As promised, here’s some more of the “back story”. But where to begin? When I was a child, I’d always been fascinated by the concept of a fully self-contained mobile dwelling. Not that I really ever lost that fascination, but as a child all I could really do is fantasize. Eventually, as a young adult, I discovered motorhomes. Wow – it’s a fully self contained house, AND you can drive it! Or, as Homer Simpson would say, “It’s not just a motorhome; it’s a car you can go to the bathroom in!” As working young man, however, a motorhome was pretty much out of my budget, and even if I could afford one, maybe find one cheap enough that wasn’t too beat up, where would I keep it? I was living in apartments at the time, and apartment complexes tend to be pretty picky about what you park there, especially if it’s a big honkin’ motorhome. Of course I was thinking of it as a “toy”, a recreational vehicle for maybe weekends and vacations or whatever. I didn’t see the obvious – live in it *instead* of the apartment. Not that you can blame me, after all, as I mentioned before, society in general tends to approve of permanent living, and disapprove of “temporary” or transient living. A few times I got real close to actually buying one, but ultimately didn’t.
Fast-forward to a few years ago, when the thought struck me to just sell the house and everything I couldn’t take with me and move into a motor home. Why? Well, there was still the lingering fascination with motorhomes and the technologies involved. It seemed practical, and potentially a fairly economical way to live. It offered freedom of location. Ease of moving. Lots of good reasons. Why now? Maybe a midlife crisis, or perhaps a midlife awakening. I realized just how much of my life has been spent pretty much in the same place – at least in the same city. I realized just how much junk I’d accumulated over the years. All this stuff needs to be moved every time I move, and it seemed I needed to keep getting bigger and bigger places for it all. Like George Carlin says, what is a home, really? It’s a place to keep your stuff! I had a whole room full of stuff that I literally hadn’t touched in several years. I was suddenly feeling like all this stuff was getting to be more of a burden than it was worth. I wanted to downsize and minimize and simplify.
Did some reading (alot of reading, actually) on the internet about folks who’ve done that – drastic downsizing and move into a very small place – an RV, or maybe a “microhome” or something like that. I don’t remember reading a single person who regretted it, even among the few who eventually went back to a more “normal” lifestyle. They found it cleansing and liberating. Free of the responsibilities of “stuff”. Free of the hassles of cleaning and maintaining a large home and yard, and the associated expenses.
It wasn’t just that, though. There was really an accumulation of various other factors that also helped nudge me further along. I’m single. Do I really need a three bedroom, two bath house with a yard? Not really, considering I actually use very little of it. It’s just more space to clean, more to heat or cool, mortgage, taxes, all that expense and responsibility. Add to that my neighborhood in particular, and my city in general seems to get worse each month. Higher and higher crime. Worse and more violent crime. Graffiti. Litter. Polluted air. Just an overall unpleasant place to be. Over a several-year span, I’d been the victim of multiple burglaries and a home-invasion robbery.
Add to all that the fact that I’m slowly becoming burnt out in my work (I’d say “career”, but that implies a future) in the quickly dying dead-end industry of consumer electronic repair. I mean who’s going to pay to get a DVD player fixed when you can just go buy a brand new one for $25? And why was I working so hard? To pay the mortgage and taxes and all the other bills for a house I didn’t need in a neighborhood I didn’t want to be in. I’ve heard “insanity” defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, I needed change. Big change. That’s when I decided I wanted to do this.