Voices from the Road

How the pandemic pushed me to embrace life as a full-time nomad and outdoorsy Black woman

I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit with a love for nature and the outdoors. I knew I wanted to live simply and try to be as sustainable as possible, but life has a way of getting us off track. For my first attempt at living tiny, I bought a campervan a few years ago, but mechanical issues prevented me from starting my dream life. Years went by, but I never lost my desire to live a small, nomadic life.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, like everybody else, I didn’t think it would last long. As it continued, I remembered thinking that life is short and how blessed I am to be here. It was a reminder to not let life pass me by. I decided in the summer of 2020 that it was time to finally realize my dream and become a full-time nomad. 

This time I wanted to do things differently, so I searched for a new travel trailer that would better fulfill my needs. I ordered it quickly as the pandemic set off a surge in the RV market, causing supply to dwindle and prices to rise. My lease was going to end in February 2021, so that gave me time to sell or give away my belongings and save for my new adventure. 

a camper parked outside

Creating a community

As I prepared for my maiden voyage, I realized this wasn’t a vacation—it’s a lifestyle. I started to map my journey. My initial goal was to not drive more than 3 hours at a time and enjoy each location. I planned to only travel between Georgia and Florida my first year. I remember telling people this and they looked at me like I was crazy. Most people aren’t used to traveling leisurely, and my new life allows me to relax and not have to be in a hurry. 

I’m a bit of an extroverted introvert, but as much as I enjoy being alone, it helps to have a community. I thought about this before my trip and realized this is something other women like me probably need too—so I created the Outdoorsy Black Women social network.  

This community inspired and excited me as I got closer to my travel trailer move-in date. Sharing different aspects of my move with others made it feel like I wasn’t actually alone.

a woman steps out of a camper smiling

Just jump

Once I moved in, I headed to a campground. I was only supposed to be there about a month, but as the pandemic continued, I realized I would have to be a bit more flexible and continue my adventures from where I was, planning smaller trips in surrounding areas and modifying the routes on my map accordingly.

Some of my mini adventures included state parks, skydiving, attending a meetup for nomads, exploring nearby beaches, and much more.

a woman skydives

One thing I’ve learned about life as a nomad is that you have to be flexible. The whole lifestyle is an adventure because nothing about it is predictable. If you’re able to roll with the punches, you’ll be able to pivot and still have adventures even when things don’t go according to plan.

At this point, I’ve settled into a long-term spot at my current campground and have decided to stay in Georgia until after the winter. This will allow me to spend the holidays with family and avoid hurricane season. I’ll continue my voyage down to Florida early 2022 and eventually make it to the Florida Keys where I plan to do my next skydiving jump (I’m hoping to do one in every state I visit).

Meet the Roadtripper

Toyin (Da Vinci) Ajayi