Saturday, September 22, 2018

The USA Is No Longer Livable

It's been a while since I've posted a new article. Life has been happening all over and around me. A lot of people see an idea that catches their eye and inspires them to read this blog. But, like most of us, we're looking for the magic pill, the secret elixir that will transform our lives from a place we're not happy or comfortable to that perfect life we're all seeking.

Well, that's not how it works. There are no magic pills or secret elixirs. Achieving the idealistic objective of living free and being happy takes time, research, energy, effort and - yes, just plain old WORK. There is no one size fits all. There are approximately 7.5 billion people inhabiting this piece of space dust we call home . . . planet Earth. And, every one of us is different and individual, even twins, triplets, etc.

There are so many things to discuss in an article like this. But, it seems like only a very few, basically countable on less than two hands, are willing to stick our necks out and introduce topics, ideas, concepts, philosophies, possibilities, realities, etc. I could suggest we few are the ones who may be closer to the answers for our own lives. I can only think that all those who are sitting in the background expect me and a few others to reveal a path to living free and ultimately being happy. Sadly, that isn't how it works in life.

Yesterday I read a blog post by a fellow nomad (he refers to himself as a vagabond). His name is Wade Shepard and his blog is titled "Vagabond Journey." He titled his September 21st blog article, "The USA Is 'Unlivable.' Ouch! This guy is un-American. If he doesn't like it here he should leave.

Let me give you a teaser to entice you a bit - he starts out by saying:

The Teaser

ROCHESTER, New York- The USA is a needlessly complicated, needlessly expensive country.

I have this dream of setting up a long-term base of operations in Rochester, Buffalo, or Brooklyn, where I would travel out to do my projects and return to process the content that I collect. But I know this is just a fantasy.

This country would be excellent — it has an array of everything — but it has been rendered “unlivable” with all of its rules and regulations, legal protections, background checks, insurances, and fees, fees, fees. You can’t live free here — you can’t even go to a f’cking doctor here without indenturing yourself to an employer — and for those who have seen the view from the outside it’s difficult to live here at all.

Interestingly, that's exactly his point. This is his home. He loves being an American, but he has left and he can look at the USA objectively from the outside. Before you condemn him, you should get to know why I believe he's credible by reading his article and his biography. Here is a link to his entire article -

I'm Here! Where Are You?

What he points out in his article is pretty much where I am at this stage of my life. I have been an entrepreneur all my life. I made a decent living. I never hit it big like Gates, Jobs or Besos - and frankly, I'm just as glad I didn't. Life is already (still) more complicated than it needs to be.

No matter which way you turn someone wants a piece of you. Is it any wonder that today people who live in neighborhoods, on the same street or even over the back fence, don't know each other. It sure wasn't like that when I grew up in the late 40's through mid 60's. People don't want to get involved today because of "complications" of involvement.

People wonder why there are so many people adopting a mobile lifestyle in all forms of RVs and vans, utility trailers and such. Are all these people "homeless?" Are they all down on their luck and have no choice but to live in RVs and vans? Can they not afford to live a mainstream 'American Dream' lifestyle?

NEWS FLASH!!! Yes! A huge number of them CAN afford to. THEY DON'T WANT TO! By choice, they are downsizing, eliminating all the "stuff" they accumulated and living minimally, simply and frugally. And, they are doing their best, while living within the minimal number of laws they must (driving laws, income tax laws, paying the minimal bills they have, etc.) to avoid as much direct or indirect contact with any and all levels of government.

No Magic Word

The reality is, living free is not about telling you a magic "abracadabra" word that will create a lifestyle of freedom and happiness for anyone. It's about exploring ALL the myriad of possibilities, some of which will work for some and not others - and other possibilities that will work for still others.

My life is not perfect. It's far from it, truth be told. However, I'm freer and happier than I've ever been before in my life. The great thing is that there is still so much more for me to explore and learn and try. Each day is a new experience and learning opportunity. Of course, nothing happens to change my life unless I turn the possibilities and opportunities into action. And that holds true for you.

I challenge you to read Wade Shepard's article and see if he doesn't make some very valid points. Then come back here and discuss your thoughts with the rest of anyone who really cares about making changes in the comments below. I also invite you to join my Facebook group - The Living Free Project - for an interactive discussion experience about living free. 

Live free and be happy. EH


Rob said...

Firsts off I'm a fan of Shepard, have been for awhile. Some of his older blogs on just general traveling are great if you're thinking about it. Entertaining too.

He had a point with what had to be done to just get an apartment for a month, it's not easy and parts of the process don't make much in the way of sense... When you read about what it takes to get a place in a lot of the world (his writings or that of other travelers blogs) you see what he's talking about.

I'm here & don't get an outside view of the US but I suspect if i did I would not be happy with what I'd see here.

It's obliviously not "unlivable", I do live here! :-)
But I'm a nomad these days. Maybe I won't be allowed to rent a spot for a month or a year because I failed a check? These things happen..

Real ID required for many day to day things, background & credit checks all over the place. People voices being turned off because the MAJOR communication corporations don't like what they say. People on both sides of the political aisle wanting to "control" you (I guess that's not new).

I don't think Wade overreacted, he just now see's his homeland from a wider view.

Ed Helvey said...

Thanks, Rob,
for your thoughtful comments. We both know the life on the road and the nomadic lifestyle. And, we learn much from everyone we encounter, whether in person or interconnected online. We've been connected online for years and one of these days our paths will cross, it's inevitable. Both of you travel well, be safe and have fun.

Ken at the Villages said...

Wade had some good points, granted that he experienced many constraints in his attempts to rent in the USA. Having been a landlord for many years in the USA and the UK, I have experienced the worst of tenant behaviors. In an ideal world everyone would be honest and responsible. Fact is--rules, laws, and operating norms were developed to protect others from behaviors of those who don't have much to lose as tenants or landlords. Try leasing a unit in Europe and you will find a greater burden as a tenant than in the USA. In Asia, it's far more likely that the landlord has more control than in the USA or Europe.

IMHO, the USA is a very livable country when compared to living in a county governed by a single party Oligarchy. As a tenant or landlord in such a county one rarely finds justice in resolving legal issues since the government, courts, and businesses are all working in their own interests and not those of either party to the matter. SO--although we struggle with the constraints of a bureaucracy--living in a world without rules, laws, and fair courts is far worse. Without democracy--violence prevails--and that is even worse.