom built off-grid gypsy wagon.
“And you’re putting it where?”
In the woods, where people can’t find me.
“And what will you do with that?”
I will unplug and forage the land and star gaze and watch the sunrise and have the most amazing time.
From the reactions I’ve gotten, I think most people found my plans a little odd to say the least. But I spent years dreaming about this little place.
It would be easy to blame the insanity of 2020 and say that’s where it all started. After all, I think a lot of people dreamt of escape after being stuck at home 24/7 with their spouses and kids. I know that it was a challenging year for my family. I was used to working at home on my other website, Accidental Happy Baker, by myself and suddenly everyone was home and grocery store shelves were empty which meant that creating content for a recipe blog was kind of tricky, to say the least.
The Beginning of a Dream
But that’s not where my story really starts. I’d have to say that the initial seed was planted when I was just a child. Growing up we had a story book where two little girls ran off to live in the woods and drink from acorn cups and eat from mushroom tables and ever since then I’ve been enamored with the idea.
A Chance Discovery
Every time I’d watch a show that featured a vardo I’d think to myself, that looks like so much fun! And then one fateful day I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a listing for a custom built Gypsy wagon clubhouse that amazingly was for sale just across town! (I live in a small community in a rural area, so really, what are the chances!) I told my husband, We need to buy this! I’ve always wanted one!
And he said…absolutely not. No way. That’s ridiculous.
Forging My Own Path
Well, I am stubborn and I am perseverant. I said, okay cool, I’ll do it by myself. And I did. I started squirreling away my savings so I could do it all on my own! It took me a few years, but I got the money saved up and then I tracked down the guy who had built the one I’d seen on Facebook. Now, mind you, I didn’t know this guy! I was just determined that somehow I was going to make this happen. And, yes, this was all because of some random swap shop listing! I messaged him and he said yes, that he would build me a wagon.
Together we worked up a blueprint to make my gypsy wagon just what I thought I was looking for! There were so many details to think through that I didn’t even know would pop up. All I knew starting out was I wanted it to:
- Have a traditional vardo look
- be off-grid
- on a solid foundation, not moveable
- in a clearing in the woods.
I can’t tell you how nervous I was to send the initial down payment. This was something I really wanted to do, but it was so beyond anything I’d ever done before. We settled on a price and the contract was signed in February of 2021.
Heartbreak Along the Way
Here’s the thing about chasing a crazy dream, there are no road maps from other trailblazers to follow on how to get there! There were a lot of ups and downs and trying to figure out how to get this project all to fit together. Sadly, the builder of my wagon found out towards the end of the project that he had terminal cancer, so this was his last big project.
We tried to stay in communication, but his declining health made it hard. So by the time that the wagon was due to be delivered in July of 2021, I’d actually never even seen finished pictures! I’d never seen it in person. It wasn’t until the truck pulled up and the driver hopped out to ask me, “Lady, where the heck are we heading with this thing?” that I actually saw it.
The Big Reveal
The End of the Prologue and Beginning of a New Story
Of course I posted some pictures to share on Facebook and I think once people saw the pictures they started to understand the appeal of running off to the wild. Which is where this site gets it’s name! And they also wanted to know more about my adventures, which is part of why I started the site.
We got it all settled and placed in the spot I’d cleared in the woods. That might seem like the end of the story, but it’s just the end of the prologue. Getting it built and there was just the tip of the iceberg! There’s still a lot to do. I used most of my savings on the wagon and I’m still working on getting it outfitted with equipment and supplies that suit the space and provide all the function I need. But overall, it’s been one of the most fun projects I’ve ever undertaken.
Make sure to follow along as I work towards fixing her up and making her even more beautiful and the adventures to come.