The Gypsy Lifestyle: When Shopping Girls Must Go
Gypsy Wagon, Old School. Photo via AntiqueCarousels.Com
Gypsy Wagon, Old School. Photo via AntiqueCarousels.Com
Millennials enjoying a nice chat. Photo via DigitalistMag.Com
Millennials enjoying a nice chat. Photo via DigitalistMag.Com

The gypsy lifestyle is taking over as a legit option with people all around the globe. Here in the USA, it has become a particular passion among Millenials and Baby Boomers alike. The gig economy melds with insane housing prices and rapidly changing regional characteristics, resulting in confusion as to whether, or where, one should settle down to one’s best future. Lending fuel to this travel-bug desire is our awareness that global changes are leading to the disappearance of natural scenery and distinct cultural reflections. There is a feeling that now is the time to see all of these wonders, while one still can. The Web has also enabled each of us to see, in great detail, many places around the world. Areas that might have been off of a Shopping Girl’s radar once are now revealed as having potential appeal, worthy of exploration.

 

Baby Boomers have done this kind of thing before
Baby Boomers have done this kind of thing before
Ann and Nancy show us how Gypsy Life is done. Iconic rock band Heart album art for Little Queen
Ann and Nancy show us how Gypsy Life is done. Iconic rock band Heart album art for Little Queen

And so, many Shopping Girls are hitting the road. Some are taking long vacations. Some are traveling as their main life focus for a year or more, but intend to eventually return to a more stable lifestyle. And some have committed to the gypsy lifestyle as a permanent choice.

 

While camping, backpacking, couch surfing, and RV living remain popular and rewarding methods of exploring the world, the gypsy lifestyle focuses on incorporating a means to live independently. Shopping Girl gypsies don’t want the expense and positional limitations of relying upon touristy options such as hotels and resorts (although they will, of course, enjoy these lovely options at times). What a Shopping Girl gypsy seeks is the experience of traveling her own path. This enables her to go to the regions and destinations of interest to her, at her own pace and in her own way.

 

Adventure-and the incredible natural wonders of the USA-await. Photo via OutdoorAfro.com
Adventure-and the incredible natural wonders of the USA-await. Photo via OutdoorAfro.com
Happy Happy Joy Vanlifer. "7 ways you’ll be stereotyped for living in a van" by Alyssa Wyatt via MatadorNetwork.com
Happy Happy Joy Vanlifer. “7 ways you’ll be stereotyped for living in a van” by Alyssa Wyatt via MatadorNetwork.com

Since a gypsy lifestyle can drain one’s funds over time, many Shopping Girl gypsies enjoy the challenge of coming up with frugal ways to make their experience effective and rewarding with as little expense as possible. While the RV lifestyle has been booming, lots of Shopping Girls don’t have the means to invest in a large, expensive RV, not to mention maintaining it. Many Shopping Girls find that they don’t need or want that amount of space on the road, and that a large RV option limits where they can go. Instead, those Shopping Girl gypsies are embracing the van lifestyle.

 

The Gypsy Van Life is not really luggage-centrically ideal. Photo via TheDecorologist.com
The Gypsy Van Life is not really luggage-centrically ideal. Photo via TheDecorologist.com
And you thought your van was tiny. Be shamed by the 13 year old kid who built this tiny house for 1500 dollars. TinyHouseFrance.org
And you thought your van was tiny. Be shamed by the 13 year old kid who built this tiny house for 1500 dollars. TinyHouseFrance.org

A van converted to a gypsy wagon lifestyle can be as inexpensive or tricked out as the Shopping Girl gypsy likes. Ingenuity and the wide range of resources and information available makes it easier than ever to live a transit but beautiful life. Not only can a van be set up to suit an individual Shopping Girl gypsy’s immediate interests, but it’s also easy to change things up as her interests and needs change over time. For example, a Shopping Girl gypsy might begin her voyage with a focus on visiting America’s iconic natural wonders, using her gypsy wagon van as a home base from which to hike out on shorter wilderness journeys. Later, she might decide to spend a while exploring the great urban centers of the U.S., and reconfigure her van to enable her to live discretely and safely in city areas, dressing the part and taking in the cultural delights on offer. Finally, she might discover a place she loves so much she wants to stay there, and can settle in (where legally permitted) with a “tiny house” that is already functional and comfortable, a home from which to affordably pursue employment and begin putting down her roots.

 

This week, Shopping Girl will explore the gypsy lifestyle products that are particularly relevant to most Shopping Girls. These products and ideas will be of interest to all Shopping Girls, no matter how they travel. Many of these products are also useful on the job and in regular homes, too, making their value and usefulness worth noting.

 

Yes...yes, they do. But you don't have to.
Yes…yes, they do. But you don’t have to.

Today, Shopping Girl is focusing upon one of the most problematic issues for Shopping Girls on the go, and that is, well, where to “go” when on the go.

 

Due to widespread growth throughout the U.S., finding public restroom facilities isn’t quite the problem it used to be. Many Shopping Girl gypsies simply rely upon public restroom facilities while they are on the road. However, not everyone feels either comfortable or safe relying on the available public bathroom facilities. For example, while roadside rest stops can be convenient, they can also feel isolated and unsafe, especially late at night.

 

Nobody likes getting caught going in the bushes...Homer Simpson from the genius animated series, The Simpsons.
Nobody likes getting caught going in the bushes…Homer Simpson from the genius animated series, The Simpsons.

Besides, the truth is, most Shopping Girls prefer having an easily accessible and private option to “go” when and where they want. Sure, we can sneak behind a bush with a funnel or a hand shovel, but that, let us clarify, reduces the romantic appeal of the gypsy lifestyle for most Shopping Girls. Some things aren’t so much luxuries as basic requirements.

 

Fortunately, there are now many options and cool gadgets suitably functional, convenient, easy to carry, use, and clean, and effective, which can be used inside one’s gypsy wagon (or making toilet stops elsewhere more comfortable). No Shopping Girl has to feel frustrated when traveling by this issue anymore.

 

Pink camo means no guy will borrow or steal it. Photo via Academy.com
Pink camo means no guy will borrow or steal it. Photo via Academy.com
Tote-Able Toilet Seat and Lid snaps onto your bucket, features a rubber gasket to control odors, lid makes bucket work as a seat or footstool too.
Tote-Able Toilet Seat and Lid snaps onto your bucket, features a rubber gasket to control odors, lid makes bucket work as a seat or footstool too.

For Shopping Girl gypsies with vans, setting up a “bathroom” which can be used at one’s convenience is quite simple and affordable. While a number of similar possibilities exist, probably the most rational, cheapest, simplest, and most effective choice is a 5-gallon bucket with an attachable toilet seat, and a sealing gasket lid. While it’s not technically necessary, most Shopping Girls will prefer the method of lining the bucket with a plastic bag, making it neat and easier to dispose of waste. To further control any risk of odor or mess, many Shopping Girls use clumping cat litter to cover the waste in the bag after they go. This, of course, works just as well as it does for cat owners who use the product in their home cat little boxes.

Don't laugh. You probably make that face too.
Don’t laugh. You probably make that face too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gamma Seal Bucket Lids with gaskets come in many colors, useful to tell this bucket from THAT bucket.
Gamma Seal Bucket Lids with gaskets come in many colors, useful to tell this bucket from THAT bucket.
Kindax gel toilet seat cushion pads are highly rated, peel and stick you can remove, clean, and re-stick easily.
Kindax gel toilet seat cushion pads are highly rated, peel and stick you can remove, clean, and re-stick easily.

The advantages of this system are many. It is cheap and easily accessible. One can find these buckets, bags, and cat litter pretty much everywhere (and plain old sand, dirt, sawdust, or something similar can be used as well). These buckets are super-sturdy, well sized and at a good height for this use in a van. The attachable seats are inexpensive, light, store flat, and you can add comfort enhancers such as gel pads. The sealing gasket lids ensure that no leakage occurs and, combined with the cat litter, contains any odor. Since everything in a Shopping Girl’s gypsy wagon should be multi-purpose, these buckets are also great as seats, footstools, step-stools, and general-use buckets. For Shopping Girls who don’t like the idea of using the toilet bucket for other things, it’s easy enough to efficiently store a second bucket by just stacking another one with the toilet bucket. Toilet buckets don’t require the use of chemicals, nor do they have any special valves, moving parts, require batteries, or otherwise have potential issues with breaking down, unlike many of the other options. There are no legs which can break, and the sizes are universal so that, even if your bucket is damaged somehow, you’ll have no trouble replacing it with one that will still work with your seat and gasket lid. Feel free to leave your used bucket outside of your gypsy wagon overnight if you want, because no one will bother stealing it. If it does disappear, you can replace it for practically nothing practically anywhere.

 

Still another good reason to go with the bucket toilet is that you can combine it with a couple of other things, inside a plastic storage bin, and make a full-on “bathroom” featuring a toilet AND a shower inside your gypsy wagon. Tomorrow, we’ll go into van bathing and showering in more detail.

 

Brondell portable bidet is one of several options.
Brondell portable bidet is one of several options.

Another highly recommended item for vagabond Shopping Girls is the portable bidet. This is just a soft-sided water bottle with a long nozzle ending in a mini shower head. The base of the bottle should have a small gasketed air button, to aid in producing a reasonable amount of water pressure, when you squeeze the bottle to produce a spray of water from the nozzle. Just fill the bottle, position, and squeeze to spray and wash. These do an excellent job of cleaning, and will greatly reduce the amount of toilet paper and wet wipes you might otherwise need. Better results with less stuff is a major plus for a Shopping Girl gypsy. Note that portable bidets are not usually designed to carry water; rather, they are meant to be filled just prior to use. This is not problematic, as you can fill it from your drinking water bottle or what have you as needed. Again, we’ll talk more about the uses such a portable bidet offers as a showering device in tomorrow’s post, but we want to point out this great multi-use feature, as well as the fact that you can use this for any kind of light showery or faucety type task you might have, since you’ll of course only use water in the bidet, and clean it thoroughly after every use.

 

The Go Girl Urination Device is a soft portable funnel for, you know, while you are standing up.
The Go Girl Urination Device is a soft portable funnel for, you know, while you are standing up.

What about those funnel like devices made for Shopping Girls to “go” on the go, standing up? Those can also be great options, and most Shopping Girls will benefit from having one for various needs. These devices are great when you go to an outdoor festival or on a day trip. They work great for camping with a “pee bottle”. Note that you don’t need a specially designed one. A regular silicone funnel, or jeryrigged cut plastic water bottle turned upside-down, will also work. The issue is that a Shopping Girl may need to practice with her chosen device or risk potential accidents. The best place to practice is in the shower, so keep that in mind, and try this out before you leave home.

 

This pop-up privacy shelter comes in several colors and has some handy features including a removable rain fly and an optional floor.
This pop-up privacy shelter comes in several colors and has some handy features including a removable rain fly and an optional floor.

Even though a Shopping Girl will definitely like the idea of having a useful toilet within the confines of her gypsy wagon, this doesn’t mean she can’t also consider an additional option which can be useful at times, depending on her goals and plans. A pop-up privacy shelter is a mini-tent designed to be narrow but tall. A Shopping Girl gypsy can use it outside of her gypsy wagon for changing clothes, bathing, or toilet needs.

 

Figured no one wanted to see a photo of diapers, so here is another picture of an adorable kitten instead.
Figured no one wanted to see a photo of diapers, so here is another picture of an adorable kitten instead.

Shopping Girl gypsies who have disabilities or incontinence problems don’t need to be stuck at home. Look at it this way: If astronauts can travel into space wearing adult diapers without shame, a Shopping Girl living her dream life as a vagabond can wear them too. If your disabilities mean that you need a special set-up for your van toilet, think creatively on how you can make this work for you. Check with online forums for advice from other disabled travelers and see what other such Shopping Girls have come up with.

 

Some Shopping Girl gypsies who live on the road while dealing with menstrual issues should find these tips helpful as well. In particular, a portable bidet will be a real blessing to you, and some cat litter in your disposal container will keep things neat and fresh between access to public trash cans.

 

 

 

This seeming relative of R2-D2 is tricked out. Get up to 50 flushes, but woe to those who fail to remember to occasionally release the tank pressure.
This seeming relative of R2-D2 is tricked out. Get up to 50 flushes, but woe to those who fail to remember to occasionally release the tank pressure.

Shopping Girl gypsies can find much fancier porta-potty options for their gypsy wagons, and it simply depends upon what her wants and needs are. However, in truth, most of them cost a lot more, require additional supplies such as chemicals, are bulkier and more cumbersome to handle and store, and the better options are generally best suited to larger vagabond residences such as RV homes. It is important for a Shopping Girl to have her home-away-from-home set up in a way that she is comfortable with, so we recommend that you invest whatever it takes to make this basic issue workable for you while you are on the road. Unlike many men, most Shopping Girls find the issue of private and accessible bathroom facilities an important factor in their traveling comfort. So where a guy might not feel the need to bother investing thought, design skills, and effort into this issue too much, you can, if you want. It’s easy enough to make budget and space adjustments in other ways that, in the long run, might be less valuable to you as you travel.

 

Tomorrow, we’ll post about bathing and showering issues in a Shopping Girl’s gypsy wagon!

 

 

 

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