A GYPSY SOUL
Start by doing what’s necessary;
Then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.
-St Francis of Assisi
Angela Gonzalez has a plan! She’s planning on taking time to tour the country in a vintage RV. She has places to go and things to do with her boyfriend Damian and their dogs. Meanwhile, she is working everyday doing what is necessary and possible to make what might seem like an impossible dream come true. She is a person of great joy who lives color dreams; she’s a modern day mix of gypsy and hippie stock who lives life in a perpetual state of hope and happiness.
Angie was born in Brooklyn, NY in the early 80s. She is the oldest of three children in what she describes as a “typically crazy, funny, loving family of five. My father is Cuban. My mother is Jewish. I love my sister Heather and my brother Jeremy more than anything. My mom and I talk on the phone daily and my dad is truly my best friend. He’s always been there for me my whole life and I’ve been there for him.” The family lived in Brooklyn until Angie was five and then spent the next twenty years in beautiful Northern California. Angie spent lots of summers visiting her grandma on the east coast and never gave up her Brooklyn roots. “We got the street smarts of city kids but the chill laid back feeling of California.” Angie loves this aspect of her life and truly feels authentically bi-coastally blessed.
When growing up in Brooklyn, Prospect Park was a big part of their lives. The family spent a lot of time in that city backyard. When they moved to California they had an actual backyard for the first time. Angie’s creative and encouraging dad hung swings from the fig trees and built them a stage which they used to put on neighborhood plays. The family enjoyed the outdoors, and Point Pinole Regional Park was a favorite spot. One of Angie’s most vivid memories was walking with her dad all the way to Point Pinole from their house, “just because.” Angie’s parents created an environment of adventure and made the everyday things of life feel extraordinary and uncommonly valuable. They enjoyed each other’s company and spent their Sundays taking road trips and exploring California. However, all of the family vacations were spent in hotels, so Angie never camped until she was in her twenties. Friends of Angie’s had a seasonal site near the Russian River. They had four huge tents with a vanity area for cleaning up with a mirror hung on a big oak tree. They had a full kitchen set up with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee station. They were “glamping” before “glamping” was a thing. The weekend left an impression on the free spirited Angie and the feeling stayed in her heart.
I love this shot. This is me and my dad just being silly up in Mt. Shasta, CA. One of my all time favorite places to visit when I go home. Damian took the pic. He’s a great photographer.
When Angie moved back to Brooklyn five years ago, she met her boyfriend Damian, a finish carpenter and painter who moonlights as a drummer. She told him of a favorite childhood book she had read called, “Misty of the Chincoteague.” He took her on a camping trip there. She loved every minute of the trip and wanted to camp every weekend after that even if it was in Damian’s backyard in New Jersey. The bug had really gotten her again and when she read about the “Glampers” in Mary Jane Butter’s magazine, Mary Janes Farm, she was reminded of her California friends and their site on the Russian River. She and Damian had clicked. Two unfettered souls who value family and experiences and moments! When I met them at a camping rally last May I was struck by how incredibly simpatico they were. Mature but still playful and possessing a sense of wonder about life. They asked if they could tour my vintage trailer and I was more than happy to share my story with them. They were so interested in every aspect of the trailer and Damian took lots of pictures and made mental notes. They clearly were on the same page. They were smitten by the vintage trailer bug and nurturing a dream to have one.
This was last year’s road trip from NY to CA and back via the Lincoln highway This is in San Francisco near the Headlands. It’s a beautiful scenic drive and hike with great views of the bay and bridge. Unless there’s too much fog!
They began plotting adventures together. As a gift for their first anniversary as a couple Damian gave Angie a book to collect the US quarters for each state with the stipulation that the quarter could not go in the book unless they had visited the state and done something significant there. No drive through entries allowed! They are filling their book up and have 24 quarters so far., tent camping along the way. Angie jokes that you know you have met “the one” when you can travel so far in so small a vehicle and still like each other when you get home! Since Damian lives in New Jersey and Angie in Brooklyn they only see each other on weekends and often head to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to get in their camping fix.
This was taken on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway on our 11 day journey from California to New York City. It was 2013. Our first cross country road trip together. Flew to California then picked up my car and drove back here.
Angie’s plan is to save enough money to buy a vintage trailer and take a year off from work to travel. She is investigating work camp programs and looking at how she can make it happen. Angie describes herself as a Jane of all trades and works as a dog walker and tea party host. She has been studying herbal remedies and makes her own special blend teas and skincare products. She can imagine life on the back roads visiting small towns and taking in this beautiful country.
I can certainly picture this gypsy soul boon docking and selling her wares along the way. Angie’s got a good start on her dream. She’s got a great partner who “gets it;” she’s got a plan for saving and working along the way, and she’s got a great family who supports her. All she needs now is the trailer. She has the heart and soul for the trip already!