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Anybody ever made a life of being on the road?

mar

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Ok. Look. I admit it. I'm a freakshow.

But I'm wondering if anyone has made a life (a complete lifestyle) of being on the road constantly.

I mean: No house. No car. No wife. No kids.

No life.

Except, The Road.

More than ever, thanks to the internet, now a person can lead a virtual "life". You can bank on the internet; communicate with friends/family/work on the internet; even, um, 'socialize' on the internet.

Ok, I'm not talking about working constantly for 30 days. I'm talking about working your normal schedule but spending your "days off" somewhere different every month.

Spend your days off visiting friends that you haven't seen for years. Spend your days off visiting family that you haven't seen for years. Spend your days off visiting countries you've always wanted to see. You would be able to spend your days off *exactly* as *you* wanted to.

You wouldn't be saddled with home improvement projects or "honey do" lists, or visiting in-laws you detest or anything else you didn't want to do.

It's almost perfect.

And yet, so freakin' weird--almost dysfunctional.

Have you ever done it? Known anyone that has done it? Would you choose it for yourself if you could? Or is it symptomatic of something else that's totally wrong and defective in one's character.

Be honest.
 

bafanguy

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mar,

Haven't tried it myself, but I've known a couple of guys whose wives would've been glad to see 'em take a stab at it.

Sounds like a young man's game plan. Makes me sorta tired to think about it. So, I'll go lie down on the couch now.
 

Denizen

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Don't forget your Towel

Mar,

I have thought about it. Currently living in a sad little town, near a sad airport, and not flying anywhere near enough.

I like being on the road. New towns, new hotels, and meeting new people. This flying gig can be bad, but it is meeting the new people that make it worth while.

Couch surfing and exploring bookstores and coffee shops and the occasional pub all over the world sure beats raking leaves and dealing with mid-american strip malls and suburbia.

I guess it helps that I am sans wife and crumbcrushers. Dysfunctional? Could very well be. Is not dysfunction, the bedrock for a interesting flying career?

I guess I would most miss my books.

Let us know how it goes.
 

ShadowFlight

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Mar,

I've never done what you asked but, to me at least, it doesn't sound very promising. I think we humans need some sort of grounding; ie house, apartment, some sort of "ops base".

I guess when it's all said and done, and when your lying on your deathbed, do you want to say "I lived out of a suitcase for my entire life with nothing to show for it?"

At the end of "Fate is the Hunter", Ernie talks about a fellow aviator who retired after spending a lifetime on the road. His retirement was short-lived and circumstances dictated he return to his only profession - flying, as an F/O for Ernie. The final paragraph states this pilot lived alone on a boat in Honolulu Harbor. He was rowing his dinghy ashore to do an errand - the dinghy was found but he wasn't. Did he die because of outside circumstances? Or did lonliness drive him to take his own life?

As a side note, I'm with Bafanguy. It's a young person's gig these days. Having said that, I'll take my morning nap now. :D

Peace

SF
 

Denizen

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SF,

Would that be all you could say for your life? "I lived out of a suitcase."

Or something along the lines of ..."I drank espresso in Paris, saw the sun rise over the pyramids, and walked the Great Wall of China"

I guess it is all in how you look at it. After a lifetime of work would you want to say, " I lived in this apt. since Ike was in office"

I don't know the answer...just throwing things out there.
 

crash-proof

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If there is ressucitation, in my next life I won't marry and live free of responsability (house, wife, kids, bills, etc), move from town to town, work odd jobs, meet lots of different people (but never create bonds). A true vagabond of sorts. The kind of life you would reach the end and say...."I've seen it all".

But would I really? Nah, I'm happy as I am, dumb n' lazy! :D
 

avbug

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Mar,

It's not dysfunctional; it's as you said...a way of life.

I've spent much of mine living out of airplanes, hangars, on the road, getting off one flying job to do another on my days off, then another...

Good or bad, I don't know, but certainly a way of life. You have no need to apologize for your life.
 

ShadowFlight

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Denizen said:
SF,

Would that be all you could say for your life? "I lived out of a suitcase."

Or something along the lines of ..."I drank espresso in Paris, saw the sun rise over the pyramids, and walked the Great Wall of China"

I guess it is all in how you look at it. After a lifetime of work would you want to say, " I lived in this apt. since Ike was in office"

I don't know the answer...just throwing things out there.

Denizen,

You're absolutely correct. I should've indicated my post was from my own perspective. I couldn't live a life where I didn't have some sort of grounding or home.

The beautiful aspect of life is different strokes for different folks. Our diversity is what makes the world go-round.

Mar,

Were you talking about yourself? Or in generalities?

Peace

SF
 

Cardinal

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How about Christopher McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp. Graduated forom an Ivy League school, broke contact with his family, abandoned his wordly possesions, burned the cash in his wallet, and roamed the country for a year, hitchhiking, occasionally working odd jobs. Ultimate goal was to live in solitude in Alaska, he walked into the forest in the spring and never came back. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385486804/ Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, a pretty fascinating read.
 

mar

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Whoa! Talk about dysfunction!

I read 'Into the Wild'. Great book! Different dynamic, though. That one could be a thread all by itself.

I guess what I'm gettin' at is this: I see so many guys struggle to make everything jive and before they know it, they're 60, burned out and bitter with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

I'm thinking, if you can't beat it, then you're better off being like a leaf on the river of life and just goin' with the flow.

One part of me wants the house, the wife, the car, and the kids.

A friend of mine says, No matter where your job takes you, you need a place to call home.

I'm starting to wonder.

Do I need a home? I need a residence, YES! But right now all of my mail goes to one of those UPS stores (rent a box). My paycheck is automatically deposited. I have access to funds no matter where I am. And I manage my accounts on-line.

I don't own a car or a house.

I'm obligated to no one, except crew scheduling.

How big of a leap would it be to say, To hell with everything. I'm saving money like nobody's business. If I get laid off I can live off of my savings and go get a job somewhere else until I get recalled...or re-evaluate things and live like a "normal" person.

Is it lonely as hell? Yeah. No question.

Do I make friends on the road? Yeah. Sometimes.

Can I do this for another 20 years? I dunno. That's what I'm asking. What have I overlooked?
 

typhoonpilot

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Great topic and excellent replies so far.

Mar, I lived in a hotel for a little over a year once, does that count ? :)

I've travelled quite a bit and moved around quite a bit as well. I've always wanted to have a place to call home. I like my life and all the travelling that I do, but at the same time I envy the people who have a "normal" life and can get involved in their community.

I like the concept of the PT, but I'm not sure I could ever live it fully.


Typhoonpilot
 

$$$4nothin

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This has got to be one of the best post I have ever read on flight info. It has actually made me rethink my life. I always talk about turning 50, selling everything I have(cars, house, etc.) buying a 50 ft. sail boat and only comeing back to visit. I do believe that will be my final goal. Sail when I want, stop when I want, see people when I want, be alone with the ocean when I want. See the million beuties the world has to offer.
 

FearlessFreep

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Where I work it's 20 on 10 off and most times it's almost always longer than this due to scheduling snafus. Since that is the case it is certainly conducive to anyone who would be so inclined to engage in that transient/gypsy kind of lifestyle. Freight Dawg types I would think are more apt to do this. I have met a few people that do try to live out entirely on the road. We have one guy that does this where I work now. When he was on his off days he lived in a hanger - rent free. He lost that and now stays with a friend when he is on his off days. He trys to get scheduling to keep him out all the time. That gives him the opportunity to make a pile of money in overtime. He is single, and from my understanding the only relationships he has is with his immediate family.

There are some other guys that are not in long term relationships, but it seems that even these guys want to get home after a while.

I guess it all depends who & what is in your life. Some but not all of the individuals I have met that live that lifestyle - how can I put this gently, are sort of on the social fringes.

Mar, life is all about our experiences. You have to drink from all the possible cups that you can. Some will taste appealing to you, others will not. The thing is that you will never know until you try. That's not to say that you should immediately march out get married, buy a house and pop out a few pups. Just try settling down someplace and see if you can make a home for yourself. See if it fits for you.

In this day and age it seems that everyone is tied down to some extent by position or possesion.

After 20+ days out on the road my fun meter is way passed pegged out and I really pine to get home. I figure that I am a gypsy on a bungee cord with one end anchored at home. Stretch it out for a while and then I need to bounce back home. As time goes by it is getting more and more difficult to leave home on a trip especially if time off is short. On the flip side sometimes you get itchy feet to get back on the road - well at least for the first two days out!

This "time off" thing is a big misnomer in it's own right. There is so much to be done when getting home there is no way that it could be described as being "time off".

Good Luck To Us All!
 
Last edited:

Flibmeister

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I've lived a modified version of your "life on the road" vision. When I was 45 and my wife was 39 we had achieved our goal of financial freedom-- we didn't have to work for a living anymore. No kids to worry about, so we sold everything we owned (a house w/hangar, two cars, our Beechcraft Bonanza, etc.). We bought a bus-type RV and wandered the USA for the next few years, totally free of any obligations whatsoever.

We made it a point not to decide where we were going each day until we woke up in the morning, and we stayed some places for hours, others for weeks. It was fun, and exhilarating in many ways, and we traveled many thousands of miles, and we met interesting people and saw interesting things.

But, four years was enough for us. There were things we wanted to do that required some continuity of life (classes and continuing education), and other things that required space we didn't have-- for instance, I'd always wanted to try R/C airplanes, but it was difficult to find space to build and carry them in the bus. Plus, there were little things that changed into irritants-- if we needed a gallon of milk, we had to figure out where to get it all over again, because we were in a different locale than we were last time we needed some. While that was a pleasant diversion in the beginning, it became a bit of a PITA at the end.

We gave it up after four years, bought a house, and settled down to a life of leisure. But there are lots of folks who live the "fulltimer" RV lifestyle for decades-- differerent strokes for different folks, I guess. For all you want to know about the lifestyle, go to http://www.escapees.com.
 

njcapt

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Flibmeister said:
I've lived a modified version of your "life on the road" vision. When I was 45 and my wife was 39 we had achieved our goal of financial freedom-- we didn't have to work for a living anymore. No kids to worry about, so we sold everything we owned (a house w/hangar, two cars, our Beechcraft Bonanza, etc.). We bought a bus-type RV and wandered the USA for the next few years, totally free of any obligations whatsoever.

I need to watch Lost In America again.

Number seven, number seven...
 

Twotter76

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OK I gotta chime in in this. Mar I have been doing exactly what you describe for the better part of the last 4 years and I have no regrets whatsoever. Yes I have an apartment and a car and what not but I spend hardly any time there. For several years all I had was a bunk in a crashpad. I am always off to see somewhere new or hang out with my friends in other states. I just came back from 5 days in Hawaii because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I get to see my friends regularly to say nothing of all kinds of new and interesting places. Do I miss having a home? I really can't say that I do. Is this lifestyle for everyone? Definitely not. It is almost a requirement that you are single or at least have a travel partner that has the same bennies that you do. And you have to be willing to spend alot of your time around or on airplanes. But to me the rewards far outweigh the inconviences.

As I type this I am taking a new job and losing my jumpseat bennies I am forced to abandon this lifestyle that I enjoy so much - it is probably my greatest regret in what in otherwise a fantastic opportunity for me. And to answer your last question I don't think it is symptomatic of anything other than a strong desire to see what else is over that next hill.
 

Flechas

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Great post Mar!!

If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

I lived inmy car for a few months when I was first a CFI, everything I owned at the time fit in my car and I had a P.O.Box, and I would spend the night at some friend's living room.

This post made me think because I've been looking into buying my own place (I rent now), but I'm not very sure or excited about it (especially in Houston). Sometimes I think about just buying a sailboat and live in it (There are marinas where a lot of peoplelive in their boats).

If you don't have a stron desire to have a wife, kids, and a dog, give it a try. People who do this see and live things that the average 9-5 Joe will never experience. I'msure there's a lot of loneliness involved, but that comeswith being a pilot too, so it won't be a shock. Go for it man, I think I will.
 

Skyline

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Life on the road

Mar,

I spent most of 7 years on the road. Most of that time my home consisted of a cot, bike, sleeping bag, small TV/VCR and an old laptop computer. I worked a variety of jobs or was in search of a better one. Though I was able to see a lot of North America It was a lonely time and aimless living cheats you out of important things that I think shouldn't be over looked.

SkyLine
 

johnpeace

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mar said:
Can I do this for another 20 years? I dunno. That's what I'm asking. What have I overlooked?

Why does it have to be viable for 20 years?

It sounds like you're already doing it...ride it and see how it goes. At the very least, it'll add perspective and dimension to the whole rest of your life, no matter how set it up for the future.

You should write a blog or something, it's too unique and fascinating a lifestyle not to document and share.
 
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