I’m considering leaving van life. I love the freedom that I’ve found in my van. I love the feeling that a new adventure is as easy as putting the key in the ignition. Vehicle living helped me make a difficult and beautiful transition in my life when everything fell apart and I felt trapped. I was re-born as a stronger and better person, and I hesitate to change the living situation which allowed this to happen. But now a cheap rent option showed up with good people in Philadelphia. Visions of a small pink room, a bathroom, and a refrigerator have begun to swarm in my head. The decision has proven extremely difficult. It would mean being in Philadelphia, a city I love – but probably not spending the winter in Key West, a warm tropical island that I love. I’m planning to make another attempt at the used bicycle business. It would mean not working for anybody, but it would also mean a commitment to Philadelphia.
The ultimate situation would be to have a safe parking spot with an electrical cord running to my van. That would be my preference. I’m not living out a winter in a van in Philly with no heater. I’m just not. Rent for parking would be as much or more than a room. The room is the obvious choice.
I don’t want to tie myself down, but the apartment situation seems too good. Monthly costs would be about the same as with vandwelling, considering shared groceries, more cooking and zero gasoline. The city can be tackled with a bicycle and a little bit of public transportation. My room would be in a great area, easily accessible to everything I could ever want. Part of me wants to settle down there and try to carve out something easy and manageable. Part of me realizes that I will possibly feel restless when I do.
Key West would be great. I’ve got some friends down there, the weather is amazing, and I could make a ton of money. Being a bicycle mechanic is an easy job – but I would still be working for someone else. I want to work for myself. I’m a bum. I suck at working. I can do it, but it sucks out my soul, even if I like the people I’m working for. Working for myself is great – except for my lack of motivation. Building my own business with a team – which is what I will be attempting in Philadelphia – could be the answer. It could be rewarding, profitable, and easy.
I don’t know if my bicycle business will work out. I don’t know if living in a house will suck out my soul through a straw. But I’m going to give both a shot. I’ll have my little pink room, and the makings of a traditional living setup. If it’s good: great! If not – I guess I can just retreat to the van and disappear again.