C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
suomalainen
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:32 am

I sorta agree with finity. If you're in a funk, why not do something different? What would keep you "stuck" in your van? It almost sounds like an oxymoron. Or maybe you have a Paradox of Choice problem. With essentially infinite options, it's hard to be satisfied with the one you choose because of the compounded regret of the infinite number of rejected options.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:35 am

Yeah, if my sister goes ahead with her current plans, I'm thinking I will definitely go out to help - even if I can't build my own shack there. Since talking with her, I've had a wave of excitement about this project. Questions.. Ideas.. initial planning.. etc..

She and her husband have been making and changing their plans over the last few years, so this isn't certain. Her main current motivation for building a home vs. buying one seems financial - she said a few times that they don't want another mortgage. So I'll be encouraging her on that front.

If I can build my own also, that will be the best possible thing I could imagine realistically doing this coming year. I'd have a place for my 'settled down' phases. I'd have a soft landing for if my van traveling or future adventures end suddenly. I'd have a big project to do to give myself a feeling of progress and accomplishment. And I'd have a place to get some of the social interaction and involvement that I've been noticing I need more of. The location isn't totally ideal (I'd prefer the western U.S.), but western NC is nice, and near Asheville would be good.

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Allagash
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Allagash » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:25 am

C40 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:35 am
And I'd have a place to get some of the social interaction and involvement that I've been noticing I need more of.
The funny thing is with all the popular life hacking, 4 hr WW stuff, working from your laptop in Thailand, drifting in vans, etc... we strive for in these modern times, I think what really is going to make people happy is kind of more like doing what their grandparents did. They already had it figured out. House on some land, family, being part of a town/community, making that community stronger, volunteering, knowing your neighbors, social circle, evening dinners with family, holidays with family, a vocation you enjoy, etc.... I don't think this needed to be hacked. I did a lot of the former, and looking back wish I did more of the latter. Latter is much more lasting.

But no harm getting some of that travel and drifting in when you are younger. But don't let it go on too long, and just think hard about going for the family/settle down thing before it passes you by.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by James_0011 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:22 pm

@c40
Have you considered renting in a few cities to try them out?

@allagash

The happiest I’ve ever been was when I was unemployed so I am very skeptical of more responsibility as the path to happiness.

I think most people do the things you mentioned because of social pressure.

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TopHatFox
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:42 pm

Yeah, no way Allagash. I see people who are trying to do the family + working route every day. Almost all of them have eye bags the size of lollipops, and likely a negative net worth.

If it's difficult to save any money as a single person, I can't even imagine when family health premiums are 1K+, and one has to pay for the food, clothing, shelter, and care of little dependent humans (with time or money).

Maybe if you build a small, energy-efficient house in a nice community on cheap land with recycled materials. Maybe add a space to rent, or sell enough maple syrup or apples to buy groceries.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by James_0011 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:52 pm

@tophatfox

There is also the risk of unexpected expenses popping up with a kid. My friend who is mentally ill is currently in a private treatment facility - I know for sure he’s not paying for it, and I’m assuming it’s costing his parents tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars...

Not to mention the cost of college, etc...

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TopHatFox
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:56 pm

Hahahahaha, random projection - you know you live in Westchester when. Folks on the street and buses here look graver than death, especialy the parents... I don't really know how they make ends meet tbh...

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by James_0011 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:45 pm

I hated living in white plains. I dress in thrift store clothing and had a women come up to me at a bus stop and offer me $10 one time lol - I guess she thought I was a bum

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:38 pm

James_0011 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:22 pm
@c40
Have you considered renting in a few cities to try them out?
Not really.

I've tried out a handful of cities by being in them for weeks or months in my van. For me, that's a much quicker way to get to know a city than living in an apartment, because I'm 'out and about' a ton, and specifically looking at parts of the city, the people, etc.

If this all works out with my sister, I'll go ahead and have my home base there. While it may not be perfect and may not be what I would have chosen, doing this would entirely remove the question and complexity of deciding where, thus making the process simpler for me, and giving me more time to focus on doing stuff. Having it on my sister's land would have the additional benefit of keeping it simple for me, and of me not having to worry about leaving it vacant if I want to go off on some adventure for a month or a year. I think these benefits would more than make up for it maybe not being in the exact place I would have chosen.

N.C. doesn't seem perfect for me because there are so many damn trees, and because of the humidity. And ticks? But these are small things (as long as I don't get limes disease). I was in Asheville long enough to know that it seems good enough. Really the important thing related to the city is the people -- are there enough of the right kind of people there for me to find 'my people'. I think Asheville will work well from that perspective.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:34 pm


--------------------------------------
APRIL-MAY 2018
---------------------------------------


APRIL SPENDING: $1053
  • Spent $490 on gas - driving from Portland to Oklahoma City

MAY SPENDING: $217
  • Sold a pen for $300
  • Bought hobby stuff: $200
  • Food low because mom. (she renounced cooking, but was wanting to eat keto/paleo to lose weight. So she buys most of the food and I do most of the cooking)
I expect to be here with my mom for at least two more months, and my spending should stay low while here.




CHARTS


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Image

My income has been growing pretty nicely. I want to convert more of my mutual funds to higher yielding dividend stocks. I also want to sell more options.

At some point I may take the cash from my pension (like $58k) and invest that all in stocks, which would bump my income some. I’d be all-in on stocks, which I think I’ll be ok with because I’ll be earning other money over the years. If prices seemed low, I’d convert the pension now. But I think I may wait. The pension grows at 3% per year which I believe is better than any other cash-type investments available. One of the reasons I’d like to convert it is for the money to feel more in my control/possession.



Image

Things are looking pretty good here at C40 industries. Profit! 44% savings rate YTD.




Image




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PROJECT MOM VAN

My mom bought an empty Dodge Promaster cargo van, and I’m converting it into a camper/RV for her. So far, I’ve been doing the design work. There are a lot of decisions to be made and things to think about to get everything to fit right and all that. I’ve been buying most of the parts/materials needed and filling up her spare bedroom and garage with them. I’ll get started out in the van physically this month.

If you want to see what I’ve done so far (not much), it can be found here on my Instagram Story highlight: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highl ... 066174684/

This van is going to turn out a lot nicer than mine but cost about the same for the comparable materials and parts.




WICHITA

I spent 4 or so days looking around Wichita to assess it as a potential place to live. What I would probably do in a city like that is buy a project house, fix it up and live there, and sell it after 2+ years. Since I would/could be there a limited time, the city I choose doesn’t need to be totally perfect.

Wichita seems like it would work fairly well. The house prices are low. The city is ok. Most of it was built in the 50’s or so, after the war, when the flight industry was booming there. So there are a lot of small-ish houses. It’s like 600,000 people, so I believe I would be able to find a fair amount people that I want to make friends with.

It would be a cheap place to get a project house, though the potential profit would be limited because of those low prices. Could be a pretty safe place for a first house project because the house prices there wont go down (much), even in a crash situation.





OKLAHOMA CITY

I’ve been here for over a month. I’m having a pretty good time. Mom lives out in the suburbs on the very edge of the metro area. It’s very Americana here. All spread out.

Dating has gone surprisingly well. My stock is high because of my travel, outdoors stuff, retirement, since I’m so cool and good-looking :-D, because I have many more interests than watching sports, and because my pictures are good (on dating apps.).

I was thinking the pool of single women here, especially over age 25 or 30 would be a lot of christian divorced single mothers. To a large extent, that is the case. But, I’ve been having good results dating so far.

One reason is that I stand out in the sea of men here around my age. Most are very plain, boring, conservative, close-minded, out of shape, and disheveled. I stand out particularly to the more liberal and sex-positive women. Right away after getting here I met a surprising amount of polyamorous, bisexual, open-minded women.

So, I’ve been meeting a lot of women and having a lot of sex. I haven’t found the right one (or two) to be my Oklahoma City girlfriend(s). Dating a lot of new people can be draining, and I’m starting to slow that down and focus more on waiting/looking for the better ones.

Anyways… OKC would also be a candidate city for a 2 year project house.






FITNESS

I’ve done a good job with my body since I started living in these houses. While in Portland, I gained muscle (went from 140lbs to 163lbs). Here in Oklahoma, I’ve been cutting my fat and have gotten quite lean (at the moment, down to 147lbs and leaner than I had been at 140 when I got to Portland).

I’m going to join a gym here in Oklahoma and bulk up again, maybe up to 170 lbs this time. The largest I’d like to get is about 160 when lean (10% bodyfat or so). For me (light bone structure) that is pretty big/muscular and as strong as I have any reason to be.






STATIC LIVING

I’ve been continuing to think about buying/making a static home. I still feel I have some more van-traveling in me while/before I figure out exactly what I want to do. But I’d like to getting it set up, especially if I do an ongoing home/travel mixture.


Here are some of what I’m thinking at the moment:

LOCATION:
  • Prefer in/near a city of at least 200,000 people. A million or so would make it easier to find my kind of people.
  • For a long-term home base, prefer it to be in the western half of the US
  • For a short-term project, other areas are ok, probably including the south, where homes are generally cheaper


TRANSPORTATION:
  • In a larger city, most of the people I’d make friends with, especially the women I date, tend to live near the city center in the trendy/expensive areas. So, if I live out in a cheap part of the city, efficient transportation will be important. (Which is why I’ve been thinking about motorcycles lately - along with that I’d enjoy it much more than driving - especially driving something like my van, which is big and pretty heavy and has a huge 5.9 liter engine that when I press the gas on I am very aware of the comparatively huge amount of gas shooting into it’s engine.)
  • If I live outside of the city, transportation is again big. I’d want to not live far away unless I were to set up some kind of multiple location home (like, say, sometimes living in a shed in my brother or mom’s back yard, sometimes living in a shack/tent/dirtbag home out sort of in the middle of nowhere near earth stuff I really enjoy.)
  • If I were to live in a city center type area, then transportation would be pared down to a minimum, and I’d strongly consider selling the van.


HOBBIES/SYSTEM/CONNECTED GOALS
Along with the people/relationship stuff, these are what is appealing to me about static living right now. The long-tern travel allows some of these things, but only a portion of the things I’d like to do.
  • Gardening for food, maybe selling some of it
  • Entrepreneurial/small business things
  • Getting (part-time or short-term) jobs in order to learn things I’m interested in / meet people
  • Having a workshop. Doing things like motorcycle repair/improvements, bicycle stuff, other types of building/fixing/tinkering
  • Fixing up a house
  • Doing some type(s) of photography for money and to improve my skills
Traveling and outdoors stuff does have an appeal for me, but it’s a bit limited in that it’s more on the experiential side, and there are limitations on what types of skills I can learn., hobbies I can pursue, and incomes I can earn.

If I get a home out in the western U.S., especially if I get a really inexpensive, long-term one, I could still use the van to go out on trips of days/weeks/months. If I get into motorcycles, I could have one that I use for going out exploring and camping in a more pared-down way.




Right now, my family’s plans are:
  • Brother moving to Phoenix (from NC)
  • Mom moving to Phoenix
  • Sister moving back to Denver (from NC)
  • Dad - ? (he’d been planning to move to TN, partly to be close to my siblings.)
Brother and sister both did not like NC, for, I think, maybe picky reasons.

If my brother and mom do move to Phoenix and they like it, they’d be there long term. My sister is always changing her mind, but she may have decided to just go back to Denver and stay there.

I’m still hoping for some kind of family compound. (Separate houses on one piece of land). Brother and mom are the likely candidates for this because they both want to travel a lot in the future but would keep their homes, so, us being together would allow the others to watch/maintain/rent out the vacant home while they’re gone. Phoenix would be pretty good for this, location wise, just since it’s out in the west and Arizona is fun.

….. I think that’s enough of my rambling for now.
Last edited by C40 on Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sky
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by sky » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:40 pm

How would you compare quality of life, pre- and post retirement?

Pre- and post van dwelling?

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:12 pm

@sky - I will come back to that later. I've just moved in with friends to take a break from traveling, and this will give me more perspective on the question.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:18 pm


-------------------
JANUARY 2018
-------------------


It’s been another good month at C40 industries.

I drove all the way from the tip of Baja Mexico to Portland, OR. 2,100 miles. That attributes for most of the gas cost below.

I was feeling ready to take a break from traveling in the van. The possibility of helping my sister build an earthbag home, plus a small one for myself on her property, had be all excited for a while. But her and her partner are not so sure they want to settle where they’ve just moved to, so that house building probably won’t be happening soon. So, instead of going to do that, I came up to move in with my friends in Portland for a little while. Not exactly sure what I’ll be doing next. I’m thinking of moving on from the van travels to something else, or just something to take a significant pause from it. More to come on this later.




CHARTS


Image

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PICTURES


Here are a few pictures from Mexico. I haven’t gotten around to sorting and editing them all, much less making a blog post about it. But here’s a few of them:


Image

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Image

sky
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by sky » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:28 pm

Very nice, thank you for posting those pics. Excellent camping spots.

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bryan
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:18 pm

Would love to read a retrospective of your vanlife. Very timely for me as I plan to be in the van again by July.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:02 pm

C40, your journal is an inspiration and practical goldmine for information on the van life.

As Brute and akratic have detailed, the travelling gets old and you start to crave something meaningful. I understand the resistance to the standard middle class life of course, but I think it’s possible to deal with society on your own terms.

I hope you never went thru with that vasectomy. You can meet a fellow ERE-er or someone who can easily adapt to the ERE life. You can homeschool children. I would imagine someone raised with ERE ideals instead of having to come to it on their own would be a formidable Renaissance human. I myself have resisted the breeding impulse for financial reasons but I recognize a day will come when I want someone to inherit my empire.

Imagine putting the same care into crafting a small impressionable human as you did into outfitting your van. I imagine the feeling would be sublime.

Keep trucking!

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:46 pm

:) Hi Mister Imperceptible.

Yeah, I'm definitely sorting through the "what lifestyle do I want to design now" question, relating to travel speed, having roots, relationships, etc.

You can sleep easy; I haven't gotten that vasectomy yet. Mainly due to a combination of laziness related to going to a doctor/surgeon, and it just not feeling urgent.. My reasons for not wanting children are not really related to me not wanting to spend money on them. It's just that I don't feel any desire to raise a child. I'm not 100% sure why I feel that way, but I am 100% sure that I feel that way. I'm at ~middle age now and am maybe about as mature as I'm going to get, so the chances of my feelings changing are getting slimmer and slimmer. Getting really bored with life might be the only thing that would change my mind, (doing/trying a bunch of different things, thinking "there's got to be more to life than this" and trying out progenation to add some spice to my life. Doesn't seem like a very good reason, but it's probably a better reason than most people for having kids. Probably won't happen though.

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BRUTE
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:42 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:02 pm
As Brute and akratic have detailed, the travelling gets old and you start to crave something meaningful else.
there is no meaningful, only distractions.


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Frugalchicos
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:18 pm

Amazing pics and congrats about the 600K. Your growth and progress are always very inspirational!

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