Nov 04 2010

Successfully living in a car is a result of attitude
and how one feels about it. Do you see it as a shameful
humbling? Or a temporary adventure with a positive resolution?

There are free spirits that love living on the move. They avoid any fixed address, always looking for the new adventure just around the next bend. Then, there are those “not so free” spirits that find they have no other choice when life changes happen and live in their vehicle because it is the only address they still own and have a right in which to stay.

It has to be unsettling to the “not so free spirits” to find that, for one reason or another, they haven’t a bed to sleep in for the night, or even, sometimes, a roof over their head. Those who have vehicles realize that they can sleep in the car, SUV or van “to get through” until things ease up. Without a second thought they take to the road, intent on living in their vehicle, but not realizing that any unfamiliar living space has its requirements and, in this case, literally has its “rules of the road.”

Having been a Girl Scout, I think it is wise to be prepared and consider the mobile apartment options before the need strikes. That way, small necessities can be gathered to insure an easier transition to the sometimes fishbowl life of vehicular living. But, hey! Why listen to me when the voice of experience beckons from the other side of the Internet. Let me introduce you to Chris Damitio, author of Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond when he says:

"I've found that parking in secluded areas is almost always a mistake. The best places to park are places where there are people around and plenty of vehicles moving in and out all the time. I've parked in cul-de-sacs and had people report me to the police because it was "suspicious" to see a car parked there. Oddly, I've parked in residential neighborhoods where I didn't know a soul for weeks on end and no one thought anything of it. I suppose they all thought I knew someone they didn't know. My bus was robbed behind the liquor store in Fairhaven. (If the thieves want to return the disks with my photos and writing on them you can send them to the Bellingham Weekly.)"

Now, that’s the type of practical advice I’m talking about. Good to know the ins and outs of mobile street living. For instance, one should be aware that some municipalities have ordinances prohibiting sleeping in cars, while other areas, such as large box stores almost encourage sleepers and their vehicles. Always good to know where you’re not welcomed and where you can expect the welcome mat out.  Becoming descerning in one’s choice of a rest stop is far easier than rousing up half asleep to the shine of an police officer’s flashlight in your face. And, wouldn’t you know they are always snooping around right before the alarm goes off?

So, now that I have introduced this concept of transient living, both with and without choice, let me introduce you to a range of experienced viewpoints. “Johnnomads” has made a YouTube video for your information and delight, while Craig S. Roberts has written a book and has a web site:

In this YouTube video by user johnnomads, a love
for mobile living is shared by someone who says
he is “houseless, but not homeless,” by choice.”

If you are considering living in your car, whether
for fun or necessity, you might be interested in
this book of practical observations by Craig S. Roberts.
If so, to preview, just hover your mouse over the link:

Ten Consecutive Years Living In Cars: Living, Traveling, Camping, Attending College and Performing Surveillance in Cars—and Loving It!

Or go and enjoy his web site.

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NaBloPoMo November 2012