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Back on the Coast

Back on the Coast

Monday, January 7, 2008

Lord, the urbanity of it all

The stigma... sounds like a b-grade horror movie.

For quite a while, I've been reading posts from the VanDwellers group, about the 'stigma', attached to vandwelling and/or vandwellers. There are posts about 'getting beyond the stigma', 'van dwellers advocate', 'guests of the opposite gender' and 'bad day for van dwellers'. They are all legitimate concerns for us all, but, do they really warrant that much concern.

As a 'stealth' vandweller, I guess I have a different modus operandi. I apologize in advance to all the VanDwellers, who are upfront about their lifestyle of vandwelling. I envy you. Unfortunately, the draconian anti-camping bylaws in this area, force me to vandwell incognito. I just want to live my life, as I choose, free to live and let live. With 'Big Brother' roaming around the net these days, I feel compelled to stealth write this blog! More stigma, I guess.

From all the comments, blogs, and the net group, I perceive our 'subculture' to be intelligent, intuitive, imaginative, creative, adventurous, generous, conservational, humorous, industrious and, for the most part, law-abiding citizens. Why people or society, wouldn't want to know us or let us join them, is beyond me.

It's up to us to express ourselves, by our nature, behavior and individuality, that we don't deserve their derision or prejudice. I've decided to place people into two categories, based on a 'need to know' basis. When dealing with individuals, until they become a personal confidant, I don't really think they 'need to know' about my unique lifestyle. What difference does it make to them? None. Do I hurt anybody by my private lifestyle? Not that I could think of. Is it really any of their business? I don't think so. Could them knowing about my vandwelling, complicate my life? Quite possibly! So, why go there!

My family and close friends, don't have any problems with vandwelling, in fact, they are very supportive and an important network. But, living in a van and wooing the 'fairer sex', requires diplomacy and tact. I believe you need to be honest and portray yourself fairly. But, until a potential date shows some interest, why play your 'cards' too early. I say, let 'em to get to know you a little bit first, before you become the 'nomad'. Actually, I've found most woman enjoy the humour and playfulness of my path. ;-)

The issues, touched by 'van dweller advocate', deserve caution and vigilance. As far as vandwelling advocacy goes, there is a landmark constitutional law suit in my country, about the discriminatory, urban anti-camping bylaws. The provincial capital and province have been remanding the case, but the courts have deemed, that the case must be heard soon, around January 22nd or so. The outcome is not only critical to the 'homeless', but also to us vandwelling nomads. I'll try to keep you informed of current updates.

As far as, 'bad day for van dwellers', what are you gonna' do? All we can do is deal with individuals, as they cross our path; show them we aren't the demons, that the media has portrayed us to be. I hope all goes well for you, in these trying times.

p.s If anyone finds my position or thoughts to be offensive, again, I apologise.


Tracy said...

Well spoken.
Most people are anti-freedom without even being aware of it.
We cannot hope to convince the majority, but we can be an example to the individuals we meet.

Anonymous said...

I've just found your blog today via the Possum Living Blog. I love what you're saying about live and let live, and Tracy, you too are right on about most people being anti-freedom while they shallowly consider themselves just the opposite.

As I told April over at Hoopty Life, I suspect I'll be following in your tire tracks sometime soon. And I'm really looking forward to it.

Thanks for highlighting the sense of adventure, challenge, kindness and creativity involved in such a lifestyle decision. You've got another regular reader in me. Please keep writing! :-)

Anonymous said...

I live in my van for all the good reasons we are all aware of. It is the only way I can wake up to things I would rather see than four walls (with pictures of where I wish I was!). I am cleaner and more intelligent than many(sorry...but it is true)who have the added conveniences of home and showers. Paying somebody rent is no magic wand or proof one is better(certainly not proof one is smarter!). I made the choice to keep my rent money instead of throw it away every 30 days on somebody who couldn't care less about me and my life/happiness goals. how dare anybody legislate my right to live where or how I want to when I am ciommiting no crimes. I hope to save enough money for an eye operation I need and I never could if I had to be a rent slave. I will be camping on the west coast beaches(or very near)for a good part of this summer. I need the sound of waves and the feel of sand on my feet in the morning...NOT the sound of the neighbors dog! If I am a criminal then so is grandma and grandpa every time they take out their motorhome. How many of THEM are getting tickets or taken to jail? Society TALKS about alternatives. I have been low profile on the grid for years and made to feel too many times as if I am some low life. but I know better. too bad all the blow hards who talk about individuality and change but take no action or give up little to nothing do not understnad what many of us DO. I am a pro in my trade and healthy and intelligent. I hate spending so much time defending myself in the face of ignorance. Living in my van actually helps me decide quicker who is shallow and I care to not befriend, and who is fair and open minded and worth getting to know. When you fit into everything for the sake iof fitting in...those lines are blurred! how do you know who your friends are if you are no differenbt than 'everybody'??? The only life that I could 'rent' is a boring one. I prefer to live with a bit more freedom and choice for my money.