About 8 years ago, I moved to the largest metropolitan area within a half day’s drive from my hometown to get on board with a directionless start-up in hopes of making a lot of money in a short time. The start-up fell flatter than a pancake and I quit in an unprofessional fashion (not bragging) within two months. So, there I was in the big city with no job, my pickup truck and a mountain of student debt. My good friend and then landlord generously cut me a deal on rent until I found another source of income.
Over the next three months, I sat unemployed and unoccupied for hours each day applying for 1,000 jobs with little idea of whether I was qualified for them. I “networked,” started a blog that is somewhere in an internet cemetery and wondered about my life’s purpose. The latter is still part of my alone time.
After going 90 days without a job, I had to start making money again, so I set my sights on temp work. I came up empty-handed after interviewing for a barback position and then as a waiter. So, I bit the bullet and took the first job I was offered, which landed me back in my hometown. If nothing else, it got me back afloat.
If the above-described situation had happened today, I would be able to hold strong without full-time employment until I found work I liked instead of taking a job to avoid going broke and the existential vacuum that comes with having nothing to do every day.
In fact, a similar situation is happening right now. This time, however, it is far easier. After returning from living in Asia, I returned to live in my hometown and applied for jobs in the same big city I lived in in 2010. I did this for the first quarter of 2018. Unsuccessful for 3 months, I decided to make the move and figure it out when I got to the big city. With a rented sedan full of my limited belongings, I arrived at my first AirBnb.
For most of us, living in the first world requires transportation and shelter. Those are both far more temporarily available in 2018.
Full disclosure, I am holding out from buying a car by choice. I like the freedom. Thanks to Uber, Lyft and all of the ancillary ridesharing platforms, I can drive myself by renting another person’s car when I feel like it and operate without a car when I feel like it.What “ancillary ridesharing platforms?” You may ask.
Two platforms called Hyrecar (https://hyrecar.com/) and Turo (https://turo.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=gs:br:brand:root::usa:d+233125353&utm_term=root::exact+kwd-1383426951+239650268840+25200930153&gclid=EA
IaIQobChMIwsbPse_q2gIVjYbACh1lxAY2EAAYAiAAEgJ6g_D_BwE) make it possible for you to borrow someone else’s car to drive for Lyft and Uber. Because my ultimate goal is to live within walking distance from work, I have not committed to buying a car even after getting full-time work. It may be an ocassional pain in the ass for friends to give me rides, but it’s also liberating for me and I don’t experience the inevitable rises in blood pressure that go along with driving in traffic. The sharing economy in all its glory makes moving to a new city without personal transportation a no-brainer.
As for moving somewhere without signing a long-term lease, I am doing that too. My primary reason for this is that this city has world-reknowned traffic. To avoid it during the next phase of my life, I will live as close as possible to work. Since I don’t know exactly where I will be working, I have avoided signing a long-term lease. Almost all of my friends, including my previous host, are married and most have kids, so moving in with them won’t really work at this stage. So, I have opted to use AirBnB. It has been an adventure with a little pain. I am in my fourth different place since April 1st.
I have no complaints about my transient, minimalist life at this moment. I will get a place and car when the time is right. An unforeseen challenge to this lifestyle is having personal space to use as my own for the purpose of my choosing. I like to doing yoga, handstands and bodyweight HIIT workouts to start my days, which requires a little more than a yoga mat of space. I didn’t realize that a body length (I’m 5’8″) of space that is not a bed or closet is not quite enough for me. I learned this the hard way.
During one of my recent AirBnB stays, I came down from a handstand to hit my ankle on a metal bedpost which sidelined me from the rigorous exercise routine I like to keep. The shock of the pain kept me on the floor of my rented room for 3 minutes. As I laid there writhing, I thought about the risks I have taken over the past 2 years and how I ended up in this position. It was physically and emotionally painful. I needed this pain. It taught me something. Shivering, I suddenly grasped the meaning of the pain. I shouldn’t be ashamed of needing more than a bed and a place to put my bags. Perhaps getting my own place has some functionality outside of hosting friends. I indirectly caused this pain by not renting a place with enough space to fall, worry-free from a handstand. It’s not needy to want these things so I can operate at a higher level. Materialistic is the last thing I can be accused of being right now, but my pain taught me that some first world luxuries have some functionality outside of abundance for it own sake. I may not be quite finished vagabonding, but will seek living space with enough room going forward. It doesn’t make me soft. It makes me newly more practical.
Thank you pain. I will heed your advice.