My family thinks I’m both crazy and brave. But mostly crazy! Why am I moving into a Van? Because….. so many reasons! Geez! Where to start!
The biggest reason is that I have a bohemian spirit, and I’ve lost that somewhere in my life! It’s the part of me that was free and carefree! Somehow that was taken over by work and responsibility and … and… student loans! And propriety! And stuff! So much stuff! Useless stuff that sits around! I’m so … so tired of my life! In fact, it’s really started to cause depression for me! I get up, go to work, come home, and clean house and do laundry on the weekends! With an apartment, I find it so easy to isolate myself! What happened to community? I could go out and meet people, but I’m so tired after work. This isn’t how I envisioned my life!
Financial reasons – I can afford to live in an apartment. That is… if all I want to do is live in an apartment, and spend all my income on living in an apartment, I can afford to do that! Yes. But is that living? I pay my rent, my car payment, car insurance, power, and smart phone. After those things, I have enough money to buy food, and by the end of the month I’m searching my purse for quarters to do my laundry! Every…. Single…. Month! That’s not living! That’s existing so I can keep going to work, so I can keep existing! I don’t pay for internet, I don’t do cocaine or smoke, or hire strippers, or even go to bars! I don’t even go to the movies, or have TV or cable! I get netflix, and watch that on my smart phone. That’s entertainment for me. And at the end of the month… I’m broke! My income level is technically middle class. However, a studio apartment in an OK neighborhood in Berkeley is $1600. Yes, I have options…. I can live an hour away and commute in, among heavy traffic. I can rent a single room (for about $1000) and share my bathroom and my kitchen. Or… I can live in my van and save my money and do things that ARE living! Guess what option I am taking!?
What makes me happy? The best times of my life were camping and traveling. I have such fond memories from childhood about camping around the country in an RV with my family! My dad loved road trips! So how can I afford to do the things that make me happy? That make life worth living? By not paying rent! Enter the van!
I also have “social justice” reasons for doing this. The disparity between the rich and the struggling in our society has become so vast! There is part of my mind that cries out against social injustice. I don’t like giving my hard earned money to someone because that person is owner of some goods, and I need those goods for survival. Shelter and food should not be about ownership. I’m not sure that our current capitalist system is all that different from feudalism! Are we not tied to our location out of the need to survive from day to day? Do we not work to serve those who don’t have a need to work? Certainly it can’t be described so simplistically but… to say that this does capture the experience of many of us is not so far fetched. I am choosing not to participate. I’ve always been a social activist, and now… I want to live that life!