April 15, 2017
- Still no links, just an attempt at a conclusion:
I started this experiment with claims at looking at affordable living situations. In truth, it's probably cheaper to just live
in one's car than reattempt my experiment on the bus, but there's a certain amount of romance to the idea of life on the road.
I'm not quite sure I captured that romance, however. I didn't seek out many adventures, and for the most part I actively
avoided seeking out notable experiences in favor of testing this lifestyle's sustainability. This is not to say nothing
happened during my experience. The week was tiring and at times both physically and emotionally painful. And while I will
still say it was something I could do again, questions remain about doing so willingly.
And questions of how one defines "willingly" remain. I don't have statistics in front of me, but the stereotype of someone who
lives on the road is one of a racial minority with no support network and possibly physical or mental health problems. Though
I've been open about having some kidney problems, I'm in relatively good health, I'm white, and I do have a support network. I
don't know that I can look at this experiment through the lens of not having these advantages, but I do know I never felt unsafe.
I never felt that I was unwelcome seeking a bathroom in a department store or wandering onto a college campus, and those are
advantages I perhaps should not take for granted when people who may need to resort to alternate styles of living cannot take
such things for granted.
There's also questions about whether my gender allowed me to feel much safer that I likewise cannot answer. Is there an
anonyminity afforded to white men that make doing unusual things invisible to everyone else, or does it work both ways and make
the rest of the world invisible to white men? Beyond having access to the ability to buy elements of my trip in advance, I don't
know what my advantages were for this trip, but that doesn't mean I didn't have some advantages. So I'm left with the
impression that this lifestyle is one that anyone could do, but unsure if that's really true.