Few could fathom voluntarily living out of our cars, but that’s exactly what one Los Angeles college student did.
Brian is a California graduate student who doesn’t like high rent prices in L.A. He spent most of his time at school or the campus office, where he was able to shower, store food, and hang out. So his living experiment – which he calls urban nomadism – commenced as an exercise of free will and a personal challenge.
Initially, Brian spent two years living out of a 1987 Toyota Van and a 2006 Subaru Outback Wagon before living two years in an apartment. Most recently however, he spent eight months living in a 2008 Scion tC, which he says he loved. Preparations Brian made before living out of a car included setting up a P.O. Box, a small storage unit, and figuring out where to shower and park. According to Brian, it took about a week to work out all the kinks and before he felt comfortable living out of his car.
What was even more impressive was how it altered his lifestyle. By having to get up and go right away each morning, he became more productive. Having to utilize the gym showers forced him to exercise more often, while staying longer hours at the office and spending more time in public spaces made him have more personal interaction. Best of all though, not having to pay for the high rent in Los Angeles allowed him to save for what mattered most to him.
“I wanted a fun, sporty car this time around. I also wanted to test my limits in terms of living space size. I loved my tC. The backseats folded down fully. Granted, I couldn’t fully extend when sleeping like I could with the Outback, but it helped the Scion designers made it such that removing the passenger seat headrest (and pushing the seat all the way forward) allows you to put the passenger seat flush with the trunk/backseat…this provided a few additional inches. Eventually, though, I learned to sleep on a slight diagonal or with my knees slightly bent. Another downside was crawling into bed was difficult due to size. I had to do some pretzeling by crawling into the back from the front seats, then turning around to get the right orientation (feet to the trunk, head to the middle of the car). But I made it work. All my possessions could still fit in just the trunk alone, which allowed me to give people rides. I just loved how I could have the best of both worlds – a fun car and a place to live – without having to sacrifice tremendously on either side,” Brian said about his experience with living in a Scion tC for eight months.
He since has moved back into a conventional home, but given his history, that might not last.
[Source: Scion Owners]