Some others like us

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly gotten my fair share of grief about the vagabonding lifestyle from my friends and acquaintances.  Everyone wants to know where I live, nobody believes me when I say I’m happy not having a regular home, and even the people I’m closest to are sometimes baffled by my life choices.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say.  But at least there are other people who deal with similar issues, in different communities!  There are some good suggestions for ways to deal with alternative lifestyles, tips for living outside the box, and some great potential resources.

Homestead: This magazine is all about the frugal, rural lifestyle.  They celebrate building your own house, reducing consumption and waste, and getting away from the idea of what the “American dream” is supposed to be.  Pretty darn cool.

Caretaker Gazette: A whole community of people who swap living situations: houses that need to be cared for, or places they want to go.  This little magazine is available online or in paper copy, however you prefer.

Servas: The oldest community living organization.  It’s like couchsurfing for cultural ambassadors.  You may have heard of this in Rita Golden Gelman’s “Tales of a Female Nomad” (which, if you haven’t read it…you should). A high-bandwidth but truly beautiful site devoted to providing indigenous peoples from all cultures with a place to publish their multimedia works.  This is a great look into the lives and worlds of people whose voices are often silent, and a fairly interesting use for the internet.  There are community bulletin boards and forums here as well.

Conceivia: Although it sounds a little wacky, you don’t have to buy in to the quasi-religious aspects of these ideas about communal and alternative living.  There are some interesting ideas in the “Education” section. A bit younger and more anti-establishment, the squatting scene is nevertheless booming.  This magazine is a resource for anyone who wants to consider squatting (occupying empty space when you are not its legal owner).  This advisory service provides aid to UK squatters and access to the fascinating “Squatters Handbook.”

Posted by | Comments (3)  | September 1, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

3 Responses to “Some others like us”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I love this article. I am 42 years old, and about to embark on a vagabond journey after owning 2 homes that will soon be in foreclosure, and I’m filing bankruptcy. So, how does one make lemonade out of lemons when all your stuff is in storage anyway? Travel! Visit friends! Teach English in Europe! Camp out! My new theory is that the less money I spend, the happier I am, because it forces me to interact with people, and to get creative, and to SLOW DOWN!

  2. nina Says:

    I read Rita Golden Gelman’s book… a self serving travelogue (“I am living on 10,000 dollars a year!”)there is NO warmth in her interactions…let’s not forget she put the money she got from the sale of her LA home in an account…and whenever she wanted she “flew” back to NYC or Connecticut or L.A.
    I grew up in India and, as my American mother pointed out, Americans, Europeans, Canadians were delighted that they could live so “cheaply” but few gave back…
    By all means, travel, meet people, enjoy life, I lost my home not too long ago to foreclosure…but let’s not claim to be a possessionless “nomad” when there is money in the bank and more to be made from the sale of books…if I am wrong, please let me know…