Monday, December 14, 2009

Trendy Homelessness

Those who know me well have heard me ramble on about freedom and such'n'such from time to time. It's probably sounding like a broken record, but at one point - before I'd been totally mind-vamped into a constructive member of modern society by the woman I live with - I was far more extreme about it.

I was actually fascinated by the idea of having no ties to one place. The idea of being homeless and just drifting where ever I wanted had a great deal of appeal to me. I'm not talking about being a stinky bum wearing urine soaked rags and being in a perpetual state of pickled to stay warm... More of a techno drifter, having everything I needed in my truck and on my person where ever I was.

The idea was that I was my own mobile office. I would write from where ever I was at the time and that would sustain me and pay for gas. Sleep in hotels, or my truck or where ever I was invited to crash... carry all my tools for making money and interacting with the world on my person, laptop, bank cards, smartphone, pocket knife...

All this is obviously rooted in the RPG "adventurer" concept, the wandering person exploring the land while sustaining himself through his adventures. I'd have my truck steed, my iphone "bag of holding" a trusty pocket knife sword... then some gear to survive the wilderness or the cities as the case arises in the back of my truck.

The TV show Supernatural obviously carries a lot of these concepts in it's format, and I've contemplated the appeal of driving a muscle car all around the US, the fighting monsters would be just a bonus.

The idea though is hard to sustain. Traveling is expensive, traveling with all the amenities is even more expensive, I'd imagine it would ballpark around 3 to 4 times as much as living a normal life in a fixed location would cost. Adventuring in games sustains the characters by-way of monsters dropping "loot" or what-have-you, but in modern days cash isn't tangible. Supernatural's ubiquitous "credit-card scams" are a nice modern take on the looting one's fallen foes concept though there are differences. I know that for my part I would need an extensive readership to be able to sustain myself going where ever I want all the time... I do think it's possible, but I'm not there yet.

I still have hope for the trendy homelessness concept, though it's getting more challenging with rising gas prices and international security. A lot of those difficulties are a result of society and government working to hem the people into a set way of life that makes us easier to monitor and control, I used to hate that stuff, now I've come to accept it with an eye for ways to get around it... ultimately the answer is money, but I do lament that without regulations and the endless rules governing us (no loitering etc...) it makes it a lot harder to just go somewhere...


  1. While we were travelling around Oz we saw all manner of incomes supporting folks travel habits. Even folk on the old age pension. Their story was when we run out of petrol money we stop.

    One lady reminded me of RPG adventurers. She felt she was on the run from the Exclusive Bretheren (a religious group who try to keep their followers away from society in case they start thinking for themselves)

  2. Oooh. Running from Religious fanatics sounds like great story material.

    Where do you travel around Oz? As I recall it's mostly just good around the edges... the middle being just a big fat desert.