The word seems so archaic now. What does it really mean. This summer, surprisingly, that term came up a few times along our travels. I thought maybe we could dispel that myth.
Do you live in a Yellow School Bus?
No. Definitely Not! Talk about horrible fuel economy. While we travel we have a 2004 Dodge Sprinter Van which is 22′ long from bumper to bumper and has a standing height inside of about 6’2″. I built out the bare interior as a weekender camper while we tour the fairs in the summer. It has a LED lights, rooftop vents fan, 12v fridge, fold out beds, closets, counter and sink, and a roof top 9k BTU AC unit. It’ll pull our work trailer with a 5,000 lb max towing capacity and it can deliver 22 MPG on average over hill and dale when not towing.
Do you have a Job? Do you pay taxes?
Absolutely! Well, maybe not in the 40+ hours per week context most people have come to accept as ‘normal’. In fact, most people would consider our current occupation bordering on the absurd as “carnies” or “gypsy travelers”. We “work” less than three months a year each summer touring fairs. We have pre-season maintenance, post season maintenance, marketing, and a lot of follow up and paperwork. We have a corporation with payroll that pays taxes and we file tax returns like everyone else. The big difference, we work REALLY hard in a short amount of time so we can spend the rest of the year fulfilling our other less pragmatic needs.
Do you own or rent a home?
Not anymore. I was a real estate builder/developer before the economy went to hell in a handbag in 2008. Since then, the only way we can climb out of the debt hole and start putting money into savings column is to avoid the high monthly bills that are associated with a home. How can we do that? You have to live somewhere. True, but we can live on a boat part of the year that we own outright and spend some time camping in between our work gigs that put us up in hotels all summer. Since the economic disaster of 2008 took everything we had, we’re on the pay as you go system with no loans from institutions other than maybe Mom and Dad (who all have been very supportive and helpful in our recovery).
Do you play Folk music on the guitar or drum in a drum circle?
Ehhh…maybe,sorta, OK yes. One the advantages of having time on your side- you can follow your passion. We like playing music. We currently have two guitars, a banjo, two ukeleles, a djembe drum, 4 harmonicas, a tambourine, and miscellaneous noisemakers. We carry virtually all the instruments with us and will often pull them out and play wherever we are at the time. We’re not any where close to professionals but we have a good time and sometimes other people join in and have some fun.
Do you burn incense or patchouli?
No. The closest thing we have is fabreeze in the van just in case the kids get car sick.
Do you believe in Free Love?
You Bet! As long as it’s between me and my wife.
Do you live in a commune, living off the land?
Well, we live on a boat in Mexico. A lot of time we’ll sail with a few other boats or meet others in bays throughout the Sea of Cortez. We return to San Carlos and rent a mooring ball in the bay where we see many of the same friends year after year. We try to fish as much as we can.
A new development- we are in the process of buying a piece of land in Montana that is off two dirt roads only accessible from an old logging road. We would like to be off the grid (eventually) and we did just order two Yurts from Nomad Alaskan Yurts that we plan on living in next fall.
Do you wear tie-dyed clothes?
Definitely not. But I gave up ties in 2008. I don’t own a suit, tie, dress pants, or shoes and don’t plan on EVER owning one again. In fact, I am actively trying to avoid wearing socks and long pants as much of the year as possible.
Do you bathe?
Yes, but probably less than most typical Americans. Living on the boat, we have salt water all around and when the water is warm enough we are rarely out of the water. Otherwise, we have to be frugal with our water and can survive with 25 gallons per week. That usually means one or two short wash downs per week.
So, what do you think? Are we modern day hippies? I can rule out a LOT of things we are NOT, but I can’t tell if we fall in the hippy category. Even we did, is that such a bad thing? I’ll let you decide.You know an ICE COLD draft beer in Mexico is a very affordable price of approximately $1.25! Click Here to Buy Us a Beer.