It’s been about over a year and a half since I last posted here, but I’m about to take off on the road again so I may start posting again regularly. I was recently contacted by someone from my college who’s doing a project about alumni who have “checked out” of society. I responded that I wasn’t sure I’d use the term “checked out” to describe my life, but that I was happy to answer any questions he had. I then described my situation and what’s been going on over the last couple years and I thought that for my first post back I would just give you the same information. So of as a way to explain what I’ve been up to for the last couple years as well as an introduction to any “new” readers.
So here we go!
Basically, about 4 years ago I started a new job at a public radio station. I work for them for only part of the year, but when I do, it’s full-time on their fundraisers. We hold 3 pledge drives a year and I start work on them about a month before and then go through a week or two after they finish. In between drives, I travel as much as possible. By living in my car, I’m able to save enough on rent that I can work for only about 5 months out of the year and still afford to travel. I’ve done mostly road-trips around the Western half of the states, living in my car as I go, but have also spent a month in Australia and New Zealand, two months in Hawaii and just recently a month in the UK.
For me, this job was a means to being able to travel. I’d originally been planning to quit my job and take off for a year on a massive road trip and then come back to a regular job and regular schedule. Having a job like this means that I’m able to take off for a few months at a time and not have to worry about running out of money or finding a job when I do. We’re never more than 4 months from the next pledge drive. I started the job in May of 2007 and moved out of my apartment at the end of June.
Over the last year and a half or so my travel has been a bit more limited because I’ve acquired two apartment buildings in Yuma, AZ. I spent a couple months out there when I first got them. Then this last September I started a Masters program in Accounting in San Diego, so I’ve been spending a fair amount of time there, (staying with my parents).
I have a website about living and traveling in my little Prius at AYearInACar.com. I stopped posting in it in July 2009 because my computer was stolen in Reno. I took about a month to get around to replacing it and by then I had gotten out of the habit of posting. Since I was basically living in one of my apartments in Yuma for a couple months, I didn’t really feel I had much new to say about living in my car. When I went back to LA I was still living in my car, but wasn’t traveling by car, (my traveling in 2010 was basically “fly and stay” trips to the East Coast, Seattle and to the UK. Each of those for a about a month). I couldn’t figure out how to get started again in writing for the website, especially when at the end of the year I began my Masters and stayed at my parents’ house for a couple months. (And yes, they charged me rent. The first rent I’ve had to pay in over 3 years! I have to admit that living in a car had spoiled me. Even though it was just to my parents, that first rent check was hard to write.)
All that being said, my upcoming April-June classes will be online so I’m going to be hitting the road again at the end of this week (just finishing up our latest pledge drive.) I’ll have about 3 months to drive up to the Pacific Northwest and work my way around back down. I’ll be taking my classes, as well as working on a few projects for the station so it won’t be “full-time” travel, but I’m really looking forward to being back on the road.
So there you have it! An semi-explanation of what I’ve been up to for the last year and a half. Like I said, I’ll hopefully be hitting the road at the end of the week so more to come. In San Francisco I’ll be meeting up with a friend who moved into a van about a year ago so I’m interested in seeing what he’s done with the place.