Alternative Housing

Van Living

Let’s face it: Living on a boat is hard. There are significant barriers in terms of both cost and experience. Experienced cruisers are the most stoic people I’ve ever met. Very few people who try at cruising succeed in the long term. It’s simply not a practical lifestyle for most people. VanDwelling on the other hand is catching like wild fire. Since beginning my amphibious lifestyle I’ve been pleasantly overwhelmed with the number of people who are successfully and enthusiastically living in vehicles. When considering…

As Good As It Gets?

Throughout my twenties, I was haunted by the question, “Is this as good as it gets?” Prior to my twenties, I was growing and the question never entered my mind. It was the introduction of adult nostalgia for high school that inspired that fateful, introspective question. For many people, high school seemed to be their ‘golden years’, as good as it got for them. That seemed really sad to me. Later, in college, I met even more adults who reflected on their college days as…

Back to Anacortes

Cypress Island seems to be the center of my universe. My life rotates around it. I’m in Anacortes, then I’m in Friday Harbor. I’m in Canada, then I’m in Oregon. It’s an elliptical orbit to be sure. This winter my revolutions have brought me back to Anacortes. I had my heart set on Friday Harbor, but a new, part-time job on the mainland forced the decision. I’ll be working as a website designer for a local newspaper. At the same time, I’ll be building up…

Birthing a Brain Child

Camper Van

For the last two weeks I’ve been visiting family and working on my van in Portland. I purchased the van on my way out of town during my last visit and it had been patiently waiting for me to give it a thorough inspection and a little TLC. My new home-on-wheels is a 1995 Gulfstream full-sized GMC van with a V8 Chevy 350 engine. I chose a van with a Chevy 350 engine and mid-90’s era body because both are very easy to work on….

Van Camping the Olympic Peninsula

As I opened my eyes, I saw that fog was coming down the mountain and just beginning to kiss the tree tops in the golden light of dawn. As I lay in bed, I watched the fog get thicker while listening to the birds greeting a new day. My girlfriend and I were camped in the back of my truck in the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. We were scouting the peninsula for great van-camping spots, once I get my…

Calling all Gearheads

Macgyvered shift handle

During my trip up to Desolation Sound, I started to have shifting issues trying to put my outboard engine into forward or reverse. The main cause of the issue was a bent shifting rod. It got progressively worse and eventually I snapped off the plastic shift handle. I was able to Macgyver the fix that you see here. But now I’m back in port and I managed to get my hands on authentic replacement parts. The only problem is… I’m stuck. And I could really…

Escape Velocity

Cracking Crab

I’ve fallen into a pleasant routine: In the morning I hop out of bed to make a cup of coffee and then work on the computer as I sip. Lately the focus has been on applying for jobs, revamping my professional website, and working on websites for friends so that I can build up my portfolio. Around noon I go for a jog and have lunch. In the afternoon I work on the boat. I’ve slowly been putting Solace back together after her long trip….

VanDweller

camper-van

I was down in Portland, having a good-bye lunch with my father and uncle. In two hours I was going to get back on the highway and head back to Solace. They started chatting about something or other and my attention drifted. I always keep an eye on van prices around Seattle as I’ve been toying with the idea of buying one for months. I realized I never perused the listings in Portland while I was down here. A quick look came up with the…

Dragging Anchor

Stern Tie

I was sitting on my girlfriends couch in Friday Harbor. I had just put in the first load of laundry. I was enjoying a cup of fresh brewed coffee and her high speed internet. I’d only been away from Solace for about twenty minutes and was just getting comfortable when my phone beeped with a voice mail. It was odd, I thought, that the phone hadn’t rang. I picked it up and as the message began to play, I froze in horror… “Hi, my name…

Digital Nomadism

Step into my office

Hating on cubicles is my favorite dead horse to beat. I have held onto the hope that I would never have to go back to one again. That’s why it thrills me with joy to write about a positive development in my work life. I’ve accepted a part-time (4-hours a day) support engineer position that will involve JavaScript programming. It allows me to telecommute. I can live anywhere, so long as I have an internet connection and am available during the work hours. After taxes,…

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