Lesson #1: Limitations Force Creativity

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When there is little to work with, it forces you to be creative with what you have. This doesn’t just apply to the limited space of #hotelprius, but also a great truth for me in life as well. Due to circumstances, most often out of our control, we don’t always have the abundant resources to make life work the way we want, dream, or plan. Sometimes in order to achieve what we want or gain access to what we consider most important in life, sacrifices most often need to be made, and we just need to start thinking creatively.

The reality is, life for the majority of us can be limiting and can often catch us off our guard. #hotelprius was creatively created by some of those life’s limitations that caught me by surprise. Read the full story here. The short version of this story is, I had just moved across the country after college and life was not panning out the way I expected it to. I was unemployed, money was running thin and I was out of practical options for what to do next. The last thing I wanted for my life was to fall behind, and living out of my car became the most efficient solution I could think of. So that’s what I did. With limited money, I didn’t have the option of buying a solution to my problem (i.e buy and live out of a van). Instead, I had to use what I already owned (a Prius and some used camping gear) as a solution. This forced me into thinking creatively. I had no choice but to take what I already owned and make it work as best I could. I played with the space inside my car and strategized with how to turn my Prius into a livable, practical and sustainable lifestyle. Maximizing my efficiency was my biggest priority and it was important that I was frugal with both my spending and my space. The Prius just made sense. I gathered my available resources and prioritized my needs – what you might do in a survival situation. A comfortable bed, a place for my clothes, curtains and extra storage space came first. Once those were in place, I used the additional remaining small pockets of space to add things that could serve multiple purposes and functions. For the space by my feet, I used a hardtop suitcase that also served as a desk and small work station. Later, I would add solar panels to charge my phone, a pull out table for my stove, and added new an improved curtains from old pillow cases. Maybe some of these things I didn’t necessarily need, but things I could justify to continue to help me live more efficiently.

In a year of living out of my car, I’ve carried this life lesson with me wherever I go. Before buying my way out of problems that arise, I look for other, more creative solutions first. Solutions that require only what I already own, then moving on to potential low cost solutions second. To question whether or not someone else has ever done it before is completely irrelevant. I may not be the only person living out of my car, or even my Prius for that matter. But I guarantee you, there is no one who has done it for cheaper and does it this efficiently. And I guess I’m proud of that.

P.S. No, that is not a picture of Jesus, that is a picture of me back when I had long hair. Crazy, I know.

 

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