Mobile Womb

Mobile Womb

I think I've always felt it safe to be in a womb type environment. I like to travel and explore, but I don't like to leave the womb. I seem to have found a way to take my womb with me everywhere that I go!

When I was around 9 or 10 years old, I decided that I wanted a van when I grew up. With a van, I could take everything I needed with me everywhere I went. I was very much into science at the time. A friend and I liked to explore the plant and animal life around a nearby pond. I thought if I had a van, I could have a mobile laboratory in the van to study life at various locations.

When my wife and I first started living together, we purchased a very long van. Our plan was to convert it to have a real nice interior. My wife mostly ended up driving the van because it was the better of our two cars at the time. She found it very hard to drive because it was so large and we eventually sold it. We replaced it with a Dodge Colt Vista that was sort of a wagon, a precursor to today's minivans.

When my wife and I moved to Anaheim Hills, I again purchased a Dodge Colt Vista. This time, the Vista really was a minivan type of vehicle. I always called it my "coach". That was later replaced by a full-size van conversion with all the creature comforts inside. It had captain's chairs, a sofa that converted into a full size bed, color TV, VCR, Nintendo, stereo, tables, and much more. I used to just drive to the park and work on my computer from inside this van conversion.

About the same time, we purchased a 50 foot yacht. It wasn't like the yachts that anyone else in our marina had. This was more like a complete ocean going houseboat with enough room to sleep 8 people each in their own bed! It had two full bathrooms, living room, multiple bedrooms, a huge refrigerator freezer, TV, phone, galley and just about any amenity you would find in any home. People would always comment on how much different our yacht was than most of the others and how it was like a real home on the water. Most huge luxury yachts have all these amenities and much more, but few yachts the size of ours are designed to be a home on the water. After about 10 years, we donated the yacht to a marine college. We didn't use it as much as I had expected to and we had better ways we could spend the money used up by the high cost of operation and maintenance.

Part of the reason I became fascinated by traveling on trains is that I travel in my own private little room on the train. Some people get claustrophobic in these tiny little rooms that are about the size of 3 phone booths, but not me! There is just enough room for everything. There are two seats which convert into a lower and upper berth, a tiny closet for coats, and some shelves to put some of the carry on luggage. There are several reading lights, air conditioning and heating controls and vents, coat hooks, a mirror, curtains, drink holders, a fold out table, and even a small waste basket. Private individual toilets are located within a few steps. When I am traveling in the room, I shut the curtain and sometimes shut the door between my room and the hallway. Then, I'm in my own little private room with everything I need as I watch out the window while traveling across the nation! I can see the nation without ever leaving the womb!

I've earned so many frequent travel miles with Amtrak that I now only travel in the "Deluxe" Room. This twice the size as the small roomette and has its own toilet, shower and sink as well as a very long sofa, side chair and table. Thus, I can now travel by train while staying in a more "luxurious" womb.

A few years ago, I started renting minivans whenever I had to rent a car. For a while, this was a necessity since my wife and I and our two children were four people. If we traveled with any of their friends or any of the grandparents, the number of riders would quickly grow to 6 or 7 which only a minivan could handle. I loved driving these minivans, both from the higher clear view they afforded to the feeling that I was taking my home with me everywhere I drove.

Eventually, I purchased my own minivan and am much happier driving this vehicle than the prior sedan I had been driving. I don't mind driving my wife, children or friends anywhere and waiting outside while they attend some appointment or event. I just hop into the rear of my minivan, fold down the center seat to create a table, open up my notebook computer, and I have plenty to keep me going for hours! I feel like I'm still in the womb with everything I need.

I have never purchased one, but I've always been fascinated with RV's and the way you can just about take your home with you everywhere you go. I've also been fascinated with privately owned railroad cars, which have a massive amount of space in them to bring everything along with you. I don't think I'll ever purchase either one of these as I can think of a lot better ways that I could enjoy the money that it costs to maintain and operate these vehicles relative to how seldom they would get used. Though, renting or chartering one from time to time might not be out of the question.

I don't quite know why I'm drawn to getting around like a turtle or a snail, taking my house with me everywhere I go. I do like the idea that I have everything that I need right with me at all times. But I think more important is the fact that I have somewhere to escape from the world if I become overwhelmed with input. I like to know that I have somewhere safe to go if I've had enough time interacting with other people. If I have a "safe" place with me, I can just retreat to that safe place no matter where I am.

There is one extra feature that trains, yachts, hotel rooms, RVs and private railcars have that van conversions and minivans don't have, and that is a bathroom. I can stay in a train, yacht, hotel room, RV or private railcar as long as I want and not have to worry about seeking outside facilities. Vans are only a safe refuge for a limited period of time as I do eventually have to start thinking about where to find a bathroom. That is one drawback to vans over the other modes of having a mobile womb.

I never like being anywhere when I can't think of a safe place that I can retreat to on a moments notice. If I am flying somewhere, I like to have a hotel room at my destination, even if I'm not even staying overnight. I like to have a base of operation. A place I can call "home" while I'm at the location. Often when traveling by train, I would arrive into a city in the morning and plan to leave that same evening. I would still book a hotel room for that day so that I had a base to operate from.

When I used to travel with my kids when they were younger, such as to Disneyworld, we would use our hotel room as our base of operation. We would get to the parks early in the morning when the gates opened. We'd enjoy the park for a few hours, and then return to the hotel to rest for a couple of hours. After that, we'd head back to the parks for a few more hours. Some days, we'd want to do more in the evening. But, if we did that, then we'd make a second trip back to the hotel to rest for a couple of hours between our afternoon and evening outings.

My wife and others couldn't understand why we wasted so much time going back and forth between the parks and hotel and just didn't tough it out at the parks for as long as we could. My kids seemed to like my system. However, I don't think the return trips to the hotel were so much for rest as to reassure myself that we did have a home away from home that we could go anytime we wanted to.

I always try to get a room in the main event hotel whenever I attend conferences, regardless of extra cost. Whenever there is a break between sessions, I will almost always spend the break in my hotel room rather than wander about meeting people. When a conference is arranged in a manner that requires long shuttle rides between the hotel and the event, I am always uneasy. I really want to be just a few steps away from my hotel room when attending an event.

I think this is another reason why I always stay at a hotel when I visit my birth family rather than accept the invitations to stay at any of their homes. I do need to know that I can get away from everything if I desire to do so. I don't want to be trapped in an interpersonal situation where I can't leave once the visit is over.

I function pretty well with people and at various venues so long as I know I have a place that I can retreat to if I want to. I get very uneasy as I get further away in time and space from a place where I can retreat. I think this all plays into my desire for a "mobile womb" that I can bring anywhere that I go, or at least have a nearby hotel room that I can use as my retreat wherever I go.

Oh, and I almost forgot a big one! Our "vacation" apartment in Downtown Fullerton. It is only 12 miles from our home, about a 20 minute drive, but it is right in the heart of Fullerton with 52 restaurants and bars and 5 live theaters. My wife and I love Downtown Fullerton and usually have dinner there 3 or 4 nights each week, sometimes more often. The apartment is wonderful in that I can pop in and out of the apartment anytime, before or after we visit any of the downtown establishments, or even in between if we are making a whole night of it. Once in a while if we are two tired or had a little too much to drink for driving, we can just flop for the night right there in our Downtown Fullerton apartment. I think this apartment is definitely an outgrowth of me wanting to have my womb within a reasonable distance of wherever I am at the moment. I am in Downtown Fullerton a lot.