Free, Free, Free, I Am Free!

There is a burgeoning fad sweeping across America, and possibly the world. I can’t call it new because this way of life was at one time just that, the way of life. I am speaking of native people who lived as nomads. Early inhabitants of North America were nomadic mainly because they chased a food supply. The new nomads are comprised of rather young people who consider working for a company a waste of their talent. They live to be free from constraints, rules, superiors, and labor on demand. Instead they mysteriously find income by working under their own rules. The number one rule is to work in a place you choose, at a time you choose, and at a pace that you choose. Second rule is to make money from several income streams. A popular income stream comes from Youtube or any of it’s competitors. The term for making money by this method is “monetization” of your content. The content is most often a video that you make. Another income stream comes from sponsors who send you money to keep your videos coming, and the Vlogger spends a few seconds giving a commercial for the sponsors product or service.. Neither of these streams yields enough to support a nomadic lifestyle. Most likely the nomad has a third stream consisting of contract work performing some service related to a field of expertise.

Regretlyss

I have struck upon several of these nomads producing videos of their solitary lifestyles. One is called “Regretlyss” which is a Vlog (Video Log) produced by a twenty-eight year old who lives in a school bus that she designed and had built for her. The term used to describe this type of motor home is a “Schoolie.” Her’s is a short wheel-base bus usually used for taking special needs kids to school. These vehicles are often named and have the name emblazoned upon the vehicle similar to that done on a boat. Nomads prefer diesel engine vehicles because they are more reliable and get better miles per gallon. One of the most popular vehicles being converted to nomadic living is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter van. Again, probably because Mercedes vehicles are consider very rugged, reliable, are available, and relatively inexpensive to buy used. The challenge is to do the conversion by yourself and make a video while doing it.

One reason I am fascinated by these people is their youthful enthusiasm as they go to places that peak my interest as well. Among the most popular regions of the country to live alone is in the western states among mountains. The photography is outstanding and they bring scenery into my living room from places that I also have traveled to and wake up neurons from travels past.

Very often, the video the Vlogger is narrating some limited wisdom of life, and their search to overcome some traumatic life lesson that occurred during childhood. In some cases they have been reared by single parent who dumped an abusive spouse. Or, they them self encountered an abusive relationship. I tend not to understand what is being proclaimed because the speaker uses flowery language that sounds poetic, but doesn’t make any sense. I never did understand poetry and to this day I shy away from the classics of Shakespeare, Yeats, Bronte, Burns, and Frost, but am amused by the “Mary had a little lamb” type of prose.

When I was very young my dream was to convert a van into a camper and I did a limited conversion on my very first van. The idea of moving across the country into remote regions to experience the hardships of the early settlers crossing the wilds of North America to find a place they could call home appealed to my sense of adventure. I believe we (my wife, and three kids) successfully accomplished that goal as we embraced camping as a vacation lifestyle. My wife often boasted to her girlfriends that she would rather see the world by camping than to dream about taking lavish unaffordable trips staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants. In later years, we switched to the hotel route when we took trips abroad.

A few years ago I read a book titled Nomadland, Surviving America In The Twenty-First Century, by Jessica Bruder in which she tells her story about a different class of nomads. Her story is not about twenty somethings looking for the meaning of life, but about people who have been forced to live in their cars, and move about the country from job to job in places where the climate is livable. The nomads I speak of in this post are college grads that choose not to accept the commercial world, and prefer to live a life style based on complete freedom using personal talents to make a living.