As I sit here in Starbucks drinking my coffee, writing this article I realize, that technically, by definition and law, I am homeless. The people around me come and go, unknowingly walking by the homeless man next to them. As I gaze around the place I see a real homeless person, an older man, with a long scraggly beard, drinking his coffee, drawing a “HOMELESS: NEED HELP” sign on an old piece of cardboard he must have picked up outside. I realize that the disparity between us is great, but then again, maybe it’s not. I’m homeless but maybe not as “homeless” as this man is. I look up again from my writing and he’s off on his bicycle riding away to somewhere where homeless people go. Wherever that is. I imagine him standing on a street corner for the rest of the day, in the heat, by a stop light, hoping for some compassion and empathy from his fellow human beings.
This story isn’t new, it’s as old as humanity. Some folks are homeless by choice, others had their choice and their lives, careers and homes stolen from them and they lost everything only to end up on the street next to the homeless man on the corner with a cardboard sign that they drove by last year.
My situation is different in that I chose to be a nomad, I walked away from the the beast that is the system that makes people homeless.
RELATED POST: Read my article “How To Kill The Beast That Enslaves You”
Technically…Yes, I’m homeless. By legal definition I’m homeless because I have no home, no street address (other than a mailing address). So that makes me homeless. I live in my Jeep and everything I own I carry with me.
But, I chose this lifestyle, to “go nomad” to become a “digital nomad”, to move into a new life, start a new career, a new project, launch my new brand and hopefully build it into a successful business. Being a nomad is my career choice. I’m a writer, artist, photographer and pseudo-philosopher.
I’m a nomad, living out of my Jeep, on the road, thinking about my next move, building my company, my business, struggling to make ends meet for now. I have a choice though, and really, maybe do most other homeless folks, but some don’t. A large portion? I don’t know. What percentage of homeless people are homeless by choice, I wonder?
I’m not special, and I’m certainly not complaining, as I realize there are people out there who have it far worse than I do who are struggling more and whose lives are much more difficult than I could ever imagine.
There are millions of people like me living all over the USA and the world.
We’re Nomads. We’re a huge and diverse group of people who come from all walks of life, culture, backgrounds, and have a diverse group of skills, talents and education.
But there’s an ugly underbelly to the nomad life. The side that people don’t want to remember is there, much less acknowledge.
If you look at the glorification and romanticized portrayal of nomadism online it would look to an outsider like a dream life, full of adventure, travel, excitement, beauty and wonder. It’s not all like that. Many millions of people have it far worse than you could ever imagine.
Becoming a nomad by choice is one thing, and as you travel you find truly homeless folks who didn’t want to be homeless. People who lost everything and ended up on the street, fighting for their lives and their freedom, struggling the make ends meet every single day. Their lives are a daily struggle just to feed and shelter themselves. Bathing becomes secondary, food and water become precious. Survival becomes priority.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, I just started writing and this is how it goes…I just keep going until I think I’ve made whatever point I’m trying to make.
I think the most important point of this post is that something needs to change. We need to help our fellow human beings.
I see and have genuine compassion and empathy for homeless people.
I wanted to write about something glorifying the nomad life, to show you pretty pictures of wonderful sunsets and the flora and fauna of the desert southwest United States. I wanted to show you happy videos of me triumphing over nature and hardship and making it despite the difficulty.
But the reality is, living the nomad life isn’t all fun and wonder. Life is hard. Things are unfair, and if you whine about it people call you weak, they look down on you, they ridicule you. They do this because they are fearful of failure and they fear being in that position. It’s human nature.
So far in the 3 short weeks I’ve been a nomad I’ve run out of gas, money, food, water, (multiple times) and then I got sick with a bad case of bronchitis which put me in the ER looking for relief and treatment before it turned to something worse. I had a fever, sweats, dealt with frost in my Jeep while temps below plummeted below freezing into the teens. The harsh temperature fluctuations and weather are hard on my 44 year old body, and I’m finding out that getting in and out of my Jeep is not as easy as it used to be. I’m not as young and nimble as I used to be. I’m also out of shape, not eating right and broke. As of the writing of this post I’m selling my Nikon DSLR so I can have money for food and gas and water. Yes, water costs money out here. I could find free water out of spigots beside gas stations and at rest areas and other places, but I’m picky where I get my drinking water. I’d rather pay $0.10 to $0.20 per gallon for filtered clean potable drinking water.
I’m not writing this for you to feel sorry for me because I know some of the ignorant people who read this will simply say “You brought this on yourself. You put yourself there. You chose this life, now deal with it.”
I agree completely. 100% agreed! I chose this life. I chose this life because I know I can build a career out of it and also, maybe, if I’m lucky, build something better for others too. At the very least maybe I can inspire a few people to think differently about the world around them, and know that you don’t have to live life the way society tells you to.
I chose this life to build a new lifestyle, one that’s never been done before. That sounds grand and delusional, I know, but it’s true. I have a plan, sort of a new lifestyle plan, something I’ve been thinking about for years now, I have a idea in the back of my mind of where I’m going with this. This isn’t just about me breaking away from the system, it’s about me killing the beast that enslaves me. The beast that is the system that enslaves millions of people, takes away their livelihood and destroys their lives.
People have called me crazy, irresponsible, and even lazy. The people that spout these negatives are simply sad, narrow-minded, short-sighted, trolls and haters and naysayers. They’re mostly cowards who’re afraid of change who are stuck in the system and only wish they could change it for themselves but are too afraid to take the steps needed to get away. So they do the only thing their limited minds can comprehend. They ran against change. They have nothing better to do with their pathetic miserable lives than to make others miserable. The old adage “Misery love company.” is cliche for a reason. I never listen to these people. Ever. And you shouldn’t either. Those kinds of people should be ignored. Don’t waste your time or energy trying to dissuade them or change their minds, it won’t happen. I know, I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to change their minds, and they are stuck in their ways. I have no pity for them anymore. I have no compassion for the haters trolls and naysayers because those kinds of people will always exist and they will never ever change. Just move on. Cut ties with and ignore the toxic people out there. Walk away. Stop feeding them.
Build something good in spite of them. Make your way in spite of them. Build something for you and yours. Your family, your people, the world.
They are my mentors. They have garnered my attention, admiration and respect. Not just for their success, but their incessant need and drive to innovate, to advance, to invent, to build and to make things. To make the world a better place. And yes, to get stupid rich!
But guess what? All these men have one thing in common. Can you name it? Beside them being rich and successful. They have something, one thing in common that makes them capable of being ultra successful.
They all think differently than anyone else. Think about that for a second. They all looked at the world and said, I have a better idea of how to do things than everyone else.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
While some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
© 1997 Apple Computer, Inc.
Jobs also said the following in an interview for PBS’ ‘One Last Thing’ documentary – SOURCE: Wikipedia
“…When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your job is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again…”
Another visionary thinker who’s work I admire greatly is Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller. He was an architect (something I once wanted to be when I grew up).
“Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor. Fuller published more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as “Spaceship Earth”, ephemeralization, and synergetic. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their structural and mathematical resemblance to geodesic spheres. Fuller was the second World President of Mensa from 1974 to 1983.”
Buckminster Fuller once said:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
In short, Bucky Fuller was a genius.
Another modern day genius is Elon Musk. Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla Motors, Tesla Energy, Solar City and is even building a hyper loop train for super-fast travel in a vacuum tube. Yes. Musk is -in my educated and highly biased opinion- the smartest man alive today. He may or may not agree with me on that but I can tell you that no other man alive today has the ability nor have they accomplished more than Musk has to date.
So what in the world does all this have to do with me going nomad or being homeless or homeless people in general?
Nothing. And EVERYTHING!
I think we’re on the verge, or in the middle of a major shift in culture and society right now. These major paradigm shifts happen every 100 to 150 years or so throughout history if you look back over the past 10,000 to 20,000 years or so of recorded human history. The industrial age changed history and how we live s human beings. The information age is another.
Now we’re entering another epoch. A time in human history where technology is advancing so rapidly and greatly. This brings with it big changes in how we live and will live our lives, work our jobs, and like all technology, it makes some things obsolete. That’s the point of technology, to make our lives easier. To live easier. To build and make more technology. In this ever evolving exponential advancement sometimes those who do not adapt, refuse to adapt, will fight and rail against the technology as the culprit, they will blame the technology, and like all those who failed to adapt in the past, they will become extinct because of their deliberate failure to adapt to that change. Those that fail to evolve with technology will be left behind on the wrong side of history. Technology will continue to develop and innovate and advance, it always will.
That brings me to my next point. This is about the opportunities that this new technologically advanced world has given us. I will also touch on the disadvantages that inherently come with it.
I feel because of the exponential advancement of technology that there will be more homeless folks than ever before. This is NOT to say that technology is bad. I fully support technology and innovation and I am what you would call a futurist, a technologist, and look forward to one day when transhumanism becomes a regular part of human life in the not too distant future. (Transhumanism -for those that don’t know- is the combination of humans and technology, basically augmented humans, people with implanted technology which help and enhance their lives; we see it now in the case of amputees and prosthetics, hearing aids, pacemakers, artificial kidneys, hearts and lungs, as well as brain enhancements which help the blind see and fix many common ailments)
Technology is a wonderful thing and we’re already moving forward into the near future where 3D biological printing of extra human organs and replacing your heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, bones and other body parts and organs becomes a possibility. All this of course is to extend our lifespan and make our lives easier.
The drawbacks to technology are however evident. Especially in the automation of some labor and retail jobs.
People working in these fields (and others) are having a hard time making ends meet. As corporations reorganize their companies to increase profits, they realize that employee turnover rate, training, retraining, hiring, firing, and other administration and management tasks can be automated with software and computer hardware.
This will put millions more people out of work. IF you want to look at it that way.
I look at it like this. I say it’s the responsibility of the employee and those wanting work to be aware of the changes going on around them and adjust their career choice based on that.
On the flip side of that same coin, there are not many jobs that will make up for it and allow people to make a living enough to support their families while also paying for an apartment and a car and student loans etc.
This will cause many to lose their jobs during the transition to a more automated world.
We need to understand this is coming. It’s coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. It’s a tsunami, the tide is out right now exposing the ocean floor, those people who try to stop the technology from taking their jobs are like those standing at the beach trying to hold back the wave from drowning the land. They will lose. They will be swallowed up and disappear into history as a statistic.
The best thing to do is to move forward. Don’t try to hold back the wave of technology, but rather ride that wave of innovation all the way to high and dry land.
Metaphors aside, I think what’s coming is a new shift in how we live or day to day lives. It brings with it pros and cons and you must weigh them against the other to find your way in this new technologically advanced world.
I think this brings with it incredible opportunity for those who think differently. Who see this new paradigm shift as an opportunity to advance along with the technology rather than trying to fight it.
I for one am one who will innovate and ride the wave.
I see more and more people becoming nomads. I see nomadism becoming a thing again. I see it as freeing us from the confines on the system that once enslaved us in a 9 to 5 work week with no vacation time, over time only if you’re lucky, and wages that stagnated a long time ago. No more worry about whether our retirement will be taken from us by a company who thinks their executives deserve bonuses instead of your family getting the pension you worked 20-30 years to build.
I see this new wave of technology as a boon to the economy and to our lives. It allows us to live and work wherever we want. To set our own hours, to live free and make our own way. We can live “on the road, and off the grid”.
With a smartphone, laptop and internet connection you can live your life and make a living as a nomad as well as support your family and enrich their lives while traveling the world. Is this lifestyle for everyone? No. Will it help millions who want to live it. Yes! Absolutely. You can travel the world now. We can all travel and see the sights and go to places we only dreamed of going before. We can make a living doing it.
Like Bucky Fuller said before, you don’t change a system from the inside out. You build something new which makes the old system obsolete.
I have an idea for a new system in mind, this is just the beginning. I building a new system, for me at first, then if it works, for others too. This isn’t just about me though and my new career choice. I want to help people. I want to help build something new, to be a part of this change, and to help usher it into the new human dream.
To build this new system I must first immerse myself in the nomad life. I must know from experience what it’s like, how to live as a nomad, and figure out how to improve on the living conditions and then I can build a new lifestyle. This is about my NOMAD LIFE™ project, my OFF GRID project, my everything project.
I believe we all have a right to a safe place to live, food, water, shelter, healthcare, education. The basic necessities of life. Of what we call civilization. I want to build that.
Not just to build it for me, but for others too. Even if I only inspire a few others to do their dreams, not just chase them then I will consider it a success. If I fail, I fail. I’ve done that before, and I’m unafraid of it. I know what that’s like.
I look forward to the future. A year from now, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years from now. 100 years from now. I want to be remembered as a pioneer, as someone who truly cared. Someone who cared about people, not just himself. Who provided for his family, and who made the world his family. When we’re born we have no choice who our family is, but later we can choose who our family is. We chose our family now, and I choose mine.
My family is humanity.
My family are those who live and love and think and build and share like I do. My family is my tribe and my tribe my family. I choose to build this for my people. I do it true of heart and maybe naively, but I do it anyway. In spite of the fear, in spite of the naysayers, in spite of the possibility of failure. I build it for those who come after me.
My version of the old Greek proverb,
“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”,
I plant a tree not to watch it grow, but so that a child may someday swing safely and playfully from it’s branches, so that an old man one day (perhaps even myself) may shade himself from the harsh sun above, so that families can not just survive but prosper and thrive, so that homelessness and poverty are eradicated forever.
In this day and age of extreme wealth and abundance THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR POVERTY!
We have the ability end poverty and remove it from the world forever. We just need to do it! So instead of waiting on someone else to do it, I decided,
“What the h***!? Let’s do it.”
Is it naive? Absolutely. Is it crazy? Yup. Is it delusional to think it’s possible? Perhaps. Is it stupid? No. Does it need to be done? Yes! Without a doubt, we have the ability, we have the technology, we have the wealth, we have what it takes. Yet it still exists. There is no excuse for that. We need to get our priorities straight.
Will I end poverty? No. I choose to fight a losing battle on purpose because that purpose is more important than me. It’s what I chose to dedicate my life to. It is my life’s work.
I dedicate my life to helping as many people as I possibly can live the lives they know is possible but that is just out of reach or seemingly way out of reach.
This is about BILLIONS of people all over the world who need a new better way of life. This is about the people who are sick and tired of the system that makes them sick and tired. The is about the people who know deep down that there is a better way to do things than how we’re doing them now. People who know there’s got to be more to life…and there is.
That is what this is about.
That is what I’m about.