They are not homeless. They are nomads. Rubber tramps. Vandwellers. Workampers. They've given up rent and mortgages in order to survive on less. They live migratory lives, following seasonal jobs while stealth camping and boondocking. They've exchanged real estate for wheel estate. And many are retirees.
This book is a fascinating look at a growing segment of the population who have given up on the traditional American dream and found a different way to live. A life on the road. A life that costs less. Many lost their homes in 2008 when the housing market crashed. Others lost their jobs and pensions because of the recession that followed. All found that minimum wage jobs and their meager social security payments did not go far enough. But they haven't given up. They're resilient, and creative, and they've championed a new nomadic way of life.
"Being human means yearning for more than subsistence. As much as food or shelter, we require hope. And there is hope on the road. It's a by-product of forward momentum. A sense of opportunity, as wide as the country itself. A bone-deep conviction that something better will come. It's just ahead, in the next town, the next gig, the next chance encounter with a stranger."
Though this way of life is certainly not easy, there's something about becoming this type of nomad that's appealing; I like the idea of having that kind of freedom. And I wouldn't mind trying it for a month or two. But for the rest of my life? I don't think I could do it. I'd find the uncertainty, the worry over money, and the constant struggle to survive too hard. But I admire those who do succeed at it. This is an amazing read about an equally amazing and interesting bunch of people. I loved it.
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