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Man Leaves Job & City Behind & Lives Out of His Van

Man Quits Job to Live Out of His Van

I found this article on Yahoo! very fascinating:

Three years ago Foster Huntington quit his job, discarded most of his belongings, gave up his home, and hit the road — for good. Huntington, who was born in Portland, Ore., moved to New York City after graduating college in 2010 to work as a concept designer at Ralph Lauren.

Though he was just beginning his successful corporate career, a year in he began craving a life filled with more than a monotonous routine of waking up, working in an office, going to bed, and repeating it all over again the next day. Since then, the 26-year-old has traveled around the West Coast chasing surf and snow.

Now, with over 100,000 miles logged on the road, he’s managed to build a successful career living as a nomad (his photography book, “Home Is Where You Park It,” was released in May and he’s entered into partnerships with Patagonia and various other companies), and says he’ll never go back living any other way.

When Huntington decided to move out of Manhattan, he sold most of his personal possessions, but kept what he calls his “burning house” items. (If your house was burning, what would you take with you?) His alarm clock, however, did not make the cut. “My sleep has been a lot better,” he told Yahoo Health.

Read the full article and check out all the pictures.

Would you ever consider doing something like this? If so, what would your “burning house” items be? I’d love to hear.

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  1. Danielle Jones says

    My family and I have been traveling the country for the past 3 years serving the homeless. Getting rid of the house and all the belongings was hard at first, but our 6 kids have never been happier and more secure. Huge blessing!!!

  2. Jessica says

    No, not for me. I prefer to establish roots in a community where I can have a nearby network of social support and interpersonal contact on a daily basis. I prefer a physical place to call home. Traveling makes me weary. I also don’t see it as an environmentally responsible choice to constantly be on the road, using disposable items for eating, how does he cook? Bathe? And just parking on the side of the road to sleep overnight not only isn’t appealing but may not be safe or even legal in some areas.

    • says

      One of my brothers did this for a year a while ago before moving across the country. I don’t know all the details, but I know he joined 24-hour fitness to be able to use their amenities (to shower, etc). Also walmarts allow 24 hour parking, which could be considered safer than just in the side of the road.

      As for the environment, it could possibly be argued that the extra gasoline used is offset by not using as much water or electricity or natural gas. I imagine that there is a lot of eating out, though.

  3. says

    I think it seems really appealing! But I wouldn’t want to leave everything forever because I find comfort in roots. Ideally, I’d love to pack a tent or a few hammocks then go on the road with my family for a few months to a year, and return to home-sweet-home when we were finished exploring the United States. Crystal, I’m interesting in knowing if his lifestyle appeals to YOU!

  4. says

    My burning house items are my computer and my phone. So much else is accessed through them. Even pictures and music and movies and books can be kept that way instead of taking up space. I will have to think about things in those terms to see how I can streamline things even in my house now.

  5. amber says

    My husband and I would love to do this ”part time” after the kids are grown. I would still like a house to come home to.

  6. says

    I think it would be fun to travel across the country by RV when my kids get a little older. However, I couldn’t imagine giving up my home for good. I like having the stability that a permanent home gives you. Plus I have too many burning house items :)

  7. Kaycee says

    My burning house item would be my 15 year old’s baby doll. I remember when they were the same size. That doll has been smuggled to many a camp in the bottom of a sleeping bag. The only time she doesn’t sleep with her is if she loans her out to one of us who needs some extra love.

  8. Kayla says

    My husband’s grandparents retired and bought an RV, and now they travel most of the year. They come back home every few months and catch back up with family before they start their next adventure. I would love to do something like this one day if my husband and I ever had the opportunity to, but I’d never do it without a home to come back to!

  9. says

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, since we’re in a bus with (almost) 4 kids (and not traveling). This lifestyle would be a million times more sustainable if we were childless.

    I think micro-living is way more feasible and potentially enjoyable than most people imagine – especially if you can ignore what other people think and say about it. I would absolutely recommend it for young singles trying to pay off debt or even newlyweds working on building a nest egg.

    The biggest obstacle to an alternative lifestyle is often simply the stigma that surrounds it.

  10. says

    We’ve been fulltime nomads (hauling our RV ‘house’ with us) for 5 years, and all 12 of our children have traveled with us. 3 have grown and flown, so we are down to 9, but we (and they) couldn’t imagine living any other way! We’ve been to 40 states, the kids have completed the Jr. Ranger programs at over 90 National Parks, and we have volunteered with disaster relief efforts in 8 states (tornado, ice storm, and flood clean-ups and rebuilds).
    It is incredibly freeing to leave behind most of your possessions and instead collect experiences. Our children have friends, of all ages, all over the country, and because we take our ‘house’ with us, the kids have the stability of a same home, while having the fun of exploring new yards! We keep a blog of our experiences, and we hope to grow it to become more location independent so we are free to volunteer more (we head back to our home state for a few months each summer to earn our keep, which is surprisingly doable when you are debt free).
    It’s not attainable only if you are a single; if we can do it, anyone can! 😉

    • says

      I just checked out your blog and am jealous of all the space! We have about the same square footage, but stacked instead of wide, with just a half story on top :)

      The modifications that you’ve made are inspiring and if we were planning on doing this for a lot longer I would definitely incorporate some of them!

  11. says

    I told my husband the other day, when the kids all flee the nest, I would love to take year to travel the USA in a camper just he and I. My burning house items, would be my loved ones, and then if it was still safe to enter my photos.

  12. says

    I recently posted on “burning house items” as it’s fire season here in the west.

    Just considering what you would grab in such a situation makes your priorities clear.

    Don’t wait for an emergency to take care of (and enjoy) what is dear to you.

  13. Theresa L says

    Not for me at this point in my life. I want my kids to have a place to call home. I do have this dream that when my husband retires, we’ll sell the house and travel around the country in an RV for a couple years. Notice I said RV, as in with electricity and a toilet. That’s about as “rough” as I ever want to get.

  14. Kamila says

    I have done 2 wks of “living out of a car” travel vacation and was soo glad to be in a house with a washer and dryer, stove ! (it gets old to unpack half of the car to heat up a little water to make coffee), dishwasher, my bed. But I’m not 24 yo. I have two small children that make incredible messes. I admire him but I want to see how or if he’s going to maintain such lifestyle when he gets older (60-70 yo)?

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