Archive for the 'Uncategorized' category

Settling Down, at Least for Now.

 | August 21, 2012 3:32 pm

I started this one year adventure over 5 years ago and feel absolutely certain giving up my apartment and job and moving into my car was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I never expected to stay on the road this long and though I plan on continuing to travel, I’m off the road for now and have settled down in Seattle.  As proof, I offer you a picture of my garden as the acorn squash and tomatoes are starting to really spring up.

In the last year I’ve also finished up my masters degree and am currently studying for the CPA exams.  I’m still traveling when I can, but for the next few years at least I expect I will be on a somewhat more corporate schedule.  Perhaps in a few years I will have figured out how to be a traveling accountant and I’ll pick up this blog again.

In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who’s read and commented on my posts.  I’ve enjoyed the last 6 years of blogging about living in a car and am looking forward to doing more.  Until I start traveling full-time again I probably won’t be posting much on this site, but if you’d like to stay in touch, check out my website about tatting, snapdragonlace.com.

Featured it Business Insider!

 | June 12, 2012 11:55 am

Was recently featured in Business Insider! I am amused at the comment that I am not hardcore enough and too mainstream. :)

Whoo-hoo. I have access to my website again!

 | October 24, 2011 5:10 pm

About a week after that last post I screwed up an update of wordpress and locked myself out of my website. Finally got it fixed today. And by “got it fixed” I mean I called up my friend who owns an IT support company and he fixed it for me. What took him about a half an hour probably would have taken me about a half a day to figure out. It’s good to have good friends with expertise.

What prompted me to finally get around to making that call was the fact that I was just interviewed for an article in the New York Times Magazine about living in a car. I don’t know much about it other than it’s a short piece. Don’t know if the reporter is interviewing others, but I’m looking forward to reading it and hoping that it won’t be too “Oh my god! The economy is forcing everyone to live in their car! This is crazy!” We’ll see.  I think any publicity is good publicity and maybe some people who read the article will come here and ask questions.  I’m happy to answer them.

I like to spread the idea that car living can actually be a fun, adventuresome and learning experience. Sure, most people who are doing it are doing it because they have to, but for those who choose to do it, car living should be looked on as the same category of adventure as backpacking around Europe, hiking the Appalachian trail, biking across the US or RVing to all the national parks.

And I’m back!

 | March 17, 2011 9:37 pm

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.

 

 

 

And here I thought July was going to be a slow month…

 | July 29, 2009 3:36 pm

I can’t believe July is almost over.  I’ve been in Yuma, AZ the last three weeks (business stuff, long story) and I thought I’d have some time while I was here to get caught up on some projects.  Some progress has been made, but not all in the direction I expected.

I think if I had made a list of “things to do” at the beginning of July and compared now it to a list of “things done” at the end there would be only a few things that overlapped.  Feel like I’ve been amazingly productive for as few things as I’ve actually gotten crossed off my list.  Ahh well.  At least I already know what I be working on in August.

I’ve been living in an apartment here in Yuma for the last couple weeks.  It has been nice to spread out a bit.  I’ve only brought the stuff that’s normally in my car with me, but I’m amazed at how much floor space it takes up.  I really do pack up the little Prius tight!  Astounding how much I manage to get into the car comfortably.

I should spend some time reflecting on living in an apartment (however briefly) as opposed to a car, but I can’t think of anything philosophical about it at the moment.  It’s different.  Some things are better about living in an apartment, some things are better about living in a car.  The weather, however, makes the apartment a necessity while in Yuma.  112 degrees is not uncommon right now. Even walking outside at night feels like an oven.  The only plus is that there’s very little humidity and almost always a breeze.  If you can get some shade and don’t have to move at all it’s not too bad.  I’m very happy with the AC, though starting to get a bit stir crazy.  I’m craving the chance to go for a walk, but it’s just not going to happen here in Yuma for a while.

Lucky for me then that I’m leaving tomorrow for a little while.  I head up to Vegas where a friend and I will be roadtripping up to Reno, NV for their big street festival “Hot August Nights”.  I know very little about it.  Another friend will be meeting us there and we’ll spend a couple days before Friend #1 and I head back down to Vegas.  After that I’ll go to LA for a few days work at KJAZZ and then head back to Yuma for a week, THEN back to LA again for about a month and a half. Will be both good and strange to get back on the road for a short trip to Reno like this.  Looking forward to it though. I expect August and September to both be quite busy.  I need to map out everything on a calendar.  I’m starting to get confused about where I’m going to be when.  :)

Any Reno/Tahoe suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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