I understand that living off the grid, living off a measly salary, and moving from place to place sounds dangerous and even a bit crazy. I also know that family and friends are concerned for me. A few days ago, after traveling across the country and then drive from city to city in California, I finally realized that: my money was running out simply from using up gas and I had NOT written even 20 hours worth of work in a 3 week span. Free camp sites no longer exist in California and every damn campground costs $35 and up per night versus other states which usually start at $10 per night at a state campground. So what to do? My options were few, but I hit the panic button last Friday. I was hoping so miracle would happen, that I was doing God and Heaven’s work by doing what I felt I was meant to do; electricity flowing through my system and an almost flawless cross country trip had ensued. However, I was put in a corner and was hoping:
– A rich sponsor would appear out of the blue and fund my trip.
– I would stumble upon a free or very cheap campground as the last ones I found were: Royal Oaks County Park (only allows youth groups and boyscouts to camp), Mount Madonna (in Santa Clara County: $40 a night), and Veteran’s Memorial Park ($24 a night).
– Someone would take me or offer me residence
– A magic job would drop out of the sky
Instead, I had a panic attack in the parking lot and considered my options:
– Quit the trip, and drive home to Maryalnd with a nice story.
– Move to another, less expensive state like New Mexico or Arizona and find a roof there and perform my work there
– Keep looking for campgrounds (which I ended up doing for another hour and then ended up in the same place)
– Have a nervous breakdown and quit and do nothing
– Find work or part time work to support my writing
– Stay in the state, no matter what, and ham it the best way I can while living on very meager livings. This is what I chose to do: live in a car, use Wi-Fi hotspots to write and apply to jobs, buy a cigarette output converter so I can charge my laptop from my car, and then shower at Pilot Gas Stations every day or every other day. I would move place to place every day or two so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting hassled by cops, but I’ll still clean up and look presentable so I won’t attract any more attention than I need. I will make it, and make it my way no matter what.
Once I made my decision, I was greatly relieved as from Tues-Thurs I had driven from Mountain View to Gualala (north) to Independence/Albudeen and to Monterery/Santa Cruz. I had not slept much, I had done a lot of soul searching (a freakin’ lot), and I was tired and weary on the road. I was also pissed off that I had hardly written a word in that time period, that I had not found a landing spot, and my money was running out purely on gas money – I had not even camped from Tues-Thursday evening because I was so keen on finding camping spots. Apparently, the California State Park budget is not doing so well so killing free camping or jacking up prices might have been their solutions. Greed greed greed. Profit and money rule every decision; it’s horrible.
So here I am.
So why I did choose to do this? Because I have complete and utter confidence in my ability and potential. That I can crawl out of a space if given the chance and that starting from nothing and nowhere is a great place to start. There is a Ukrainian proverb I once read:
“A hungry wolf is stronger than a satisfied dog.”
I find this to be true and I’m going to work it out the best I can with all my ability and all my passion.
Also, a friend of my named Isis sent me this link which inspired me even more about a web developer in Japan who lived very poorly in a poor apartment district for about a year while getting mentoring from a former Yakuza (mob) member:
Also, I read: you know what pirates used to do when they docked on a shore? They sunk their boat. Why? Because then they had no escape. This is what I’m doing. I understand the risks: it’s a calculated risk, I can accept failure, and I accept any responsibility for this not working out.
Have a great day!