90,000 Miles to Me

Am I Homeless?

Well, I’m not currently living in a stationary, four-walled house, but homeless implies that I don’t have a choice in the matter, that I am desperate or down on my luck or impoverished, none of which are the case.

I am living in a van because it is a convenient way of traveling the country long term without paying for hotels every night, while having homey comforts at hand. It really isn’t different from so many middle-class retirees who live in a mobile home for the winter to take advantage of warmer weather in the south. I just wanted to have more personalization options for the interior living space than a mobile home or travel trailer allow.

In case it matters, I do own a house, which is currently being rented out for a very small profit after paying the mortgage, providing me with a little income each month.

But there was no reason that I couldn’t stay in my house and keep my job–which I was good at and enjoyed, and in fact, they wanted me to stay. I am not doing this because I had no other choice.

Though finances are tight now, I am not impoverished. I am being excessively frugal because I don’t want to be stupid and blow my savings, and by the time I am writing this, about six months into living in the van, I am earning a little income from digital freelancing with good prospects of more work. Soon I should be making enough to cover all my expenses and not touch the rest of my savings, pay off the rest of my student loans, and even build up my savings again.

And if it turns out that I hate the van life, or something unexpected changes and I need to or want to stay put, I have several friends and family members who would be happy to take me in until my renter’s lease is up.

This is a choice. I have options. So no, I am not homeless.