Catherine Gregory, sold all her worldly possessions in 2019 to buy a truck and camper, starting her nomadic lifestyle. Out on the road Catherine shared a video through you-tube called “Why I Chose NOMAD LIFE | Full Time Truck Camper Living | Van Life” talking about how she wanted to tell her story. Inspired by a film called Nomad Land back in 2021, starring a fictional character named Fern. “Her story is very different from mine” (Catherine). This got her thinking that all of us are out here for many different reasons.
On year three of travel, not seeing anywhere in the near future stopping what she has begun to love.
Before, working for a company with amazing people “My bosses were like family” and treated her well. Good benefits, company car, living on the coast of Southern California. “On paper this seems great… it felt a little bit like ground hogs day.” Having worked for this company for 12 years, her only time off was 15 days a year and would never be increased no matter how long she worked for the company. As time grew on from a normal 9-5, trying to escape what she calls a “rat race.” The first time she had heard about this kind of lifestyle was from her friend Dan Merkel, A legendary surf photographer.
Before discovering the mountains herself she would go out to Hawaii, photo shooting surfing events as a freelance surf photographer. Catherine was getting that feeling of depression when going back home. Not wanting it to end, figuring out a way to parlay her photography and a career of traveling with her friend Dan. Dan being a major influence in her life tells her how she needs to quit her job and begin a future of adventures and photography. Back in 2013 not imagining being able to pull together this kind of stunt (dangerous trick).
In 2015 Catherine had been a beach girl her whole life, up until she discovered the mountains. Everything before this had always been some kind of activity centered around the ocean. Up the sierra wandering around exploring the mountain scape on her own, due to her friend having to work. “I was absolutely blown away by the beauty and the majesty of that mountain range.” This led to going on small hikes close to home, soon evolving into collecting the gear needed to go deeper into the mountains from you-tube videos. Spending all 15 days of her vacation time hiking, and backpacking trail after trial.
Looking for ways to get out into this lifestyle now then latter was a goal. Not wanting to wait until her official retirement date, due to fiscal health. Old age could hold her back from being able to do the amazing things she does now. Discovering this kind of lifestyle from you-tube even though Dan had been doing this for years. Thinking that it was something he was forced into when it was actually something he loved. Dan’s words in the back of her mind in 2018, were now coming forward. This ment it was time to start planning her great escape. “I did not want to leave this planet regretting that I had never tried, so I started.”
Like Ben and Rebecca from Seward Alaska, Catherine chose an RV that wouldn’t limit her trailblazing, boon-docking experience. The only bad thing about her rig is that the pipes will freeze in winter. Only regret is having to keep an eye on the seasons. Being an outdoors person definitely makes her feel like a better person every day.
Con 1: Not knowing where she’s going to be/next move.
Con 2: Dealing with issues on her own/vehicle problems etc.
Con 3: Keeping track of the seasons.
Con 4: Missing friends and family.
Pro 1: Changing scenery.
Pro 2: Creating content pushes her to do more.
Pro 3: Being free/doesn’t have to check in with anyone.
From one lifestyle to another, finding freedom in what she loves. Catherine Gregory is one of a kind. Like many nomads before her, experiencing what even I look for as finding my freedom, and living a happy life. Knowing the steps she took and comparing her story, likes, dislikes, makes me notice the commonalities we share. Something I think about all the time is what freedom feels like to me.
Catherine Gregory, “Why I Chose NOMAD LIFE | Full Time Truck Camper Living | Van Life” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_O9nGR83a8, Mar 7, 2021.