LIVING IN A VEHICLE: An Unexpected Journey to Decolonization


From a young age I was told that I should do good in school so I can have a job. This job would be my everything. This job would put food on my table and a roof over my head. In my early 20s, I found that this was not always the case. Companies don’t really care about their employees. None of the suits at the corporate building are going to care if a low-level employee gets laid off, but to that employee it could be the difference between ending up on the streets or making next month’s rent.
I ended up getting sick and going to the emergency room. The doctor in the emergency room told me that I was advised not to work for the next 4 days. Naturally I asked them for a written statement to give to my employer. I called my boss and let him know the situation, and on the fourth day when I return to work they called me in to the office telling me that I had missed an inexcusable amount of work and they c


ould not accept an emergency room note because company policy states it must be from a primary care physician. Thus ended my time of employment.
Situations like this happen to me more than once. Particularly When winter comes and business becomes lower and people have to be let go. I learned very quickly that the jobs I was told would be the backbone to support my life was not as reliable as I thought.
During these times of unemployment I was forced to live in my vehicle. I have a background with wilderness survival skills and I am extremely resourceful with what little I may have available to work with. I quickly made over my SUV into a minimalist tiny home complete with a sleeping area, storage, kitchen, and a DIY laundry machine.
The amazing happened to me happened to me during the time of living in my vehicle. I no longer have to live according to the clock. I no longer had to dress a certain way, groom myself a certain way, or feel guilty the way my boss seems so unconvinced when I have to call in sick when I’m legitimately sick. I no longer had to sac


rifice any of my life to an employer that made me feel like I was kept as their property shackled with a ball and chain. I realized I didn’t need them. I realized I could be free.
I applied for EBT which gave me access to food if I was responsible with my budget to make the money last all month. I know this is still part of the system​, but it was a necessity at this time in my life. Keep in mind that I don’t think the system is entirely bad. The system has a lot of good things to offer, such as giving my son medical insurance through the state. I believe it’s only a problem when people become dependent on the system.
The next course of action was to find out how to make income.  I did everything from day labor to odd jobs on Craigslist. I started organizing groups to teach wilderness survival skill and plant identification and plant identification for people who are interested in foraging they’re on food and medicine. I turned it to my culture for answers. I sold beadwork, porcupine quill work, handmade bows, bags, and even skinned and​ tanned roadkill for the sake of saving the beautiful fur and leather. M


any of my resources came directly from gathering them in nature.
Looking once again to my culture, I found myself living a hunter gatherer nomadic lifestyle that my forefathers once lived, only modernized. Technology doesn’t have to be counterproductive to decolonization. My ancestors gladly traded stone knifes for metal ones. We did not allow these new technologies to assimilate us. We used them to develop upon our own lifestyle.
Unlike agricultural societies, who could continue practicing their ancestral lifeways after colonization, hunter gatherer nations could not. Her choices were to become agricultural, or assimilate into the system. We could no longer live as nomadic hunter-gatherers. In fact, most of those practices have now been made illegal. Hunting and trapping without a license to provide for your family has become poaching. Gathering wild plant life has become trespassing and destruction of property.
It became a passion to explore this as an alternative lifestyle as opposed to the nine-to-five wage slave trap everyone was taught to participate in because by complete accident, I stumbled across a possible solution to modernizing the lifestyle my ancestors fought to preserve for me.
To my surprise, I found a whole community of individuals in my age group or living various forms of what they call the #vanlife. I’ve seen everything what is hashtag used on Instagram, blogs, YouTube, and any other social media platform. Proud to be part of this community open this article has value to the reader and opened their mind to the possibility of a brand new life.
Consider this an introductory article to future posts and videos that offer in more detail about anything from nomadic living, alternative living, bushcraft, rewilding, and anything in regards to being self-reliant outside of the system.