There’s no place like home

I never realized how often people ask me where I live until I moved into a van.  At first I lied (and Tree did too).  It just seemed so much easier than trying to explain that I was homeless. Yet, this lying is part of what got us into trouble at the Canadian border. When prompted, I looked down and said “Los Angeles”; Tree said “Hood River.”  The border patrolman paused for a minute and then asked us how we knew each other. “We’re engaged,” Tree said, a little too happily. Another pause. “I spend a lot of time in LA,” he added.  I displayed my ring as evidence but it was just uncomfortable after that.  I felt like a criminal.
So now I look people in the eye and say, I live in a van. This truth may or may not lend me credibility (I think it depends on my audience, kids love it) but it definitely sets me free. 
For one, I definitely agree with the idea that the things you own end up owning you. For space reasons, I don’t own much- hence, all my freedom.  
Two, I’m not a nester, and neither is Tree. When we lived in Venice, our embarrassing furniture set consisted of one bed, one fold-up table, and two borrowed chairs. We never had Ikea catalogs by the toilet or a red toolbox under the sink. Sometimes I talked about painting the walls, but really, we had no intention of improving our surroundings. Living in a van is like a sigh of relief.
Finally, we’re wanderers.  We like motion, unfamiliar places, strange faces, and the heightened awareness that risk and adventure bring.  What better way to find these things than with a set of wheels? (Answer: Sail boat, but that’s in years to come).
In our own way, by cutting our roots, we’ve reclaimed the Pursuit of Happiness.  So often, the Pursuit of Happiness is thought of as the right to own property, but in our case, the two are not synonymous but somewhat opposite.  Property restricts our ability to express our nomadic nature and hinders our life experience. The more stuff we have, the less likely we are to be happy. (Wine, of course, is exempt from this category).
Granted, I know that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone.  God knows it’s not always cushy. For good reasons, people like their couches and televisions, and I have to say, we like your couches and televisions too (Thank you Cheryl!!!).  There’s nothing wrong with houses, houses are great, but… are they ever really home? -STEVIE
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself” -Maya Angelou

Comments

  1. I only LIED to protect your virtue sweetie!!! But now I will proudly stand behind you when you declare your/our homelessness. As Braveheart said… "FREEDOOOOMMMM!!!!!!!!!"
    TREE

  2. alexis schulman says:

    I think a home depends on the hearts of the people living in them. Some people a house is a symbol of their wealth and status. It's more about the zip code and square footage. For me, my home (where ever it is) is a reflection of the things I hold dear. My home has everything I need in life, Phil, my animals who brighten my day, and photos and possessions that remind me of my friends and family. My home has everything I love in it. I could have a big house or a small house but my feelings would be the same as long as it had those same things in it my house/apartment will always be my home. And my couch will always be waiting for you guys. Especially Kiki.:)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a bottle of Sirah Syrah that Massat pulled from the collection waiting for you both;)
    Dana

  4. Amazing writing. Amazing insights!
    You two have learned and embraced one of life's greatest lessons – that your only real home is in your SELF – and you can take that home anywhere! Happiness!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Uhmmm, I'm homeless too, not quite as accepting of the label. Maybe because I have not purged my red tool box.

    Love
    Chris

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tree,

    SUP

    Chris

  7. good one stevie.. keep making sense. gives one hope..

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