Being Homeless or a Vagabond By Choice

Profile photo of The Phoenix The Phoenix (@phoenixthepenguin) 5 years, 5 months ago

Have any of you tried living homeless by choice? Or have you ever been homeless, period? I’d like to hear your stories, as I’m sure you have many if you chose to take up this lifestyle.

August 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm
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Kidd (1,058) (@kidd) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I’m considering trying it out after high school, so I’d love to hear these responses!

It’s funny that you make this thread, though, because I was literally just blocked by someone on another website for suggesting that homelessness is a choice for some people. I know it’s not usually, but holy shit. Talk about an overreaction.

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The Phoenix (22) (@phoenixthepenguin) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@kidd, I feel bad for the average hopeless homeless person that was dragged into poverty via circumstance, but the fact that people choose to be homeless and wind up living satisfying lives should encourage those people to strive for something better themselves.

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Galactimus the Tang Slayer (3) (@galactimus) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I definitely wanted to try it, but my parents would probably disown me if I tried and they’re paying for half my college so….. maybe after graduation. I always wanted to be a bum, hitchhiking across the states, but I’ve heard tons of horror stories of crazy people picking up hitchhikers and assaulting them, killing them, etc. So that scares me off a little. And I’ve also heard that some homeless people who beg for money can make upwards of $12/hr for sitting in their spots, which is pretty crazy to think about. With money like that, why would you actually want a job?

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Meridian1124 (6) (@jbaker15) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@phoenixthepenguin, Henry David Thoreau came to mind when i saw this post.
He chose to give up what he had and move away from society to live by himself in the wilderness because it was what he truly wanted. Quotes i love from him:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

Believe it or not, I once heard that a guy made around $60,000 in a year begging on the streets of NYC. Don’t quote me on it, but I did hear that once.

Anyhoo, as much as I hate the idea of landlords and rent, I would not be homeless by choice. Your stuff can get stolen at any time, you can be killed in your sleep, you can get attacked and arrested, you can starve and get a disease, and so on. And then, there’s the weather to deal with.

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Alex Mayle (78)C (@alexmayle) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

Definitely not something I’d like to permanently do, but it would be neat.

The next step up would be someone who just travels around and lives in temporary housing like hotels, motels, and hosts’ homes. That would be pretty neat. Obviously you would need some way to make income with this though. Maybe begging? lol

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The Phoenix (22) (@phoenixthepenguin) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I’m creating an Economic Theory video about both living in a self-sufficient manner and living homeless as a vagabond. I address the former lifestyle in this video, but I’ll likely finish the 2nd by tomorrow.
I plan on pursuing both lifestyles at different points in my life, so I felt getting the ideas down and sharing them would assist towards that.

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jjj (32) (@crackedout6pack) 3 years, 4 months ago ago

Lool I loved that

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Dick (364) (@dick) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I don’t even really know what homeless means. Does it mean not paying rent or paying a mortgage? We need shelter, or we die of exposure in most climates. Shelter is home where ever you find it, whether it be temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent. As long as it suffices to keep you within the survival temperature range you have a home. So all you need now is a way to procure sufficient water and food for good hygiene and health. It comes down to a standard of living. The less dependent you are on others the better.
In an disaster scenario where no water runs from your tap, no heating fuel is delivered, where no electricity is supplied, no groceries are available most people would be in a very dire situation, as well as the ‘homeless’ that depend on the generosity of the now impoverished.
When it comes down to it, if you are dependent on the ‘system’ you are as vulnerable as the next guy regardless of whether you take your shelter in an abandoned warehouse or a mansion. The key is to be capable of abandoning the luxuries provided by the system, and anyone can work toward that goal regardless of what kind of shelter they have.
Do you know how and do you have the means to make contaminated water safe to drink?
Do you know how to secure food (snare, fish, identify edible plants, preserve foods)?
Do you know how to…?
If you want freedom, I think this is where you will find it.
You can live for next to nothing by dumpster diving for food and clothing (tipping as they call it here), doing the soup kitchen rounds, sleeping in a box full of newspaper instead of paying rent, etc… and they are useful skills, but when the system breaks down, so will your means of sustenance.
Being homeless, you would have had lots of company in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Disasters aside, I read somewhere that the average North American is 2 paychecks away from “homelessness”. I was one of them for years.

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soulfulbubbles (3) (@soulfulbubbles) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I was homeless for a month… never want to do it again then again i have it associated with bad memories. I rather be a vagabond because then its a choice and i would go into it with a different perspective. It would be a journey to explore and survive. I went homeless for a month because my step grandmother went extremely mentally ill and violent and had to be placed in to a ward and the landlord kicked me out. It was not pleasant at all spent most of it crying from the sudden destruction of the person i knew and fighting with doctors to figure out a way to get my grandma into a home and get her help. Luckily I had someone else’s car to sleep in and i don’t eat much. eventually I moved into a friend’s aunt’s house and finally got some reluctant help from my dad and finished high school. Being homeless then being reliant on another woman’s mood and generosity taught me a lot. It taught me as a woman on a primal level I needed a nest I needed that security, or else I would eventually go mad with anxiety and grief. Before that I didn’t think “a place to call your own” or a physical home was ever really important. Now I get it.

:) but yea i would defiantly want to be a vagabond and not homeless

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Z B (53) (@zooneyvt) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I think being “homeless” or being a “vagabond” are 2 very different things. I was homeless for a couple months last year, but haven’t had a home for the last couple years. If your young, not hooked on hard drugs, and a nice enough person, you are most likely never gonna go without food, shelter, or clothing. @theskafish, if you are afraid of losing your “stuff” or getting hurt, probably you are gonna miss out on a lot in life, live in love or live in fear.@dick, couldnt agree with you more. “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

It is still REALLY fun to live with next to nothing and to live off the bottom of the system and not have to work, not being a bum on welfare, but just taking the “left overs” and there is a fuck loads of them. I first sold all my stuff in Vermont, went to costa rica for 4 months and wwoofed/couch surfed til I went to San Francisco, had 10 dollars in my pocket because I’m horrible with money, had a ball there, then went up to Humboldt, there is TONS of transient kids there doing the same shit, you will get a job in the weed biz definitely if your not too big of a pussy to just go for it, I went from being homeless living next to a river, to going surfing with my boss wearing 2000 dollar sunglasses, all in one day. was fucking sweet, i have so many stories and fun adventures, still more to come, best decision I ever made: selling all my prized possessions and going out and living my life instead of waiting to live it, or to get some piece of paper to give me false sense of security.

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Sean LeBlanc (76) (@bongodeburrito) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I’ve thought about it. If you have a bank account and someone to crash with to fall back on afterwards, I see no issue with doing it for a while. As long as you pick a good location, it could be a sweet gig.

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jm (23) (@kkylekittell24) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@soulfulbubbles, Crazy life you have lived, Ups to you for getting through it and still having a bright attitude!

And why wouldnt you? It sounds like an experience, I’d suggest reading books of people who have done it, there are a lot out there. The two that come to mind are Motor cycle dairies by Che Guevara and into the wild. Both great books, Che was a funny man :).

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R.V. Star (151) (@rickvonstar) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

get a van, live out of it at walmart parking lots

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The Phoenix (22) (@phoenixthepenguin) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@dick, My Vagabond Theory stresses the importance of learning to survive independently with little to no intervention by other people before you worry about making cash on the go. Once you have the basic survival aspects down, you can THEN worry about manipulating the system to work for you.

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jm (23) (@kkylekittell24) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@rickvonstar, You’ll Get towed out of walmart parking lots, lol, plus the suburbs arnt really where its at. Get a tent and walk or hitch hike from park to park, it would be such a thing to do.

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Ragamuffin (3) (@ragamuffin) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

I just graduated high school and lived the homeless life for a while as I hitched the west coast for the last 2 months. I was truly happy. With my mind working around the most primitive of needs (shelter, food, warmth) I found my spirits lifted and my mind overworked. With me I had my sleeping bag, two books, Dr Bronners, a stove, and a backpack of food, so it really depends on what your definition of homeless is, because I did have some luxuries. For some reason I loved not having a ‘home’ to fall back on, and I loved that tinge of cold and hunger that always lingers, and how productive I was! Nothing but great conversation, hiking, reading, and watching people on the streets of Portland OR, Seattle WA, Bellingham WA, Vancouver BC, San Fran CA, etc. It’s great where your mind ends up after you strip it of its luxuries. So all in all, I’d say try it if you’re ready. I can see how a prolonged life on the streets could drive you a little mad. My only concern was being a solo female traveler… lots of times where I had to defend myself, especially in Seattle. But, that’s to be expected I suppose.

Try it out, it will give you a new appreciation of EVERYTHING warm and tasty!

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of.the.Earth (0) (@peezy) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

A home is many things to many people, but aren’t humans strange with how far we take it? In nature, a home is just protection from basic elements and predators. That basic need of security has not been lost in us, and we overcompensate with exaggerated possessions. Me included, heh.

I’d love to be homeless for awhile, but I’d never do anything without my fiancee by my side. I wouldn’t lose sleep over my own security, but I would never feel just in my protection of her if we didn’t have a home. I think the closest I would get to homeless right now would be travelling continuously. So we wouldn’t be homeless in the stereotypical thought pattern, but I would definitely love to see the world and just keep moving and living and experiencing. :)

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The Phoenix (22) (@phoenixthepenguin) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@peezy, That’s precisely why I plan on reserving relationship pursuits for when I’m satisfied with my travels. I’ve been single this entire year and its been one of the most enjoyable years of my existence, so that’s a good sign.

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of.the.Earth (0) (@peezy) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@phoenixthepenguin, Maybe a good idea. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel held back, or tied down, or any of those other terms people hear guys use a lot about relationships. I’m so in love with this woman, that I wouldn’t want to experience any bit of this gripping life without her, because our energy’s are so aligned that it completes our happiness. So life is good no matter what I’m doing.

But travelling EVERYWHERE is definitely something we both want to do. Just safely, with good research and an aware eye. :)

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The Phoenix (22) (@phoenixthepenguin) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

@peezy, Agreed. I generally feel that, if one finds a pleasant relationship that makes them happy, that they should definitely stick with it. However, I feel too many people rush into things [commitment, children, etc.] and limit themselves for the rest of their lives, at least amongst my age group. [High School Aged]

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Anonymous (291) (@) 5 years, 5 months ago ago

There’s several guys in my area who are well known multi millionaires who choose to live homeless. They ride their bikes to wherever their destination may be, rain/snow/shine. They set up their living quarters the usual homeless way – I never woulda guessed they were millionaires until I heard it with my own ears. It blew my mind. Both are completely in love with life as it is. Of course, they still keep in touch with their families to let them know they’re okay and alive, but thats the most they do with what they own.

I was homeless once, and in my mental state of being at that point in time I wasn’t good, I now know that it’d be a wonderful experience, but then it definitely wasn’t a pleasant experience. Haha. You don’t NEED these things we’re raised to believe is necessary to have/own in life to be happy. You can be happy period.

Like that guy whose face got eaten off in Florida. He graduated from a prestigious college, decided to live on the streets of Florida instead. And he was happy, up until his face got chewed off, but if you read the interviews with him he’s still a happy mother fucker! We can learn mad lessons from blissful people like this.

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Jay (9) (@StoneAngel) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I am a half-vagabond, meaning I travel then settle for a while. I still play the money game, but in the future I hope I don’t need to work for it (although I still want to work)

I agree with you that everyone should have the essential life skills to be independent of the system. These skills include procuring shelter, hunting, skinning, fishing, fighting, foraging, building, resourcefulness, positive attitude, and love.

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jjj (32) (@crackedout6pack) 3 years, 4 months ago ago

Haha I really like that last bit. You got any good resources on fishing? Where all the good food at for a hungry young survivor man?

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Jay (9) (@StoneAngel) 3 years, 3 months ago ago

Easy, to start go find a goose, kill it, play with it’s insides, cook that flesh and eat it, knowing without it you will die. There is no mystery, there is just no reason to do it with society on your metaphorical door step.

If you want to do that, exit from society. Take a vow of ‘poverty’ as another will see it. Not gonna do it? Because there is no reason to when all our needs are being supplied in an easier manner. You think it is a good idea too, you know living within society, otherwise you would not be on your computer asking me how to fish.

When the time arises when you NEED to do survival, and not just play, you will figure out everything you need to do.

Otherwise, go out and practice your skills. What else are you doing?

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