Long time no blog! I am using this time of quarantine as a way to get reacquainted with the wonderful habit of journaling and blogging with a first person voice, keeping you and me entertained in the process. You may feel like you have missed a few episodes, or rather a whole season! I will try to catch up as we go. In the meanwhile, stay safe and wash your hands 🙂
Yesterday was a bit stressful because there were rumors around the campground that we might get kicked out and they would close completely this week.
We already moved from one of the three campgrounds available to military families in San Diego because they closed, and the last two belong to the same base, so if one closes, the other one does too, and we’re on the streets.
So I have been thinking about options. Right now, we are on the beach on beautiful Coronado Island, the campground has its own beach on the bay, while the front beach on the ocean is dedicated to Navy SEAL training.
It is strange sometimes to hear choppers dropping the SEALs in the water, or rounds of shooting, but otherwise it is the best place we could hope to spend time during this ordeal.
First, we are in an enclosed RV, which is as perfect as it gets for self quarantine. The gate is closed and accessed through FOBs only. All families are friendly and there are only 48 of us, instead of 200+ for big RV parks.
And it’s $40 a night, which seems steep at $1,200/month and no discounts, but a similar civilian place would charge a couple hundred more easily, plus electricity etc. And once again, we’d be on top of a few hundred people.
If this campground closes, we have visited another, bigger, civilian campground by Sea World which is around $1,400/month. I cringe at the dog fee, and a bunch more fees they use to inflate the bill. But it is on a nice bay, with plenty of space for the dogs to roam.
That said, Northern California has now closed recreational RV parks to anyone who isn’t there already, and staying more than 30 nights. So I am concerned if and when our place closes, that this option might be too late.
The next option is a depressing trailer park by the highway. It is run down, noisy, there is not a tree in sight, and nowhere to stretch with the dogs. I would have to drive to go anywhere nice. But it is only $850/month, and a 10 minute drive to work for David.
We also discussed renting a furnished apartment while the virus lasts. That would be around $2,300+ (yay San Diego!), an estimate I completely made up based on David’s previous $1,950 rent for a 1-bedroom that is now advertising for $2,100, and a couple hundred more for pets and furnishing.
An apartment would make things really complicated. Some of my friends in Europe are on lockdown in apartments, and life is much harder when you can only go down to a parking lot to get some air, compared to having a patio, a garden, or the amazing beach we have right now that I will never take for granted!
Another option we considered is driving the RV a couple hours out of town, to a national forest or some public land we could park for free, and I would stay there with the dogs while David would rent something in town.
That poses a bunch of other problems. My safety, if things go crazy enough that people would become violent for food and pantry items. His base has a $40/night hotel but it seems like they’re not accepting patrons now. We can’t stay there together because of the dogs.
I have asked David to keep his leave days available if we are really stuck and need to spend a few weeks out of town together.
I can’t go to my houses in Guatemala since the country is on lockdown and locals are becoming increasingly hostile towards foreigners.
I could use my Colorado house (I need to tell the story of how I came to build a cabin in the woods near Denver, stay posted for that one!), but it is snowed in for now, doesn’t have windows yet, it would be more like camping and also raises security concerns because of remoteness.
As a French citizen, my president said he would also send planes to repatriate his people, and I could stay in an empty apartments my grandparents have, quarantine there 14 days, then see my family if I am ok.
That would be considered an abandonment of my green card petition, which cost me $2,000 and a lot of headaches already, so I would consider it if a close family members becomes very ill, but otherwise it’s not a serious plan. Plus leaving the dogs here with David might be dangerous in case he gets posted somewhere he has to work for weeks and can’t feed and walk them.
As you can imagine, it is quite stressful at the moment to not feel secure in my housing option, but I do have options. That is what money buys, options. We are not in a position where we wonder how we will pay rent next month.
I can pay through the nose for a French government repatriation flight if that is what I decide is the best course of action. Financial independence is just that, a way to have options. And to me, that is priceless.
Because even though my housing situation through the Coronavirus crisis is uncertain, it is not fragile.