Our plan was to give up the bungalow and jump into the great unknown of traveling the world for about six months with a loose plan, starting with a three month summer loop around the United States. One problem with traveling with a partner or spouse is that you’ve got to come to some sort of agreement on everything. Every damn thing. And Matt and I were having a hard time agreeing on anything, including our mode of transportation across America.
First I wanted a little RV or perhaps a teardrop trailer. I thought either could be a nice option. Matt didn’t want to have to research or purchase anything that expensive and then have to deal with selling it later. But when I asked my mechanic if our Subaru could tow a teardrop trailer, he simply said, “You don’t need a teardrop. Pull out the backseat. Same thing.”
Sure, we could have pitched a tent everywhere we camped, but I didn’t want to. I really, really needed to feel like I had a self-contained home base. Plus we would be visiting friends and family. I know they all love us dearly, but when you show up jobless and homeless to someone’s house, no matter how much they love you, I promise you in the back of their mind, they are nervously thinking, at least a little bit, “Oh shit, how long are these hippies gonna stay?”
So, after too many semi-heated discussions, we decided to live in our Subaru for the summer. But Matt didn’t want to pull out the backseat. Sure, the backseat folds down and doesn’t take up too much room, but every little inch counts and besides, I had big ideas! Like having a contractor build a little platform where the backseat used to be. I could just see it: a platform with trapdoors that opened up from both sides where we could stash clothes and stuff. Nevermind that I had no clue how to build it. And since I lost the RV/teardrop trailer dream, I wanted the platform. Matt just simply said, “No way.” No amount of reasoning was going to change his mind.
My girlfriend Joanna came over to visit. I showed her our car, told her about my plans for it and expressed my frustration about the spousal disagreement over the removal of the backseat. And Joanna took all my frustrations away with a flick of her wrist and three completely calm-inducing nonchalant words that I love her for.
“Do it anyway.”
Brilliant! My friend Joanna is brilliant! And so I did it. Without a word the next morning, I drove to the mechanic when Matt was working, had the backseat removed and didn’t feel bad about it. Yes, Matt was mad. Really mad. We argued for a couple of days about it, whenever we had the time.
Part of our problem was that we didn’t have much time to get our car ready for our journey. I researched Subaru forums like mad for plans and ideas, but came up seriously short on both. If you aren’t handy (like me) and in a time crunch for your build out, I recommend that you have a solid lead on a contractor before you do drastic things like have your mechanic unbolt the backseat of your car. (I couldn’t even do that by myself.)
I got a little panicky when I couldn’t find a contractor, handyman, cabinet maker, a woodworker or even anyone who does work on watercraft anywhere in the entire Los Angeles area who wanted to have anything to do with this project. People laughed, said they were booked or just grunted and hung up on me. What saved our asses is my good friend Andrew who is a contractor and an avid outdoorsman who was really on board with the Snoozebaru plan. And who just happened to be available within 48 hours. Our timing was that tight! And plans? What plans? Thankfully I took the car to his house, we went to the hardware store and somehow he just made it happen.
Because Andrew is brilliant and talented, just like my friend Joanna. Without them, Snooze-baru simply would not exist. It all worked out. Look at those trapdoors! And look at that smile on my husband’s face. And I learned to sometimes say “Fuck it,” and do it anyway.