In choosing to live a more authentic and fulfilling life that is not enslaved in chasing the fallacy of the “American Dream” I’ve come across some hurdles. The first was my mindset and somehow getting around it to design the site.
Having been brought up in a family unit awash in conservative “American Dream” ideals I often felt adrift from it and I’d even go as far as watching from a third person perspective. I learned detachment from a very young age because it was a survival tool; a defense mechanism that would serve me faithfully through much of my life. I had to. The world that I saw wasn’t the same world everyone else around me lived in and I was often told how wrong I was.
Growing up in this environment caused me a great deal of frustration, dissatisfaction and confusion because no matter what I was told I saw something else. How could anyone tell me I was wrong? I’m standing there seeing it with my own two eyes! I grew up very unsure of myself and still second guess almost every decision I make. What if it was the wrong one? Did I screw up? Am I sure this is what I want? If I chose wrong how do I fix it? It goes on and on…and on. Sometimes it’s so bad I’m paralyzed to the point I can’t even make a decision.
This kind of thinking still affects me so when it came to deciding to live a mobile lifestyle I was abruptly met with countless dilemmas which of course, my mind didn’t fail to jump on.
My first decision was to surround myself with other like-minded folks and this crazy invention we call the internet facilitated that very well and cost effectively. Somehow I managed to get around not second guessing that too much. After all, how was I going to learn more about it if I didn’t chat with people who’ve been doing it?
The first website I found was MrSharkey.com and it was LOADED with info about the first vehicles used for dwellings that ever caught my eye. No, it wasn’t a motor home, it was house trucks! Yes, those creative and masterfully built rolling art pieces that we were told were full of hippies and other assorted degenerates. I LOVED them! I loved looking at them, I was inspired by the happy people living in them and I wanted one. But I was 8 years old at the time I first saw one. Jump ahead to the future and people are still building and living in them! Unfortunately MrSharkey.com like all good things came to an end but you can find archives of his pages at archive.org. and his discussion board was moved to nomadicista.org.
I should also mention that another lifelong inspiration came in the form of my hippy uncle who at one time lived in his Dodge van and I’m still inspired by him today. Gratefully and thankfully he and I are very close. I can giggle about it now but the family didn’t like discussing my uncle’s living arrangements that much and although he did dabble in marijuana at that time they take his hippy vibe way too far. Just because he’s vegetarian and lives a life within his means doesn’t make him a flake and a crackhead. He was never more than a recreational pot smoker back in the day, it didn’t mess up his head as the ignorant want to believe and he’s been gainfully employed for most of his life…but I’m quick to defend my uncle and getting distracted…
Thoughts of my uncle inspired me to look more into van living and I ran into the Vandwellers chat group on Yahoo! which I promptly joined. I was filled with joy! Here were hundreds of people discussing something I’ve wanted to do for decades and they were doing it! It was a wonderful site full of information, tips, referrals to vehicles for sale and much more! However, the powers that be at YaPOO decided to change the formatting style of Groups and it became a clunky and difficult to use piece of shit that confuses me to this day. I stopped reading there as much but I did get one piece of information that has survived the new social media addiction relatively unscathed; CheapRVLiving.com and it’s discussion board.
Bob Wells has created a juggernaut of social conscientiousness regarding living life contradictory to mainstream culture and I highly respect him for it. It is partially on his design that have based my website on. I really don’t care much for social media and this blog is as close as I want to be to it. Although I do have a facebook account I can barely log in to use it. What I do like though are discussion boards; easily indexed, easily searched and easily managed all in one place. The love of discussion boards didn’t start with Bob since I’ve moderated them beginning in 2000 but it proved to me the platform was still viable. As much as I dislike WordPress and it’s confusing array of choices I do like it’s archiving and indexing so for that I chose it as my “front page” if you will, but all discussion will take place on the board.
Another reason I wanted a discussion board is I don’t shy away from discussing hot button topics. I very much enjoy thoughtful and provoking debate. It matters not to me to win or lose I just really enjoy the engagement process. However, there are some out there that use these tools of communication as weapons and I also don’t shy away from dealing with those kinds of people. I wanted a “safe space” not only for myself but to share it with other like-minded people as well.
Somehow I managed to create the blog and site in 2 days. Every once in awhile I can hyper-focus on a project, knock it out AND be happy with it without all the questions. I managed to do so without becoming full of anxiety wondering if it’s “right”.
I would be much obliged if you choose to share my travels and escapades with me and pardon the annoying registration process but it’s to somewhat weed out spammers and trolls. I would like very much for some to test it out for me. The link for the forum is at the top of the page.