When you live out of your car for a year, you better have learned something. Currently posting a series called “21 Things I learned while living out of my car for a year.” Follow along. All 21 will be located on this page for easy reading. Cheers.
I’m excited to announce a new series to the blog: The 21 life lessons learned from my travels in #HotelPrius. If you have been following my adventure on Instagram, you know I’ve been working on this post for quite a while, as I have made mention to it several times before in recent posts, but have never actually posted anything about it. Until very recently, I hadn’t felt ready to share it with you just yet. I needed to wait, because really, and I say this the nicest way I can, this blog has nothing to do with you. It started mostly as a way for me to keep track of my travels and adventures and hold me accountable for the times when I did not feel like writing. These next few posts are pretty extensive and required a lot of work preparing them and getting them ready to make public. These next 21 posts are an accumulation of blurbs and journals I’ve kept from my travels over the the last year that has caused me to look deep inside myself and even wrestle with things that I was afraid to confront. While these life lessons may not all be universal truths for everyone, they have served as important lessons for me and my experiences living out of my car for a full year. Some will be deep. Some funny. Some trivial, and some even borderline-cheesy, but they are honest and they are real, and come from a place of complete vulnerability. For that reason alone, I hope you can appreciate it for what it is. I did my best to eliminate any fancy or artificially contrived rhetoric or try-too-hard platitudes. As your read, please, don’t expect to be blown away. Don’t expect your life to change forever. I’m not a poet. I’m barely a writer. But I promised and owed it to myself to keep an accurate account of my time in my car over the last year and that is what I did. One day, some of these things may end up in a book, who knows. But for now, they are on this blog that few will actually read. But thats okay. Because this last year was one of the most gratifying and challenging years of my life. Some of the things i experienced can and will only ever be learned first hand. No blog or journal or book could ever articulate some of the lessons I’m not able to put into words just yet. This year was a beautiful experiment if you will; An experiment in life untethered. An experiment to be and live as efficient as possible and carry the most, but as little, as required. This year has taught me more than I could ever have imagined. I am very thankful. Enjoy the next few reads.
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.
#2 Comfort is Relative
Think about it.
Like most things, something can only be labeled good or bad, when it is compared to something else. When you say something is good (or bad), lets say a burger, what you are really saying is, that this particular burger is only good or bad relative to the other burgers you’ve tasted in the past. Right? How else would you measure if your burger is good or bad or not? The same is true for comfort. Lets use the comfort of a small bed and space of #hotelprius. If all you have ever known is a nice, lush, comfortable queen size mattress and were to spend a night in #hotelprius, you probably not get a very good nights sleep. Why is this? It is because, relative to your cushy mattress at home, my bed would just not reach your level of comfort standards. However, if all you have ever known was sleeping on the cold hard ground, #hotelprius would be quite an upgrade. Better than what you had before, right? Now, I am not saying that all I have ever known is a sleeping on the ground, or that I’ve never experienced the comfort of one of those nice Temperpedic mattresses before. I’m just saying that I’ve spent many a night on the ground in a tent somewhere on a mountain and #hotelprius is way more comfortable. Also it just became my new normal. In time I really did forget about all the various comforts of a home, and a real bed, and lots of space and just got used to the new way of living. For the record I sleep very well. I’ve invested well in my air pad and it helps I don’t move around a lot when I sleep, and that a small space doesn’t bother me. The difficulty is saying no to friends when they invite me to crash in a real bed. I have to say no every time, because I know that once I get a taste of a real bed, especially those Temperpedics, I’m going to loath going back to the bed of #hotelprius. I would just rather not go through that torture. Comfort is relative.
#3 Traveling Will NOT Help You Find Yourself
I hear it all the time, and I even used to say it myself. “I just want to travel you know? I need to ‘find’ myself .”
First off, what does that even mean?
Traveling will not help “find yourself,” it will only help you gain a better perspective of who you already are back home.
Like many people my age, I was hit hard with the wanderlust bug right after graduating college. Wonderlust is that feeling many my age experience that longs to be apart of something greater than themselves, and feels that only travel will satisfy. Let me tell you, I had it bad! I was bored and unhappy with where my life was going and I longed for more daring adventures, deeper challenges, and a life full of better stories. For some reason, traveling and experiencing the world seemed to be the thing I wanted most, and #hotelprius seemed the best vehicle (both literally and figuratively) to allow me to chase that insatiable dream I felt was missing from my life. But here is what I have learned to be true: Travel is not what I was missing.
I’m convinced the thing I was missing was NOT to explore new and unfamiliar terrain in my world, but new and unfamiliar terrain in my heart. That may sound corny but I needed and longed to feel things deeper than my current level of involvement. I needed to experience life on a more intimate plain. That meant, I needed to get more deeply and intimately involved in something I truly loved and believed in, either romantically or behind a cause. I needed to feel and experience life in new ways, but I was convinced that traveling (probably because it seemed the most fun) was going to satisfy the itch I couldn’t seem to reach. But don’t get me wrong, traveling wasn’t at all that bad or in any way a complete waste of my time. In fact my experience helped me learn that traveling is an art-form and this world is a beautiful work of art that should be celebrated for the beauty that it is. It was also through my traveling that helped me understand that it is the difficult challenges and often uncomfortable circumstances in our lives that allows us to see ourselves for who we truly are, showing our true self in the form of our responses. It is in those uncertain and sometimes extreme circumstances outside of out control (that travel often expedites) that exposes the parts of us, that we ourselves have not yet seen – the parts of us we are convinced we need “to find.” You don’t have to travel to gain perspective. Travel is just the excuse to jump in.
Lastly, character isn’t something you find, it is something you develop.
#4 Releasing All Ties to Commitment in Not True Freedom
I used to think that if I released myself from everything that tied me down or left me feeling stuck, then and only then would I experience true freedom. After a full year and the ability to go or do whatever I wanted, completely free of any and all contractual obligations or commitments, I now know the freedom I was looking for does not exist. The truth is, commitment has always scared me and has been a struggle of mine. Big shocker right? Blame it on my upbringing or negative past experiences, my age, the culture or time I live in, or whatever…but the idea of commitment or permanent tie to anything has frightened me for as long as I have been making my own decisions. When I think about it, the real problem for me lies with the forcing or pressure of a choice that I feel am not ready for.
My guess is that this hesitation to commit comes a place of fear. The fear of wasting time, but ultimately wasting my life. For a long time, I’ve been afraid to loose something that I was worried once lost, I could never get back -my freedom and independence. By making a commitment to something, I feel I am signing my life away. Unfortunately for the significant people in my life, my fear of commitment to material possessions and worldly contracts have transferred over to my personal relationships. The sad part is, I didn’t know this was possible, but it is, and it has cost me deeply. For years my brain has struggled to distinguish and separate the difference between the good kinds of commitment verses the bad, and as a result, my personal relationships (in the area that matters most) have suffered the most. I believed the lie for many years (and only a year in #hotelprius could have taught me this) that if I cut ties to all my commitments completely and live life untethered of everything keeping me “tied down,” I would in fact experience the true freedom I was looking for. This I have learned is emphatically untrue.
Allow me to use an analogy of a kite on a string to further emphasis my point. Kites, as you know have been engineered to fly through the air with grace and ease. But what allows to kite to fly at all is simple string that connects the kite to the one flying it. Without this string, the kite would not fly. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am the same way. You see, by cutting myself (the kite) loose from the tether of commitment (the string), it is impossible for me to experience the kind of flight and true freedom I was made for.
Dare I say it, but some commitments are necessary. My wager is that the commitments that are necessary in life revolve around the people that care about you most. Case in point: Commitments are not always a bad thing.
#5 Blogs Are Hard To Maintain
Believe it or not, keeping up with my blog is like pulling teeth for me. I started this blog with the idea that I would document the days and write about my experiences on the road and as I wake up from place to place. I am officially over a full year in now and I’m not even close to the amount of material I expected to have together. Many of my pictures and “almost blog posts” are sitting in a file on my computer waiting to be finished or edited. Being a perfectionist is definitely part of it, and wrestling with what I want to share with you is also what keeps me from posting when I feel I should. Mostly however, my lack of material on my blog after a full year is due to the fact that I don’t really enjoy writing very much. If anything, I like more what I have written. When the words look and sound better on the page than they do in my head, I like this feeling, but sitting down to write just stresses me out. I’m often grumpy, not in the mood or have absolutely zero material or inspiration to write most of the time. More often than not I find something to get distracted by and never write a word. Other times I somehow muster the courage to show up and force myself to push through the grump. Sure writing has its great moments on occasion. The moments where the words flow and the fingers follow. But the majority of the time I stumble through the keyboard and struggle with spelling. I get frustrated and move on to Facebook or Instragam or play a game on my phone. In these moments, sitting down to write is the last thing I want to do. I think what else it is, is taking the time to organize my thoughts. This is the hardest part of the process for me. It takes an exuberant amount of effort and energy that I don’t always believe I have. Communicating I feel is one of my stronger gifts, but organizing them into a structured and linear format for the page is perhaps where I struggle the most. Add the fact I suck at spelling and I feel no one actually reads my blog anyway, all give good reason to why I don’t want to write and give excuses for why my blog isn’t updated. Excuses mostly, but nonetheless, a blog is very, very hard to maintain.
#6 Community is More Important than Financial Security
When I started this little adventure of mine over a year ago, I really had only a few priorities. One of those priorities was to arrive at the place where I felt financially stable –whatever that means. Before college I had experienced a few years of what the “real world” was like. I maintained a job, paid rent, paid bills, and did the whole paycheck to paycheck thing. With college and a few more years of experience under my belt I was ready to enter the ring with the “real world” again, but this time with a new and refined left hook. What I would soon learn, reaching the place where I felt financially stable never came. Probably because when it comes to money, no amount ever seems to satisfy. While chasing this goal of mine, I unfortunately lost sight of what was most important – community, and the true value of a few close friends. I went from having a reasonably established group of good friends that I spent time with most days out of the week to living and spending the majority of my time alone. I was after financial security and gave up what matter most to chase it. At the time though, I just didn’t know that. As cliché as it sounds: what I thought was missing from my life, turned out to be in front of me the whole time. Community and a group of supporting people is a far better security than a number in my bank account. Because really, at the end of the day, money comes and goes, but good friends will stick around forever if you let them.
#7 Spending Too Much time Alone is Dangerously Unhealthy.
I’ve learned I am much happier doing nothing with someone than doing anything by myself.
Its true. I think that is because humans, much like many animals, were just not designed or meant to live alone. Now don’t get me wrong, I think being alone sometimes is important and certainly needed, especially for an introvert like myself. I would argue however, that being alone for long periods of time is not just a bad idea, but straight-up unhealthy. Let me explain.
I am the type of person that “recharges” when I spend time away from other people. But just like with iphones, if I leave it recharging too long, the battery begins to wear and over time the iphone (myself) looses the ability to recharge the way it was meant to.
The problem with spending too much time alone is after enough time, there is a tendency to only think about me. This is expected I guess, because there is no one else around to think about. What inevitably ends up happening in these long periods of isolation is I somehow trick myself in to believing that all space in my space and all time is my time. I begin to feel entitled. I start to become short-fused and much more frustrated by other people who infringe on my time and space (especially in traffic). The problem with this is, there is no one around to contend with this lie I have convinced myself of – that I am the best and most important person in my world. This lie, given enough time, roots itself deep into my being and I slowly become more unaware and even less curious of the other people around me. I become more and more self-centered and am only in-tune to my needs rather than accepting the reality that I am not the only person in the universe.
You can see how this is a problem.
To put simply, being alone makes me behave like an ass. And nobody wants to be around an ass. Henceforth a vicious cycle of being alone manifests itself, and if one is not careful, the damage can cost many unhappy years of living life alone and bitter because the world is not catering to ones needs.
#8 Don’t Make Coffee Unless You Have a Place to Poop
I make coffee out of my car every morning. And not just coffee, but the best coffee using fresh grounds I keep in a airtight container. I have this great little stove I whip out that fits right next to my feet. I heat the water and can have a cup of joe ready in under 2 minutes.
Watch the quick video below:
I love it, and no doubt one of my favorite parts of my day. But if I am not strategic when and where I make it, I could be in for a much browner…I mean bigger problem. I don’t know about you but even just the faint smell of coffee will send my stomach churning. If I’m not somewhere close to a bathroom or woods when my tum-tum makes its first turn, I’m in trouble. “Prairie-doggin” it only gets me so far.
#9 Dreams Don’t Come True…Goals Do
Our whole lives we have been told that “dreams really do come true if we just dare to dream them.”
Bunch of Fewee if you ask me!
The people that tell you this are most often trying to inspire you and/or are just full of it. That, or they can’t think of anything better to say and just repeating some ridiculous rhetoric they heard from Buzz Feed or the Disney channel. It’s just not true! A dream will never be anything more than a dream, until you turn that dream or idea into action! You do that through goals. But goals don’t happen overnight and it takes work. It’s about setting for yourself not just goals but attainable step-by-step goals. Undoubtedly some dreams are bigger than others and will require a bit more work and a few more steps. But with a little persistence, a little help, and that hard work thing you’ve heard so much about, I’m confident the dreams we dream are possible.
Easy for me to say, right? Yeah maybe. But I’ve been there and #hotelprius was not started because I dreamed of living out of my car. That’s lame! No, I dreamed of more for my life and #hotelprius became the means in which to attain what I wanted. Sacrifices had to be made, I had to stay focused and it was hard most of the time. I just made it work. And you will too. That is if you want it bad enough.
I believe that if you want something bad enough, and your heart is in the right place, and ask the universe (I call it God) for it, and create attainable goals, there is little that will stop you from achieve whatever you set your heart on.
#10 It’s Not What You Do, It’s Who You Do It With That Matters
I’ve done some crazy stuff in my day and #hotelprius only scratches the surface.
But I will say, #hotelprius is by far the longest amount of time I’ve spend doing something this intense for this long.
If you have spent any time with me at any point in my life, you don’t have to think too hard about a time I convinced you to do something outlandish with me just for the sake of having a little fun and living to tell a great story about the experience. Maybe it was the time I called you to climb a construction crane at midnight. Or the time I asked you to help me build a street sailboat out of an old shopping cart in preparation for the hurricane. Or the time the streets of Boston were shutdown because of the blizzard and we skied down the empty streets. Or what about the time we spent the whole day constructing that igloo so I could add “Eskimo” to my resume? Remember when we met up one night with my moped and your skateboard to sketch the streets of Boston? How about the time we climbed that mountain with sleds on our backs so we could say we sledded Massachusett’s biggest hill. Or the time we swam across that freezing lake in the middle of November on an inflatable air mattress to film that film project last minute? What about that time we made a bon-fire and slept on that beach in the freezing wind so we could watch the sunrise?
(Okay, we get it, you and your friends are crazy Chris!)
The truth is, I like to do crazy things, because I like the crazy payoffs. No way would these stories be as memorable had I not had someone to share in these experiences with me. Stories are always better when told together. I am thankful for the people I have met on my journey through this crazy life and I would not at all be the same without the influences of these people and letting me be me and keeping me safe.
In short, Life is better when shared.
#11 I Don’t Need Nearly as Much as I Try to Convince Myself I Do
Everything I own and need fits in my car. So, as you can imagine I don’t own very much.
Honestly, the bulk of what is in #hotelprius right now is sleeping bags and/or gear to better prepare me for the different weather conditions I encounter in the different places I visit. Stuff like extra jackets, my laptop and a few cooking needs, a day pack with toiletries, a flashlight, a stove, an air pad, and clothes. Clothes are perhaps the things that take up the most space. It takes a lot of different types of clothes to stay prepared for all weather conditions.
I will say, I don’t have very many clothes now, at least relative to most people with… you know…real closets. These days, I only wear one of the two pairs of jeans, a flannel with a plain tee underneath, and usually the same grey Patagonia sweater or jacket almost everyday. I do have some nicer clothes on reserve but only for special occasions like job interviews or dinner parties. What I own currently is truly all I can fit in my car and in the small “basement” that rests under my head, and the little extras up top in the “attic.” End sidenote.
The truth is, every single day I am bombarded constantly with advertisements and billboards, and other people that do such a great job convincing me I need something that they have. Some times I can avoid the bait dangling in front of me, but other times I fall for it hook line and sinker. But, I will say this: living out of my car has caused me to really evaluate what is truly a need and what is merely a want.
The thing is, I used to not think or be this way. I was excess’ biggest advocate. Just a few years ago, I wasn’t a minimalist, in fact I was on the complete other side of the spectrum. What happened? Perhaps this great purge of mine was in response to the fact that I finally saw my stuff for what it truly was; just stuff, and I arrived at the place where I had enough and was tired of looking for material posetions to make me happy.
It was before college and certainly before #hotelprius was ever even thought of. I was in my early twenties and I took a few years off from school and began building my empire. Just kidding. But in a short few years, I accumulated more than I’m proud to admit. I had it all. From several big screen TV’s to the latest gadgets and coffee makers. All different kinds of things to make life easier and more comfortable, but mostly crap I didn’t need. Sadly, I used material possessions to try to add value to my life that ultimately never gave me what I was looking for. In retrospect I realize now, the things I owned made up a large part of who I thought I was and who I was trying to be. I let stuff be apart of my identity. Without it, I’m not sure there would be have been a whole lot left. The way that I saw it, my stuff and what I owned was a direct representation of my success at such a young age. It was only when I had to sell everything and get rid of my stuff, that it was revealed to me just how much of my identify was placed in what I owned.
Fast forward to a year ago. When I chose this adventure last December, I forced myself to get rid of everything again, of the what I thought to be accumulated “excess” in my life. It was a huge purge and I rid myself of almost everything. Everything had to go through a very rigorous filtration process… and then another, and then another, just to make it all fit. Am I glad I did it? Yes and no. But mostly, yes!
Yes, because it made me realize how much of the crap I could actually live without. And no, because I’ve learned that little things do add up and nothing is worse than a wasted investment and having to but something for the third time.
But even in the last year of having minimal and finding contentment by living as efficiently as possible, and even with this newly learned life lesson, I’m amazed at the crap I still try to convince myself that I need. I need this new Iphone or I need these new jeans. I need these _______(fill in the blank). Now I’m not saying these things are bad in and of themselves. I don’t believe they are, at least not anymore. In fact, I think having nice things is great and certainly some things make life easier or more convenient and there is nothing wrong with that. But need? I think the real battle I fight is finding balance between the minimalist lifestyle I live now and the excessive one I lived before. The real battle is fighting the lie that having more things will make me happier. I unfortunately still make this mistake more often than I care to admit. On occasion, when I am looking for something to do to kill time, I’ll find myself window shopping. This is partly due to boredom and partly due to how American consumerism has conditioned me to believe that I will be happier, more confident, more productive, more comfortable etc if I have more. The worst part of it all is thinking that this logic is somehow right or okay. It’s not, and I think most of us know this and desperately want to get away from the consumerist, “I-need-everything-lifestyle” if we could. We know we have become excessive but most of us don’t care. We keep buying things and spending our money on more stuff in hopes that the next thing will give us what we are looking for. Then something newer or prettier comes out, and suddenly we need that too.
I don’t have any solutions to avoid the american epidemic plaguing our country. I don’t know if it will ever end. We are too far gone. The only advise I know how to give is what I have been trying to focus on in the last year of my life. And even still, I’m not claiming it as foolproof. For me, I have to remind myself and be thankful every day that what I have now, is truly all that I need. And it is. The truth is, we really don’t need much to live. And we don’t need much to be happy, but coming to the place of contentment with what I have, I find is the biggest challenge of all.
#12 Learning To Be Content in Every Circumstance is By Far the Hardest Task in the World
What is contentment exactly? Contentment is being satisfied with what we have and where we are in life, no matter the circumstances, no matter what.
Yeah…I’m not there yet. Not even close!
I think all of us desire to be happy in this life but sometimes, at least for me, I find myself believing that if I had more, I would be happier! If that was true, then people with the most would be the happiest. Fortunately, we don’t have to look far to see that is just not reality. So knowing this to be true, I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to pursue contentment rather than happiness. Happiness is fleeting. It is here for a moment then gone the next. It is different from contentment because while happiness usually requires something external to fuel itself, contentment is derived from within. Being content takes constant work and the constant reminder to yourself of the things you do have, and being appreciative for them. For me, I have to go out of my way to do this. Through my everyday, there is apart of me that wants and desires more, either more stuff, a better job, or just more out of life in general. And that’s not a bad thing. I think it’s good to be thinking of ways to improve the quality of life. But it is the desire of wanting more that makes me unsatisfied with what I do have. I have to force myself to convince myself I don’t need more and having more, is not what I need. Finding contentment is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do because it requires tricking the mind into believing something that is completely contrary to everything we have learned and thought we knew. We live in a world where wanting more is hardwired into American culture. Wanting more is literally what fuels our American consumerist economy.
But if we are honest with ourselves, haven’t we missed it?
Are we willing to admit that maybe we have gotten a little out of control with the things we want and feel like we need? Why do keep wanting more when we already have so much? And if the things we do have, aren’t bringing the satisfaction we had hoped for and we are still not happy, then why would having something else be any different? I’m afraid the problems are not our products, but us! Some of us, myself included are seeking the wrong things and we don’t even know it. Contentment is difficult because it’s not a product to acquire; it’s a state of mind. And that may be new to many of us because again, its contrary to everything we though we knew. The sooner we realize that we are being lied to about what will make us truly happy the closer we will be to finding contentment with who we are and where we are in life. I am by far still working towards being content. I struggle on a daily basis and expect to struggle for the rest of my life.
The only real advise I know how to give in this area that has worked for me, is to be continually thankful for what I do have and remind myself that having more is not the answer.
Seek to be content. Not happy.
#13 Life is a Story and We Write the Chapters
It is perhaps this idea that “life is a story” that has catalyzed so many of my latest risks and adventures. Somewhere in my early twenties, through a series of books, personal life events, and talking with inspiring people- people like Don Miller and Bob Goff, I began to subscribe to this idea that life is only what you make of it and that in order to live a life of measurable value, it needed to contain great stories. Stories full of love and adventure and meeting great people. Stories of taking big risks and having great faith. Stories of failure and successes, stories full of whimsy and grace.
I guess, not every story needs to have these things, but the goods ones seem to and I want to live a good one.
I think all of us want to live great lives, and for me, seeing life as a story has really encouraged me to live life to it’s fullest. I love stories and I love great characters. I want to be able a great character and want to look at my life as a whole one day, and say, “Yeah that was awesome!” I want to run after the things I think are important while I still can. Above all, I want to be me to the best of my ability.
Here is what I have learned though in the last year in living out of my car. If you sit around waiting for life to happen to you, you are going to miss it. It will pass in front of you and before you know it, and you will miss out on the one chance you have in this life to make or be apart of something great. Life is a story that we have to write ourselves.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that #hotelprius was my gift to the world, no not by any means, but it did provide me the launching board to discover and explore new things, new people, new cultures, and helped me hone in on where my gifts and talents lie. It helped me strategize and write my story without the distraction of bills and debt hanging over my head.
My journey is not even close to being done. My character is still being introduced, and I’m still finding my niche. However, I am hopeful, I will find it in the next couple of chapters. Eventually, I’ll settle down, and you know, get a house and a wife and kids in all that. But right now, I’m enjoying this chapter as best I can because I will never be able to live it again.
#14 Starting New Friendships is NOT as Fun as Starting New Restaurants
If you have ever wondered how #hotelprius funds its adventures, restaurant startups is your answer. As an experience server, educator, and all around awesome dude, I had this great idea once. My idea? I would combine all the things I was good at and pursue a field that could benefit from my skillsets and experiences. I wasn’t looking for a career, just something to give me an excuse to travel. After some thought, I finally came with an idea. But in order to make it seem “legit” to the outside world, I needed a fancy title. So I made it up. I now call myself a “Quality and Efficiency Specialist.” (I may be giving my secrets away here but I don’t care.) Now, I make a living by jumping on board promising restaurant start-ups in new-to-me-cities and teach what I know about efficiency. It is my excuse to travel, and it’s a great excuse to try new delicious food from chefs all over the world. The secret to my success? Every restaurant is successful in the first 90 days. Why? Simply because people love new food and new experiences and are going to try a restaurant that has been making a name for themselves on social media. Essentially, I make my money from tips delivering stellar service and promising to bring in positive reviews. With each new restaurant and new city I drive into, comes with it a new set of people. What I’ve leaned, investing in restaurants is easy. Investing in friends is much harder. With new restaurants, the order of action is, I come in, present my knowledge, implement some efficiency strategies and teach it to the team when needed. The tools for my work exists in document form on my computer and my initial investment is minimal, but highly educational and productive. When it’s over, I walk away with more experience, and a nice lingering sweet taste in my mouth. My new made friends on the other hand, not as easy. Simply because investing in people is much different. There are no easy tools and efficiency tactics to be a good friend. Only time and a willingness to be venerable and show your true self is how to be successful in this market. True friendships, well they take time that a 90 day period most always doesn’t allow. When I leave a restaurant my job is done and I don’t need to come back. With new friends however, that is never my intention. I don’t want to be a friend for 90 days and leave, but inevitably that is what ends up happening. Starting a new restaurant is always fun. Starting new friends over and over, not so much. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to how to maintain long lasting frienships while only being in a city for a few months. I wish I did. If it has taught me anything though, it is that I CAN’T do this forever, but it is a great way to travel and make money and gain experience at the same time.