My Homeless Life

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all

What does it mean to be homeless?

Generally, the word homeless has negative connotations attached to it. But what if you choose to be homeless, not because you can’t afford a home, but because you don’t want to live in one place? I first started thinking about this when I was hitchhiking around Europe last summer. People would ask me, “Where do you live and what do you do?” I would tell them, “I live right here and I do this,” which translates loosely as, “I am homeless and unemployed.” Some people thought this was wonderful, but most cringed at the notion.

Hanging out with some of the family
Hanging out with some of the family

I recently had the pleasure of one half of my family visiting me; we spent a fun week between Slovakia and Budapest (a city that I LOVE more than almost any other). I have just cycled from the UK to Slovakia (around 1,600 km) on a bicycle that cost me £30. I had a wonderful time doing this and I am excited for what comes next; my aim to be a Pirate of the Danube (we’ve made the raft already and will soon be floating down the river). But my Father worries that I don’t have a home.

“You can’t want to live like this forever,” he tells me, “always moving.” And it’s true. I don’t want to live my whole life in a tent or from a backpack, but for now, it’s perfect. I move every few months, days, or more recently, every few hours. But for me, a move is simple. It means repacking my bike or loading up my backpack. Moving home for me doesn’t involve shipping pods full of my worldly belongings, moving days, house hunting, months of planning, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead, it’s an impulsive decision, often a whim. ‘I want to go here, so I will.’

The Good

From the UK to Slovakia on Bike
Our first night on the UK to Slovakia bike ride

I go where I want, when I want, with who I want. I live my life and I see the world. My life of moving around let’s me meet new people and is cheaper than a life in which you live in one place. I push myself to my limits and everyday that I do something new, I go to bed knowing that the day I just lived through is a day that I will always remember.

The Bad

I love my life for the most part, but life isn’t black and white: it can never be 100% of anything. By moving all the time, I miss out on long-term relationships, having things, and a stable future. By relationships, I mean friendships, people you see regularly and know well. I have a big network of people I feel very close to, but I see them rarely, sometimes not for years. Many of them I speak to online, but will never again see in person (I’ve lived on several continents). As for things, I, like everyone, like having things. But I can’t have anything I can’t carry. Right now I don’t have much more that a bicycle, 3 pairs of pants, some hippy trousers, a pirate shirt, my flick knife, and my cameras: belongings that fit into my homemade bicycle panniers. It’s all that I need in life. I do however, enjoy the notion that if there will come such a day when I choose to station myself somewhere for a longer time and cave in to the need of owning stuff (especially goats), I find it comforting to know that there is the possibility of doing so. But not today!

Life is Balance

As with everything in life, we have to find balance. The good must outweigh the bad. Would I be happy living in one place right now and using my degree? No I wouldn’t. Am I happy exploring and making up my own little adventures? Absolutely. I feel so very alive on these days. In a few days, I will set sail down the river on my recycled raft and you know what?

I CAN’T WAIT!

Life can be a great adventure or nothing at all. I am choosing adventure (for now).

11 Comments

  • holy inspiring!
    just stumbled upon this blog… cant wait to read specifics on south korea. I’m in my early twenties and my feelings of wanderlust have been building up inside me like a restlessness I can’t tame. Your sense of adventure is inspiring and reassuring that I can live the life I imagine.
    Hey thanks for that, keep spreading the love!
    Stine

  • I love your blog. My husband and I have recently sold most our belongings, leased our house, quit our jobs and took off for parts unknown. We have just spent 3 weeks camping around Ireland and have just landed in Scotland. We intend to go to England after this where we have a house sitting job we picked up at mindmyhouse.com. It will be nice to sleep in a bed for 2 weeks. I really admire your spirit at such a young age. Someone once told me, you can’t backpack Europe, your not 25. I really felt sorry for them that they believe age has anything to do with it. Btw, we are 55 and 54. Keep up the inspirational work and good luck with the pirate life.

    • Thank-you Dena. And I am very happy to hear of your adventures (and a bit jealous as I have not spent enough time in either Scotland or Ireland). Impossible is nothing and there are no rules to how you should live your life. One valuable thing that I have learnt is that people can only offer advice based upon what they would and wouldn’t do: they are not you. Happy adventures.

  • I think it sounds incredibly brave and incredibly liberating to own so little and move “house” so often… I guess there are those who want to live like this and those who can’t stand the thought, just like there are neat freaks and hoarders… I hope I’m brave enough to rid myself of most of my belongings and travel the way I want to in the near future…

  • This blog… is… AWESOME. Your life is awesome. Oh my. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to be out travelling. Something tells me I ought to do the university thing first, but then I guess I’m excited about that too. Reading about all these things you’re doing just makes life seem fantastic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve this if you are not a robot *