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Would you ever choose to be homeless?

I have had several occasions over the years where I found myself making a conscious choice to be homeless. Usually only for a day or two sometimes a week or so. I did however spend about 6 months in my youth without any real address and honestly look back on it as one of the best experiences of my life. By allowing myself the freedom of being truly both vulnerable and flexible I met some of the most interesting and generous people one could ever hope to meet from such diverse backgrounds. I am now contemplating making it a lifestyle. This is not to say sleeping in allies everyday, but camping out staying with those who would have me, even paying for a room when needed and yes allies. I believe that I might feel more at home when I am traveling often aimlessly than I do around my family for whom I care for deeply. Why can't we loose the stigma of what it is to be homeless? Many teachings suggest that a life without all the clutter of the material that is so pervasive in modern culture can be very rich and rewarding. The pope even takes a vow of poverty upon his appointment, however sometimes I am not sure how seriously he takes it. Now let me ask you the same question again but grant you the ability to enjoy all of the comforts of home regardless of where you lay your head at night. Would this make a difference?


Closing Statement from Skylar Nitesh

We are all homeless in the sense that ownership is illusory and the only certainty is change, but we all share this planet we call earth and here we all have a home. I live for the day when we take this obsession of the material and strive for not only substance but connection and longevity in all that we create and the lives we lead. We are a family and while we may not always agree our fates are bound.

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  • Aug 5 2011: Hi Skylar. Have you heard of couchsurf.org? This is a great way to safely travel throughout the US and abroad.
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      Aug 5 2011: i did this in europe last year, hitch hiking and couch surfing even through serbia, it was great. met the most amazing people.
    • Aug 5 2011: I actually just started filling out a profile on couchsurf and was one of the reasons I have chosen to discuss this topic. Thank you both, it is a wonderful site.
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        Aug 7 2011: It is the only way to travel.

        When you say you where homeless, what do you mean? You didn't have a permanent residence and where just squatting with friends? What was the process of staying with randoms, did you just meet people and ask if you could stay? Did you have a job?

        To be honest I have thought about doing it a couple of times, more so just to see what it was like for a homeless person. To start from nothing and see what it was like to be able to get a job without owning a car or residence, and to how hard it was to get a place to stay without a job and not relying on anyone.

        Personally I am for the voluntary simplicity movement, and believe we have too much attachment for material things, I would love to spend my days living off the land, not being apart off all the issues of today. But unfortunately we live in a world where this is not easily possible.

        “Why can’t we lose the stigma about being homeless”, it’s very unfortunate that many people are homeless and live on the streets; many of these people also have mental illness. I could not imagine how hard it would be to own nothing, the only people you know are also homeless, what it would be like to find something to eat and a place to sleep for the night let alone try and get a job, and to top it off a failed system to support you and not many people really giving a shit.

        I don't mean to be rude but the “being homeless” you are talking about would be a dream for many of the people who sleep on the pavement every night. The stigma is on the mark, and should stay to show people what it is to be homeless. We can lose the stigma when we people’s rights are met and have a shelter over their head.

        Thanks for the great subject.
        • Aug 8 2011: I mean I didn't have any financial means of my own no job no bank account in regard to my roughly six month stent and relied on the generosity of others which was well received and often with little to no solicitation. I dressed well, had average hygiene and believe this was a major factor in peoples willingness and often eagerness to engage me. I was lucky enough to make friends who would let me store the few things that I had and come and go pretty much. Most nights however I would chose to go home with strangers (not always sexual) that I would meet anywhere from a bar, store, beach, through others or just walking around. There were several schools in area which helped. Students usually accept others. I would also find an alley, abandoned build, but preferred the beach and parks. It wasn't all rainbows however I have had knives and guns pointed at me (never shot or stabbed luckily) been in fights where I was out numbered but was able to hold my own and wasn't too proud to run away if presented with the option to do so. I would often wake up and not have a clue where I was geographically that is (excuse me sir what city is this kind of thing) but I even look back at those experiences with fondness. I think I put myself in dangerous circumstances to push my limits and grow as an individual. I have been blessed with the intuition of a child that has saved me numerous times. If you pay attention and listen to your gut it can save you a lot of hurt. The day here day there stuff was very much about sleeping in public places and/or creating new experiences for myself walking rather than calling for a ride choosing to not talk with anyone I knew thirsty for new connections because something in me was driving me to do so. Sometimes I would go out with friends to the club and tell my ride to leave me which was often met with worry, but I would persist and drop off the grid for a few days or week until I felt more like a complete person I guess you could say. Thank you.
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        Aug 8 2011: That is a great post. Your experience sounds amazing, it reminds me of something I read a while ago, sorry for being vague as I can't remember to well, but it was s
        Something about ether Hindu are Buddhist living with no home or possessions and would only eat what was offered to them and rely on the kindness of others for a place to stay.

        What country do you live in? I would love to do this and try it out, I just have no idea where I would begin. 
        • Aug 8 2011: I live in the US and was in South Florida (Miami area) when I did this. It is always important to recognize that which is most rewarding can also be dangerous and if anyone decides to try this I recommend that you not be afraid to walk away and maybe try again perhaps in a different place and or time if things get too intense. It is important to prepare both physically and mentally to plan for the unexpected one will surely encounter with such an endeavor much like an expedition. Make no mistake it can be a jungle out there, but to me that is what makes life so precious, its dynamic nature. The risk I believe to be well worth the reward. Thank you my friend and good luck in your journey.

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