For the last three months, I have been living on the road. In my car, in a tent, and if I am lucky, a roof (other then my car) over my head. I sold all of my stuff, got rid of my apartment, and quit my job so I can live this way, the homeless way. Yes, I am homeless, and I choose to be so.
Common questions I get.
1. Where are you originally from?
2. How do you afford to fund your adventures?
3. Where have you been?
4. Can I come with you?
These are the answers I have to give.
Where are you originally from?
I lived in Seattle for 5 years, and I loved it. My favorite time was living in the heart of the city for a year. It was a magical time in my life, but I needed more of that magic in a different way. So I had to take the necessary steps to live my dreams, and I finally had to flee the nest. I sold my stuff, got rid of the rent, and it was so long see ya later.
How do you afford to fund your adventures?
When I am on the road, I don’t sleep in hotels, motels, or hostels (Yet). I can live off very little while traveling. I would rather spend $2.50 for a double iced espresso at a coffee shop, (The Seattleite in me) and do some work on my laptop then to spend $40 plus for a cheap room. (even if that means I haven’t taken a shower in a week). It all depends on how comfortable I want to live while traveling. Think of vacation, and how much a budget would be for a trip. Now imagine you don’t know how long that vacation is going to last. I must manage my money carefully. I have learned that I don’t need a lot of it to live. In fact, I save as much as I can now. $5 goes a long way in a day for me. Every dollar put into my guitar case counts.
Where have you been?
This question is the one question that is asked most frequently, and my response is always the same. “How far do you want to go back?” 1 week? 2 weeks? 2 months? I could give a long list just to get a point across, but that isn't necessary. There are just too many places to list off the top of my head. I wish I could just tell everyone to go check out my Google map, but that would take the fun out of it in real human to human interactions.
Can I come along?
Yes. You are invited. If it is what you really want to do, drop all that stuff you worry about in your day to day life. You don’t want to go to your office job and sit in your cubicle for 40 hours a week anymore? You don’t have to. You want to give up your material items because its cluttering your life? You CAN. I can go deeper, want to dare yourself to do something that scares you? DO IT! I did, and even though i'm homeless, its the best decision I ever made for myself. Doing something that scares me is pushing through my fear. Fear is one of those things that gets in the way when I REALLY want to do it.
Stop making those excuses and go do what you really want to do. I needed to start giving myself permission slips instead of excuses, and that was some of the best advice I ever got.
Lessons I have learned on the road
1. The highs are high, the lows are low.
When I treat myself to a double iced espresso, that is a high. When I can’t even run my hairbrush through my disgusting hair, that is a low. The nights a couch surfer has a bed and a shower to offer, is a high. The week of awful restless sleep in my car is a low. I know one thing is certain, I would rather take the lows I have in my current life, then to go back to the lows of a 9-5 job, or to go to school and be in massive debt for the next 50 years.
2. There is enough to go around.
From time to time I dumpster dive, occasionally for sport, occasionally for survival. People waste too much food, and when I say food, I don't mean half eaten sandwiches and Chinese takeout. I see pizza boxes with half a pizza in them, or produce that gets tossed from grocery stores. Next time you are done with any food that can still be eaten, leave it outside of the garbage can. Someone will eat it, and why not leave them their dignity by not surfing through the trash, nobody wants to feel like a rat.
3. Time is limited, and its a gift.
Like everyone else in this world, we have this in common. I will never know when I will be on my death bed, so when the time comes, I want to be able to say "I did that, I lived that, and it meant a lot to me. I pushed through the fear, and made my dreams a reality." I would hate to look back on my life and be disappointed in my choices, because every thought I have, and every action I take, is MY choice. I can't blame anyone else for not doing what I want to do in my life. By the end of it I want to be fortunate enough to have some time to reflect on the people I met, the adventures I had, and the choices I made.
4. Living in the future is silly
My plans can go 180 in 5 minutes. For instance, I was planning on going to Georgia, and from one email that was sent my way, I was going to be shooting a music festival in California instead. Sure, I can think about the direction I want to head, but plans change. If I think too much into the future, it becomes silly to me. It used to scare me, but because I don't know what is going to happen, why collect that fear? Why did I think that my future plans were actually going to happen ? I wasn't there, and nobody ever is. What I am thinking about right now, is RIGHT NOW. Live in the moment, go day by day.
This life is what you make it. My life choices have been chosen by me, and I have chose to incorporate adventure into my reality. What do you want to incorporate in yours?