Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick Update

I haven't had a chance to post in a few days. I am working like a crazy person. The hours are too be had, the money is there and the job is good. I will take it while its there and run with it. The new kitten is doing well, she is getting fixed in a few short weeks and Ajah is getting along with her new pale. It took them about a week to learn to live together and furthermore, like each other. I really enjoyed coming home to two cats purring on either side of me and both accepting the fact I can pay attention to both. It works well. Thank you to my neighbor that has been stopping in to play with them and feed them while I work this insane schedule. Hence I won't be online for some time in between.

The van is holding up good so far (knock on wood lol), and so I can actually save up some money instead of constantly putting a few hundred in repairs. And hopefully in a year I will have my savings for 6 months, my van and trailer and ready to hit the road and try some workamping. Its much easier to work my life away when there is a goal. I have found some very interesting workamping opportunties that would let me keep the cats with me as well as have time to explore the surrounding areas and maybe hold a part time job in the area for the summer and fall and maybe into the Christmas rush, then head west on BLM land for the hard part of winter through spring to start the cycle over. I would also love to spend a summer traveling Canada through the Yukon, spend some time in Seattle and then enjoy the historical aspects of the East Coast. I have done the trip part of the above but all were so rushed, I need more time to really absorb and immerse in those areas, more like months, not days and weeks.

I would also like to take an extended trip to Russia and really experience Russia for all it has to offer. Add Rome and the old Roman empire to that list, maybe take a caravan throughout some of Europe from Rome, Italy to Britannia and the Isles via the old Roman roads to experience the trip. I feel a spiritual connection to old Rome (pre Christian era) and would like to visit some of the temples, the villas and eat the food and learn Latin. I am not into back packing post college style nor do I want to do a quick tour with tour guides, I want to experience the culture. These would be nice winter in the US trips during the non holiday times.

So I go by the term geo nomad or sporadic nomad because I settle into an area for a bit and then move onto something else. The fast paced travel without reason with a bucket list just is an extended vacation meaning spending money on un needed items, hanging in tourist areas, and going back to "something" at the end. My idea is the fun doesn't end, it just keeps going until I decide when and how I want something different. Plus my home or stuff goes with me so I am not tied to a schedule and home is with me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So I am back at my 280 sq ft apartment this evening. With the kitten, I had to go about getting out my kitten stuff which was stored in a corner from Ajahs kitten hood (think 4 years and 3 stix and brix moves) and moving all my stuff around so I am feeling a bit cluttered for the moment. Its like my system needs completely revamped. Of course,  the van is good as my layout isn't really different with the new addition so this post will focus on the apartment.

However, I have had my basic system is every place I stay or move, I simply pack my like items the same each time and unpack in each new place in the same order. I learned that skill in the military. There is the pet, clothes/shoes, kitchen, bedding, toiletries and towels, music, tech/entertainment, and office/decoration categories. For some reason I don't tend to part with the pet stuff so I can rotate it out of my closet area so it feels new to them. (scratchers, hide a holes, boxes, toys ect) but since this move everything is pretty much as unpacked or stored. Having to pull stuff out has led to complete space chaos thus leading me to another evaluation of what comes in must send something out and looking at a new system, maybe one a little more diversified.

Living in small spaces is doable and fun if you are organized, clean up as you go and keep new items in check. 280 sq ft compared to a mini van is like a palace but I also don't go out as much as I used too. I have been working quite a bit and unlike the van where everything is right with in reach and really only often used items, the apartment affords me the option of being prepared, holding more food and working on crafts this winter. Having a shower a few feet away is also a plus.

So lets discuss organization and soon I will post pics of my living space. My space is rented from a house so I use the house bathroom but other than that, its 2 rooms on the office floor that is my kitchen, office, living room and bedroom.

My bed is on the floor and is a tri fold meaning it can double as a couch. I also have 2 bean bags and fold up chairs/tables (2) thus allowing for some company and entertaining. I use the bean bag as a seat to my office area that is an end table with a computer on it and electronics on the shelf below. The TV is next to the bed with the DVD player and the DVDs are in one binder I created while coming back from AK so I could have it on the road.

I gave up on dressers long ago as they weigh a ton, are a pain to clean and move and my rubbermaid totes do the same job, can be stored along the floor and 3 of them open up giving me an organized warddrobe or underclothes, tops and bottoms and seasonal storage clothing. Bedding storage is kept in a backpack style laundry sack.

All my books fit in 2 unused litter boxes and papers in a filing folder. The portable "office" supplies fit into a small plastic carry case.

The cat stuff fits in a carry bag, portable cat tree, and carrier plus my midwest playpen and portable shelter (made for dogs).

My point is even with that much only, the mail and misc is getting too large and its comfortable living this way. However, with working lately, I am getting a bit messy and in such a small space its just there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I worked a 16 hour double this weekend to try and get financially ahead. I am also about to go on a working spree again before winter hits hard but that will start for next pay period. This is enough for now... but then its time to start working on buying a small trailer to expand space. I am a minimalist but there is a certain level of comfort that is expected.

I would like a 10 ft egg either fiberglass or aluminum with a shower, porta potty, jackknife bed, and dinette/ kitchenette. The dinette will be coverted to a home office, sofa for sleeping or entertaining friends, and the bathroom for obvious needs. I don't want to be tied nor have to drive to use my facilities. Then the van will be for sleeping, porta potty, and camp gear/ storage, bike hauler, more likely an off road/daily driver vehicle as I think finding a spot for a camper seems relatively easy for very little money and when  in conventional housing, the trailer can be in storage or used as a get a way spot.

The reason for this change... I haven't particularly been looking for a new cat/kitten but I missed having 2. Unfortunately my older girl Ajah wasn't handling her companion well and her companion wasn't handling traveling too well. So I made that difficult decision to place her with a great friend and she is doing well now in her stable house dwelling life. But Ajah is lonely and over affectionate, and there has been a gap for the both of us....

In the meantime, mid Sep there was a semi feral cat on the grounds at work that had kittens in the dumpster, which were then scared off by the grounds keepers and she took them to the near by woods, staff fed them and now have been working to trap mom (get her fixed and find her a farm home) and the kittens (to be socialized and placed).

My co worker knowing I am mobile, have only 1 cat  and a love of torties caught the tortie kitten and brought it to me after spending the past 2 weeks gaining her trust. She stayed the night in one of the offices and I brought her home this morning. She handled the van ride really well, loves to sit on my shoulder, is purring already, and seems to be in good health. She is eating and drinking. I stimulated her in the litter box and that produced good results. Stools look normal. I am guessing she is around 5 weeks which is far younger than I prefer but she was bound to be harder to socialize and could get hit by a car in her current situation plus winter is coming.

Ajah is still hesitant but thats to be expected and will change over time.

I have named my new girl Julia. She is named after the Julian family name in Rome as their family historically was brilliant, stead fast and bound for success that was created by strong teaching and nurturing surroundings. Julia was born in a dumpster, went to the woods, and now to me. She has already figured out the indoors is good, likes humans, and needs to eat to survive.

Furthermore, as I have done a great deal of traveling through out most of my adult life, I have created a system for adaptation which will work for most but not all. This is the youngest kitten I have gotten. She did well in the van, is using the kitty playpen I set up for her litter box and feeding times. (no door closed) I also opened the carriers and put her bed in there and she going there for a safe place. I will take her on rides in the van for short trips and once she is old enough for shots and is fixed, she will learn about the leash. She is already visiting family and has met the dogs (who don't live with me) to experience people and new sites and smells. The next 6 weeks are critical.

Her comfort on the road, in new surroundings, with strangers, with Ajah and her schedule are incredibly important for her comfort and mine. Tomorrow I am going to clip her nails and in a few weeks she will get her flea treatment. I figure now is the best time since I do have an apartment, she and Ajah can have room to get to know each other, get used to life and gradually move into things. I will also begin showing her in TICA in the HHP category in December.

So until December 2011 I will work a lot and save hopefully and then get my trailer, hitch up and begin camp hosting and working agency in my career field. I haven't had a stick to it plan but now  I am putting those plans in place. One of my co workers is doing the same but going car less for life in a big city and he really inspired me to once again reach for my goals. I hardly see half my family now and with Skype and other technology, I can keep in touch.

Then when I settle down, I will build a cabin in the foot hills of the mountains in AZ, use the trailer and van for get a ways and sit on my rustic porch in my small cabin staring at the endless land scape sipping coffee with a good book in my old age.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Day

I am tuckered out at this point after a unleashing of powerful creative energy.I even got dressed up, applied for a few positions and then got a meal at BK, then sat in the parking lot of a nearby store munching and writing. I simply unleashed a few thoughts that are starting to form onto paper. More to come on that. I had plans to do some other things with a check I got and have been waiting on for over a month, but after the drive to do applications, no energy was left. But I did layout the van finally and the next vehicle I get will hopefully be a 4x4, a wee bit bigger and taller. So for now this will work for camping. I keep material posessions to what can fit in my humble abode and go from there.

I have been in the apartment now for almost a month and still find myself sleeping in the van, housing starts to feel very suffocating to say the least. Plus I notice all the space in the apartment is calling my name to add to it and clutter is like debt. Its easy to get into and ever so hard to dig out of. And not to mention transferring things from point a to b is a pain. I need a Mr Buddy heater and some propane at the top of my list. Plus working two jobs, its too big of a pain to drive to terrible far but the weather is too cold to be without heat so here we are.

In addition, I people watched today. These are not judgements or anything else, just my observations:
I saw 2 people that appeared homeless. Both were on bike with stuff stashed around their bikes. One was well groomed. One was not. I didnt speak to either of them, just watched. The one guy had a long beard and reminded me of a Hippy. He was carrying aluminum cans that he traded for groceries. He was smiling as well.

I also noticed  in this town of upper class folks with shiny cars, several old pickup trucks that threatened to not start full of cans that were being used to get groceries. Men in designer suits with rusty beaters at the store, I never fathomed to see this. It used to be those pu trucks never left driveways and were used to plow snow or what not as many people in this place have long narrow drive ways. Maybe common sense prevailed and those pu trucks are the 2nd driving vehicle for home town errands and people are recycling to make ends meet. Interesting how we all get eco conscience when the economy goes south.

With 2 pairs of pants on the mend right now and no motivation to mend them, I am considering a trip to the local thrift shop to replace the pants. They aren't expensive or one of a kind, I just hate to get rid of something that with a little TLC could be back to operational.

What do you all keep and mend that could be replaced? As a van dweller or nomad, there are some items that take on a life of their own and giving them up isn't going to happen. There are three options: learn to live with it, learn to fix it or learn to leave it and be happy for the time spent together.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today is technically my birthday and perhaps 3 other people I know as well. Well, between working two jobs, balancing a new van payment for the moment and meandering through life, I am going to do one thing today: meditate. With the last van, I finally got on well enough I could work 20 hours and pay the bills. I should be working on saving and planning for tomorrow but I haven't as well as I should be. I decided this summer when I simplified that for the first time in my life, I was going to take some much needed me time, not spend my money on odds and ends, and simply learn to do with less; too trust that fate would take its course... and it has...

Well, it has paid off in one way or another. I now work two jobs but feel emotionally stuck. I love what I do but its time to move into another area of what I do as well as explore some time with gardening and homesteading. I want to challenge myself. I never liked gardening but love eating, so its time to see about some harvesting jobs for next spring and maybe next winter. Its time for a change. And I read my horoscope today, interesting enough. The winds of change are upon me, the time for movement is soon but not yet.

Today I am going to think, just let the free hand of thought flow and lead me where it might, even away from the comfort zone. Maybe go through some more of my things and see what still holds value. Life changes constantly. Mostly, I feel a calling to tour the old Roman empire, to learn Latin and explore the beginnings of modern day society just for the fun of it.

I am interested in backpacking and using the van as a homebase, more biking but not hitchhiking. Of just taking off into the sunset and seeing what is out there. Just trusting that the guiding hands of Fate will reach through and provide for as long as this is my path.

It is the ebb and flow of life that things are right at one point and not in the next. I have already done and experienced so many wonderful things in my life time that I could pass now with no regrets but there are a few more things I want to experience so its with that in mind that I am embarking on a new journey.

Van dwelling is only one area of freedom I yearn for. There are WWOOF farms, crops to harvest seasonally, and international travel. I know international travel isn't permanent, its something that is part of life. But who knows where it will lead.

So I am beginning to look at what I have now materially and spiritually and see whats going to be useful. I haven't had the time in over 2 months to do a meditation and belongings run, its that time and the new van is starting to share its soul with me. I don't want to build permanent or bulky items that need to be stored when I am away in the future, just things to be comfortable can be taken out and used for several areas.

I am also starting to walk the night again, always a moon child getting a solar "charge" from the sun, gothic some might call it.

And in the green discussion, there has been a lot of discussion on downsizing, how about staying the same. Maybe the secret to life is indeed balance, finding what is too little and too much. Too much feels crowded and too little feels cold. Try seeing how little trash can be accumulated, see how many items can be reused for something personal, how many items can be mended or traded and what technology isn't a power hog but can provide for entertainment without a huge upfront cost. If the initial investment is small, then the ongoing investment will add up. If the initial investment is in quality and sustainability, then the end result is not having a new permanent bill.

Take for example a conventional bed, many people in the world don't have one and live in small areas where the bed can't be a permanent item. I have been sleeping on a mat on the floor or a foam pad for over a year now and I get quality sleep, can move my bed with me anywhere and use the space under it to do other activities. Dressers are overrated. They are big, bulky, likely to break and a pain to keep clean. Baskets, pull out drawers, organizer shoe boxes do just as good and are lite weight. Duffle bags and purses are great for organization, in general, its all on creativity.

Some other areas, I do one load of laundry a week and have been experimenting with hand washing the under garments instead of doing laundry 2-3 times per week. If the puppy would stop getting into my clothes, they would last longer lol.

My wishlist: I would like a flat panel to put with my main CPU and to watch TV on, a laptop, and ipod for hiking. I am going to sell some of the decorative stuff that isn't inspiring me these days to help pay for it. I would really like to get a new more energy efficient CPU but thats some mula up front. I also need a Mr Buddy heater for the van.

However, common sense tells me an ipod and a laptop would meet my needs and a flat screen panel could be hooked to the laptop to provide the same function but having two computers not always working at the same time is functional as well. And maybe just focusing on getting prepped for winter hiking and saving money is good too.

Computers and Time

I was on facebook the other day when it dawned on me how many people live their lives around facebook including their sleep schedules. Definitely not how I choose to spend my time. Now granted, on a rainy afternoon, I might put around farm something or nother, but its virtual not physical and if it floats your boat, great, but why not go to a coffee and meet some friends, join a book club or take the dog for a walk on occasion.

In other news, the van wipers are doing some sporadic working thing, I suspect its the motor getting hot because they will work for a while and then not at all. So tonight I got off of work and it was raining. I made it about 10 miles or so before the wipers quit working. There isn't much to be done tonight so I pulled over and crawled into my "bed" in the back and took a nap until the rain stopped and the wipers worked again. Its frustrating but sometimes we just take things in stride. I did eventually at 2 am make it back to my apartment after a nice nap in the van. And its funny because I told myself earlier that I wanted some quiet think time, well I got it tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will be nice and then Friday is my birthday.

At least this all happened in my old neighborhood so safety was less of an issue and I sleep on the floor so being spotted is unlikely but not impossible. I dont plan to put anything permanent into this van and its fiberglass which is great for a lack of rust but bolting things into it isn't really an option.

So far (keeping in mind I don't own much to begin with) I have my bedroll, sleep sack and blanket/pillow that all roll up nicely in the rear. There is the rear drivers side hatch seat installed and my folding chair/table and van supplies behind the seat in the hatch area. Portable 12V cooler, coleman camp stove and milk crate of food and dishes and porti potty. I will also add a Mr Buddy heater this winter and its set. Clothes and hiking/map gear is in a bug out bag in the front seat. And thats it for now. I won't be able to add a vent due to the roof support beam dimensions.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I wanted to write a post about something near and dear to my heart. I have worked with different types of people in both an office setting and in a facility setting as well as organized and spoken at meetings as well as gone on "outings."

I love all people and I can accept most. There are some born with a physical or mental setback. I hesitate to call it a handicap or disability even though thats the technical term because a disability is something that people stare out, can't cope with and want to hide away from. That's been the long standing problem for years now.  People don't want to simply learn to live with differences. I have always been the nerd and short so I don't exactly conjure up images of a supermodel but I am "normal" by appearances although I will do crazy things like: eat pureed food, mix odds and ends and overlook the cover of a book so to speak. Not to say I am perfect or that I don't pass judgement, but I try not too and many folks I know can shop with a deaf person just fine even not knowing sign. Many can read lips, use communication devices or simply point.Instead of an I can't attitude, figure out I can. Now granted, this is what I do for a living and I love it but the public stares and knowing the history of treatment, its time for society to accept, integrate and humanize. Accept differences, integrate and deal with and work around and humanize all of us as one. We are each different, thats part of life. Some things we can help and some we can't.

There has been discussion in several places about rights and legalities. Well, a person who is blind or deaf or in a wheelchair can communicate and it may not be in words but in sounds. They have the right to be heard. Fluctuations of voice and facial expressions tell a lot. I hate even using the term "they" because we are all humans, part of the whole. This is just one example.

So how too act: like you would with anyone else. We have 5 senses and 2 hundred + bones, lacking movement or ability in one simply makes the others stronger.

This is also a van dwelling subject or nomad subject if you like, I prefer Roma by tradition choice, people live in houses that are really ruled by cities and governments and paid for yada yada. And the gov wants control so everyone has to be concrete to something EXCEPT its entirely against human nature to live in a single place for years on end and the economy has forced those that haven't lost their homes to stay in homes that aren't holding value. So comes the crack down on anything that can make a property value go down or someone "homeless" for lack of better term. Rent, land ownership, these are simply ways for the gov to maintain control in some manner. Judging a person because they choose to live a board something with a motor or wheels, bicycle, boat, RV, van ect is judging that person. Perhaps the next time there is a hippy hanging on your street, feel free to come say hi, offer coffee and see if you feel safe.

And for crying in the mud, if you have a problem with someone whether at work, at home or something looks strange, ask the source, you don't have to go alone, but odds are, things will smooth over nicer, and you might be meeting you new best friend or heard the best story ever.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Money and how to survive

Okay, so I wanted to discuss money and things. I am not financially rich but I have enough to get by at this point. I focus more on saving money or extending the life of my things and evaluating what I need and if something doesn't fit, is there somewhere I can trade or sell it or apply toward something slightly newer that better fits my needs.

We NEED: food, clothing and shelter.
Food can be found cheap if you shop around. I don't use coupons but I do shop at Aldi and eat non name brand items if the cost is comparible. I don't eat out much and I buy certain things each time I shop finding the cheapest store for everything usually aldis with wal mart as a close second. However, my pet food and some of my organic produce comes from the local farms/markets/specialty stores but even then I eat whats in season and on sale. So what does a person eat who wants to eat and is single? Mac and cheese for 64 cents a box. The noodles can be eaten in cream of soups, used in sauce ect and the cheese sauce can be used over rice with some chicken  or some broccoli. I am also a huge coffee drinker and soda drinker, so I can't say much here other than buy by the two liter as its cheaper. And yes the diet coke bottles have as much as the old ones in the 2 liter. And finally, eating out even off the dollar menu, I can eat cheaper, healthier, in the comfort of my own space and with out so many calories and artery clogging grease dips.

Clothing: I don't agree with third world labor and would love to buy American so I do the next best thing, shop used. I give something a second life, save space in a landfill and have something unique. When it rips or tears or gets worn out, I can do basic hand sewing or rip it up for rags for washing up with or cleaning dishes ect. I also make knot rugs and other crafty items with scraps of clothing sewn together.

Shelter: there are many options for this one. I like a small amount of physical space for me and my not so many thing and the cat. Warm, dry, out of the wind, and clean are my criteria. Obviously, a tent isn't a good full time option. Yurts, tipis, vans, RVs, housing, co op living arrangements are all good for different situations.
Realistically if we took all the driveable cars from lots nationwide and parked them on condemned housing land or non existant but structurally sound buildings we wouldn't have a homeless problem.

However we live in a society whereas society expects everyone to have a conventional home and be pinned to one location. The Gypsies, empires of old and hunters and gatherers of old moved around. For many of us, sitting still isn't an option. I have an address with a relative, stay in an apartment that is an in law suite and spend some time in transit and in a van for camping/adventuring besides working two jobs and being nomadic even geographically besides both jobs over 20 miles one way lends to a lot of commute time. Its critical to line up jobs, errands and social life in the most fuel efficient and time efficient manner.

So for those that want to full time travel, there isn't a program that doesn't require effort we just have to use the skills we have and be creative with what we have been given and accept help when all else fails.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some product reviews and things I use that go anywhere

Okay so I am wintering like a grizzly bear at the moment. I had 3 days off of work and decided to just chill in my apartment watching movies, playing with the cat and thinking. I love to travel but there are times when sitting back and doing nothing is good as well. I was thinking on my drive home from work on Friday about the things I needed to do, and got home.... there wasn't much to do as far as chores.

Let me elaborate. In June 2009 I decided to finish the downsize process to go on the road. In Oct 2009, that process finished and for over a year now, I haven't owned a conventional bed or dresser. This was due to several moves I had made and moving was not enjoyable. So by owning less knick nacks and clutter, I actually can make about 5 trips to the van and we are packed up and ready to go. Now after van dwelling on a part time and then full time basis for the past 6 months, I can fit everything I own in the back of the mini van with room to spare. Now granted before the downsize, I didn't choose to own heavy hard to move furniture but I had LOTS of clothes and childhood memory items that I finally took a picture of and donated to someone else I knew would care and enjoy them as I did for many years.

And of course the old van died and so I have been in an apartment (cheap nice and no complaints for the moment lol) for the past few weeks. Winter is coming and the new van is not going to work as a full time home so I have to be realistic although my stuff still fits, its easy to pack and it works for those trips away... I am glad when I chose gear for the van, I chose gear that would be good for visiting people, for van dwelling and camping/backpacking.

So the beauty of this lifestyle:
  I realized on the drive home on Friday there would be no cleaning needed aside from the litter box and a few dishes because laundry was done during the week, bills are automatically deducted and I do most of my cooking on one burner or the microwave so little mess to speak of. I love simplicity, I can clean and keep in that way in under 10 minutes a day. It used to take me days to dust and clean and get everything done when I first had the house and after the downsize 2 hours with mopping included. Life is too short to spend it cleaning constantly and I use to be very lazy about cleaning as I went so Friday came and it was a bear. Life in a van will teach you to stay organized, clean up as you go and find multiple uses for the things you do have as well as staying away from getting more stuff. If something comes in something goes out.

With that thought, I didn't want to buy more stuff to furnish the apt as said previously so I just simply leave my sleeping bag, mat, pillow bundled in the van as well as clothes for the day, coleman one burner stove and porti potty. So here are my list of portable items that are absolutely priceless for travel. Some of which I would pack for a trip to go on a flight.

My wal mart Straight Talk cell phone is priceless. I can check my email, surf the basics of google, check maps, make calls and take simple pics. Its not high end like the android and similar services but I pay 30 or 45 dollars a month without a contract. Its simple, gives me talk, text, 911 access, info access and the internet when needed. You can't watch youtube videos but it does work on verizons network so I get good service coverage for the domestic US. I get my service cards from wal mart although you can get them online or have it deducted from your credit card (which I don't have or use).

Phone pictured is from This is the Samsung LG 620G which is what I have. I will be upgrading soon to the Samsung T401G as I want a qwerty keyboard. Its simple and nice.

Camera, my 8.1 megapixel camera from Canon and my 12.1 camera also from Canon are my friends. My cell phone offers a reasonable useage as well especially for wireless uploads. The 8.1 has a powerful zoom and focus. It does a good job with light as well and its quick. The 12.1 is nice for still shots and details but the flash is a little slower than I would prefer. Both are sturdy offering decent battery life. Both store pics on a SD card. I used them for my summer wildlife adventures as well as pet photos for the adventurous ones.

And finally my computer which is decent but its a desktop and time for an upgrade. I am selling my desktop for a laptop soon. Its good for pics storage and music but I store most of that on flash drives and a backup harddrive that could easily move to a laptop. I do extensive work on publisher, dreamweaver, frontpage and photoshop so thats the lull in finding a laptop. I need one that is powerful enough to handle the beefy programs, can handle some gaming and has multiple outlets for USB as well as wifi and bluetooth capable.  I have considered getting a mini processor and netbook or a powerful laptop with decent battery life and a smaller 12V computer. There are some options on the table and I will share those as I get going.

My computer gives me cheap communication, banking, website, research and maps. As a person, I  value my time on earth and sifting through several guide books, traveling the entire newspaper in each town for one section, and visiting the post office or bank constantly doesn't seem a good use of time. So I methodically can do all of the above in about an hour once or twice a week.

There are those who boondock without a computer and it works for them, those who take an arsenal and those of us who are somewhere down the middle. For some vandwelling and being mobile is merely sleeping in the van. For me, its an extension of my home and should do everything I can do at home. Its meant to have the entertainment, cooking, toileting and sleeping options with reasonable comfort and plan B. So as I look at what I do have, I have come to realize in my time in the van my gadgets could be better streamlined, backed up and more energy efficient. It is my eventual goal to go agency in my career field and work 9 months and winter or travel for the other 3.

I am not a monk and as much as I live a somewhat Spartan lifestyle in the way of belongings, it doesn't mean trying to go crazy. So lets elaborate.
Entertainment- computer for music, reading, research ect as mentioned above. Small enough to travel and big enough to do practical applications. On a rainy day, movies and music are needed. Music for working out and reading because its fun. I used to have TONS of books but now I read a few and trade them in and do most of my reading online in the way of blogs and research. Plus these items pay for themselves as going to the movies and plays is expensive. Also, I play cello and am learning guitar. My flash drive holds lots of songs, how toos, and exercises.

Cooking - going out to eat is expensive and time consuming. I would rather cook at "home" with minimal prep time and max flavor. One drawer in a plastic 3 drawer bin from wal mart holds the essentials plus a camping kit in my rucksack. I also have a 12V refrigerator for drinks and 5 day cooler for food.
Toileting: well since I lack plumbing, my thetford porti potty is priceless.

Sleeping- some make a bed platform which I have considered for the storage underneath but I lose so much useable floor space for everything else like playing the cello or walking down the aisle way in the day ect. So my tri fold bed works great. It also is great for transfering from the apt to the van and friends as I come with my own sleeping arrangement. Its quick, out of the way and I know where its been.

Clothing, a month of under clothes and 1 week warm weather and 1 week cold weather works great. 2 duffles hold all my clothes with 2 suits for nice occasions as well stored either in the closet or the hook in the van.

Perhaps the key to simplicity is to have one set of things that can move with you as needed and not one setup for house, one for van, one for this and that, it becomes clutter. Its working well here and I have LOTS of floor space in my apartment.
And with so few things I really enjoy my non dusty living (major allergy to dust) quick clean, time to relax and enjoy life and room to move with the smell of incense and pretty art (lightweight and some on a digital photo holder). Afterall, a clean environment leads to a free mind that can explore and can be inspired.

Relaxing- what is Nomadism and Inner Peace

There has been some discussion on some of the e lists I am on as to loneliness and dealing with emotions on the road.
I believe the beauty of being a nomad is that you can choose how much or little you want to participate in main stream society, you can choose to rent a cabin in the woods for the winter or visit Quartzite to gather with other nomads, or choose to visit family and friends on a rotational basis. Its your life, what you do with it is completely up to you. When you live in a mobile dwelling, your home is with you and you can choose to move on when one situation grows old or the wonderlust kicks in. If there are underlying issues those are going to be with you wherever you go, and its best to seek help when help is needed. So you aren't going to be anymore lonely than you would in a house, just with a bit more money and options for adventure and travel (depending on your financial decisions).

Personally, I love this lifestyle. I don't like stagnant situations and hate commitment for the long term. I believe in fate and the old Roma had a few things figured out, like traveling and working can go hand it hand. Its possible to have medical, a common language, and raise families on the road with a trade just as much as the next person. Now if tribes from 2000 years ago could make it work, in todays modern era, with technology, we can write emails and make phone calls from all over the globe, we can mail packages in record speeds and upload photos and stories and work projects via the internet in a matter of minutes.

Humans have been hunters and gatherers for years and so its no surprise that some of us continue on in our own way. A true freedom. Money has been mankinds down fall in many situations. So as a secondary to that, there has been a calling for many to live off grid and thats good too. There are those who want to be one with nature and find peace and tranquility in it wandering from place to place and others that want to cultivate the land. I personally don't like gardening but prefer to travel with occasional longer stays in more conventional housing.

There is also the discussion on what makes a Nomad. There are some who move in a geographic area every few years to see a different neighborhood but remain tied to family and a job and travel here and there. This is your camper.
There are those who live a semi mobile lifestyle either sharing conventional and mobile housing while enjoying but frequently going from place to place in a given area, this is the sporadic geo nomad.
 Then there is the full time geo nomad.
Then the traveler who lives like a Spartan at home and travels for the rest of the year and finally your full time traveler. Full time international travel with constant movement is not sustainable so this is where vacations come in. Point being wherever we all come in, we take time out to smell the flowers and enjoy life while we can. Nomadism is as much physical as a mental state that leads to exploration. Many will say that one local traveler isn't a nomad or something along those lines, but who are we to create the lines.

Inner peace is only achieved through self realization, breaking free from others expectations, taking care of ourselves to help others, and dealing with any issues that hold us back from true happiness. Movement aka exercise (hate that word though) and getting oxygen to the brain does wonders for mood issues and is just a start.

Good luck in all your adventures. I am chillin with the cat in an apartment for the winter while I enjoy some winter adventures with the new spaceship and getting some money saved up for next year. Loving the new job while remaining very part time at the other one. Its very time consuming so its a veg winter with some local trips planned. I wasn't planning on apartment dwelling but its practical for now even though I have loved van dwelling for the past few months. The price is good, the room warm and the cat is comfy and the van ready for the next jaunt. Now the furnishings are spartan as I multi use van and apartment but its comfy.