About Stormy

A Wild Heart Wandering

…but not all who wander are lost.

Often, I want to walk the safe side of the street
And lull myself to sleep, and dull my pain.
But deep down inside I know, I‘ve got to learn from the greats, earn my right to be living,
Let my wings of desire soar over the night.
I need to let them say,“She must have been mad!”

– Carly Simon, “Touched By The Sun

The Driver

Hi. My name’s Stormy Shafer.

I’m a journalistauthorcommercial copywritermarketing consultantartistindependent book publisher, indie author consultantteacherpublic speaker,  storm freak/tornado chasersometime animal rescuer, and avid metal detectorist.

(I’m a triple Gemini — I get bored easily. And recently discovered I have ADHD.)

As a regular sticks-and-bricks dweller, I lived in upper Bucks County, in southeastern Pennsylvania. That’s still my home base…for now.

In November, 2017, a number of factors came together to cause me to want to change my living situation. I decided to move from a stationary apartment dweller to a full-time RVer, living in a 20-foot travel trailer towed by a bright yellow Jeep Wrangler…even though before that, I had never RVed a day in my life.

I explain that whole situation here.


Wildheart 2

Wildheart II, my 1997 Coachmen Catalina Lite

As I moved into my second year as a fulltimer, I upgraded our rig and tow vehicle to a 2000 Toyota Tundra S-5 pulling a 23-foot 1997 Coachmen Catalina Lite. The more powerful tow vehicle gives me far more confidence as a driver, and the larger rig makes me feel more like a grownup able to make a living on the road than a kid playing in a blanket fort.

Wildheart III

Wildheart III, my 2000 Skyline Nomad that has a separate bedroom and space for a dedicated office. Most people who become full-time nomads do so in part to become minimalists. I’m not one of them, but I’ve sure had to learn how to manage storage and my tendency toward acquisitiveness.

In January, 2021, I upgraded rigs again. This time, I got a 27-foot 2000 Skyline Nomad 261-LT. I got a great deal on it from friends I knew had taken great care of it. It had a bunkhouse, which I tore out to turn into a dedicated office space. This will give me back my kitchen table to use for table things, and allow me to figuratively close the door on the office at the end of the workday.

While this isn’t something I ever planned to do or even contemplated, it has turned out to be a sanity-saving choice for me. I like a life that’s interesting and adventurous, and I like the mystery that comes from a certain amount of ambiguity. I don’t necessarily want to know, when I get up in the morning, what will happen to me or where I’ll be when I go to sleep that night.

Chasing tornadoes for my 50th birthday

Being too certain of everything is a sure recipe for sleepwalking through life, at least for me. Though I don’t feel I’ve ever been that much on autopilot, I’ve been closer than I care to be. This new journey ensures I will probably never get close to that again.

Keeping Track

I’m keeping a blog here as a way to document my journeys, all the experiences I have, and all the people (both cool and maybe not so much) I meet along the way. My intent is to use this material to remind me of my sojourn once I come in off the road, and to write a couple books about it. I believe I will have enough new experiences to fill both a how-to guide for solo RVers, and another book that will take a more spiritual/emotional approach while remaining nonfiction…a kind of memoir.

Why do I think anyone would be interested in reading such books? Well, first of all, because I realize I’m on a journey not too many people get to experience in modern life. Also because, as I’ve shared my story with people, one of the most frequent comments I get is, “Oh, how cool! I wish I could do that. But at least I’ll be able to live vicariously through you.”

In my mind, a book is just a longer form presentation than a blog. And, well…you’re here reading this, aren’t you?

Mary Shafer, Nomad

The Queen

I’m Idgie, and I was Mom’s first road companion. We were together for 16 years when she took me on her big adventure in 2018. I traveled with her for a little over a year, when it came time for me to leave on a different kind of journey. This time, I had to go without Mom. But she knows I’m always with her, and I sent some other kitties to keep her company until she comes to join me on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.


Editor’s note: Idgie crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the early morning of October 15, 2019. It was the day we were supposed to leave for our first workamping gig in Colorado, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

I will miss my dear, fuzzy gray co-pilot forever. She was a very, very special little girl in so many ways, and was my best friend. She wasn’t perfect and neither am I, but we were perfect for each other.

I was so lucky to have her in my life for more than 17 years. I hope her time with me was even half as good as mine was with her. Goodbye, my little friend. There will never be another like you…not ever.


Biscuit in the window

Hi, I’m Biscuit. I joined Mom exactly a month after Idgie crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Idgie told me Mom was hurting and lonely, and needed me. I’m definitely not as good a traveler as Idgie was, but I made up for it by being sweet and cuddly and — let’s face it — beautiful. Mom called me her Sweet Biskie Bean. 

Truth is, I get carsick and even though Mom kept trying different things to help me relax, it just wasn’t working. And then I discovered OUTSIDE and was constantly escaping the rig. Mom was scared I would get eaten by something or lost, so in spring of 2021, she re-homed me with an old college friend who dotes on me and gave me my own room, including the run of her whole beautiful, Victorian home in New Brighton, MN. So now I live like a spoiled princess, and Stormy — who I now know was my transitional mom — gets regular updates from my new Mom.

I’m a lot happier staying in one place, and I’m thankful that Stormy loved me enough to make the hard choice to give me a better life than the one I had on the road.



I’m Abigail, a Seal Point Siamese. I was three years old when, in July, 2022, Stormy adopted me from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. I was found in a feral colony in Escalante, and rescued because I wasn’t doing well there. I got beaten up, and the one good eye I had got a corneal scratch during a fight. It also has macular degeneration, which leaves me with only a little light/dark vision, and my other eye never fully developed. So at some point, I will become fully blind. But it’s okay, because it’s happening slowly, giving me time to adjust, and my world inside the rig is comfortingly small and easy to navigate. And Stormy has become my mom and is good to me, so I’m pretty happy, if still a little shy.



My name’s Tallie, and I’m a very social, affectionate little hellion. I lost both my eyes to infection a few months before Stormy adopted me in July, 2022, with my adopted sister (above). Despite my lack of vision, I have a huge sense of adventure, and I love going outside. In fact, once I got a taste of it, I couldn’t get enough, so I started escaping and wandering off, which was of course very dangerous. Combined with the fact of my extreme carsickness and that I never got along great with my sister, it was pretty clear this wasn’t the life for me. So Mom sadly returned me to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, who will either find me another adoptive home, or keep me safe and loved there for the rest of my life.

Can I Help You?

I find myself on the front end of a social trend. The fastest-growing group of full-time RVers is Millennials, followed closely by “women of a certain age.” We’re all after the same basic thing: A life structured around encouraging new and different experiences, and personal and spiritual growth, rather than the acquisition and storage of material stuff.

I’ve now been living this lifestyle for almost five years (including throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic), and I have learned a LOT.

I know there are so many others out there who dream of living this life, but don’t have the slightest idea where or how to begin. I had help from others who don’t need my help in return, so I’m happy to pay it forward to those who do. If there are any questions I can answer to help you on your own quest toward fulltime nomad life, contact me and let’s have a conversation! 

Check Out My Podcast!

In late 2023, I hope to be launching my nomadic life podcast, Road Magic. I invite you to check us out on five major platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, Overcast and Stitcher.