By Diane Kois – car-dweller, car-lover
A few months ago when I made the decision to dwell in my Jeep, instead of continuing to pay high rent and utilities, I did not really know what impact this choice would have on my life.
It’s funny how “living in your car” can conjure up all kinds of images for many people, running the gamut from a crazy person to a rebel. For me personally, it’s a little bit of both with a lot in between.
What I have come to learn from choosing this lifestyle is that I don’t actually “live” in my vehicle – I sleep in it. This way of life has become a way to actually live.
I have been able to save money, travel, visit family and venture into the surrounding beauty of the RockyMountains and explore places I’ve always been curious about. While I work full-time, my weekends can take me wherever I want to go. I have woken up to some of the most breathtaking views: from rolling open plains, to a forest with a river running through it. I have also met some amazing people along the way.
During the week, however, I make a deliberate choice to stay as close to my employment as possible. I have found a secluded trailhead (my favorite) that is tucked away in a nice residential neighborhood. I have a few friends that allow me to park outside their home (I always let them know when I do that), and there is a particular big box retailer that has no issue with letting folks park overnight. These locations so far have worked perfectly for me.
I have, on a few occasions, chosen to pay for a tent site at the State Park in my area. My mother gave me an annual State Park Pass for my birthday recently, and that takes care of the cost of the entrance fee. Staying at the campground gives me a nice opportunity to relax a little, use my culinary skills around the campfire, and just BE.
Throughout this experience of sleeping in my Jeep, I have not had anyone approach me, nor have I had any authorities knock on my window in the middle of the night. While it may happen at some point, I try to be very aware and conscientious of my surroundings. This also helps me to feel more comfortable and in turn I sleep well. I am getting used to this wonderfully simple life every single day.
It has allowed me to become more and more who I am at heart. Like I stated before, I sleep in my vehicle, but I live my life. I have no plans to return to the expected, status-quo lifestyle anytime soon.
“Sailing with the windows rolled down”
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