Thursday, December 11, 2008

Acclimating to Being Homeless . . .

Being homeless is something I honestly never expected to be. Since the day my father died and my family fell apart that same day, when I was 21, I have been responsible for providing a home, first for myself and later for a family. After my divorce I married again and provided a home and after that divorce, I entered another long term relationship and again provided a home. And over the years, on occasion, I’ve provided shelter for a few friends during transitional periods of their lives. Now, I have long had the dream, that I’ve mentioned in this blog, of becoming a full-time RVer and my home would travel with me. I never considered that to be a state of homelessness. However, making an intelligent, planned decision to become “happily homeless” was a concept that I only began entertaining about a year and a half ago, plus or minus a few months.

Several of my single friends and I have traveled and lived together for a week at a time, usually renting a large beach house or similar. We lived communal style, sharing the chores, preparing meals, shopping, watching TV or video programs, playing games and other daily activities. While each of us had our own homes and were, for the most part, happy in our lifestyles, the concept of creating a communal living arrangement with a small group of compatible, independent thinking, considerate and self-sufficient (not “needy”) people seemed inviting. And, so, my decision to give up my home and become, what I’m terming as “happily homeless” is, in more real terms, a house sharing arrangement. I do share in the various responsibilities of operating a “home” with two of my friends, but they own the homes and I only share their house with them. In both cases, I have a designated place that is my own private space. While my friends still enjoy having the extra space of a reasonably sized, middle class home, I’ve chosen to occupy a small amount of dedicated space.

This is not the first time in my life that I’ve thought about or practiced doing various things in limited amounts of space. I’ve run businesses from my home most of my adult life and it has always been a challenge for me to make these businesses as efficient (in space, operation and personnel) as possible while maximizing the business’s output. My plan to become a full-time RVer also requires me to think about cramming a lot of living and workspace in to a very restricted amount of usable space. I know there is a core group of people in this country who, by choice, have the same drive to live simply and frugally in limited space while doing various kinds of productive things.

Ed Helvey

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