Category Archives: Subaru life

The Boring Details of Building an Excellent Life

It’s the spring is when man is at his most creative. My last post was written in the dead of winter and so much has happened since then. Last I wrote “The Charismatic Character” from inside a ski lodge surrounded by groups of skiers and snowboarders and many different screaming children and families. If I ever felt fatigued with my writing the slopes where only yards away. The last post was a fairly intensive research project and so having the ability to escape into a winter wonderland was a huge key as to why it turned out so well. It was shortly after publishing that post that I wrapped up my time on the mountain and descended back into city living. Still broke and still in my car but with a much richer and more meaningful life. The adventure spirit was catalyzed up on the mountain and I can now claim to have passed into the realm of true adventurers and day by day my thirst for the next journey only grows. There are so many things I need to do and so long as everything plays out according to plan. I will just barely scrape on through, making discipline and thriftiness of highest importance.

I got a boring 9-5 (actually 11-8) job that requires I show up to work on time everyday. As much as I hate showing up on someone else’s schedule, the job pays well. The sacrifice is something I can stand only because I know that it’s something I need to do for a short time before the fruits of my labor will come through. I can feel myself becoming frustrated at times and I wonder if it’s not because I have never really put in more than 20 hour a week at any one job before in my life, and then only for short sprints. I have always been more focused on creativity and my own ventures that I could never handle working for someone else’s dream. This week will be my 5th out of 8 total weeks that I plan on putting in at the company. At this point it feels like I am finding my flow and I expect my best performance to come in the following few days. Because of where I am financially, the work is necessary but all I want to do is create and this job is not the place for my creation, and so I look forward to the day where I can take my last paycheck and make my own way away from the company.

With all of the work I need some place to release all of my tense up energy. Dancing might be the thing to do and I should really find something like that for no reason other than release. At the moment I have not found anything that truly heals my soul. Instead I have taken my pain from the job and am using it for more work. On the weekends I pedicab which acts as my way to release and to grow in my social skills. Getting on a bike and yelling nonsense at drunk people has such a cathartic effect that by the end of a long night on a cab I can let out all of those witty and humorous things that I could never really tap into during the work week. Something about the combination of exercise and short funny interactions that gets the juices flowing. Its pedicabing that will do a majority of the legwork in shaping the events of the summer which brings me to my next point; the plan.

Last week I received my first paycheck from working a fulltime job. The first thing I spent my money on was a permit to ride pedicabs at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas. For all of you who have not heard, EDC is one of the largest electronic dance festivals in the world. Today most people would call it a rave. (I say this having been to the old school raves from the 90s, where the people (true ravers) all scoff at the modern usage of the term, but such is the way of change.) EDC in Vegas is sure to be full of pink tutus, shirtless bros, all of the drugs, and a light and art show sure to blow the mind of even the most sober dancers in the crowd. I paid more than half a rack just to get the permit and will be paying almost three times as much to rent a bike. That puts me in at over 2k invested just to be able to ride. I have no doubt that it will be well worth the investment. Still, my work here in Portland comes down to the wire in putting together all the elements that will allow me to rage face with the ravers down in Vegas. There is a lot to do and only just enough time to do it.

Instead of going to the bars and drinking all the local beer this great city has to offer, I work on my discipline and putting together everything I need to put together in order to make my dreams come true. To be honest, I like the life of hard work more than the life of leisure and play. I was never really good at having so much free time anyways and so feel that this type of working intensity life will stay with me even after I leave this place. It’s the type of hard work that sinks in to my off the clock time and let me tell you, it feels so good to have the discipline to do the things I want to do. Right now I am reading three books, I have a meditation practice that has been going strong for over a month, I am actively producing creative works by the daily, and for the first time in years I am waking up before 7am on a consistent basis. I wish I had the funds to start yoga class but I bet I get a week in right before I leave.

Jesus said it best when he proclaimed that “to all that have, more will be given; and to all that have not, everything will be taken.” Upward spirals tend to continue upward, just as much as downward spirals tend to continue downward. Being human we are capable to seeing the consequences of our actions but changing our lives from negative to positive is something that often requires some sort of terrible inspiration to set one down a different path. We know the type of things that is required to change a life; be it the awesome or the awful, both can have a profound effect on the choices we make. Sometimes hitting rock bottom can be what it takes to make one feel that they can no longer keep living as they have. Other times it’s the realization of how great life can become. What’s important is to keep pushing the envelope of life and to keep taking risks. A life lived in the middle will produce mediocrity. A life lived on the edge will shape and define you into something smooth and refined.

Over the past few years I have made a life of traveling from place to place. As soon as I get comfortable I know that it’s time to move on to something new. It’s been hard living like this and now I yearn for order more than anything. From where I sit now I see the potential of building a business that spans all over the states. With the connects I have made and the skills I possess I feel more than capable of creating phenomenal income that would allow me to travel the country and create the order that I crave so much, but something about the chaos is calling and so I feel compelled to throw myself back into the unknown. It’s because I feel that I will come back stronger than ever with new skills that I have never dreamt of having; and so its with my favorite type of sadness that I turn my back on a business built in the USA and instead set my sights on a foreign land and all of the unknown that comes with living in a new country.

Thanks for reading. It’s my hope that you are able to get half as much from my writing as I do. Two minds are better than one and I would love to collaborate so drop a riff in the comments below and we can create something that will change our lives together. I currently reside in Portland and in a few weeks will be in Vegas. After Vegas I plan on traveling the country so if you reside in the United States then lets make plans to meet up.

Until next time.

-Chris

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A Story of Coming Up

This is a story of coming from darkness into the light, which has been theme on this blog. At one level I wish I could stay in the good life and keep on building from there, but life is full of surprises and everyone is tossed from the saddle from time to time. The value that I hope to give people who read my blog is the moment of climbing back into the saddle. In these moments can we make that triumphant cry but only with bloodshot eyes that know there is a long road ahead and that this is only the first step of a long journey. Here is an invitation to come along for the ride on yet another first step.

The past few weeks of my life it’s been hard work just to stay afloat. Mostly adrift I have been looking for something to give greater purpose and ground me in the life of my dreams. There have been two types of people that I am working with along the way and they are the people that I know I should be around, and the people that my parents know I should not be around. When it comes to a supportive environment free of the bad kind of drugs and full of the right type of attitude, my friends are split. In my mind I know that I should be hanging out with the people that fit the mold, but for sometimes I feel more comfortable with the dirty kids. Maybe it’s some sort of superiority complex where I need to feel and act like a boss. Whatever the case my life is wild and I have been teetering on a line filled with all the good and all the bad I could ever imagine.

As I continue to get into more and more crazy experiences (see “Going into the unknown”) I start to think about grounding and the events that build character. Part of me wants to run away and go headlong back into travel, but deep down I feel that I need to build something of a community and stay in one place long enough to face my demons. I was hoping that this type of grounding and greater significance in life could be found through work. A job that I love doing and one that would allow me to attain my greater aspirations in life. At first I thought that job would come by selling cars and so I tried my hand. It was an emptiness in my stomach and a yearning for more that told me it was time to find something new. In the three weeks I worked at Subaru I sold three cars and so feel that I can say that I left not because I was a bad salesman but because I am bad at working with a team. One of my demons to be faced for sure.

Living in a car with a job can feel like a bird without a nest. Living in a car without a job can be like falling into a pit without bottom. I spent the few weeks after Subaru doing some of the worst activities. Eating cheap and unhealthy, surfing junk online at whatever library I found suitable for the day. There are a few positive things the be said about my decident path. First, my meditation has stayed with me through thick and thin. 20 min a day on the usual. These practices have been expanding into a domain I can only hint at here, on this webpage, and in this current reality, into something truly profound with a path of clear challenges to be overcome. Second, I always find time to hit the gym and work my body, and it shows if I do say so for myself! My reading has also stayed on point and I will be picking up a book called The Art of Seduction as soon as I am finished with this. On the same page as reading I will say that my curiosity with life has never come close to turning off. Constantly am I looking for new things to learn and this studious attitude towards life is taking me far. I really do love learning and what may be more, I love knowing, as little as that may be. As sick and as lonely as I can feel at times, I can always look back and say at least there was this.

Ok, now it’s time to tell you the kicker. The thing that I found that provides me with so much meaning and direction and purpose that it’s changing my life. It’s a job, the job I picked up after my job at Subaru, and it’s a job that takes me in quite the opposite direction. That job is a ski instructor at a mountain about and hour from the city of Seattle. My first day was just a week ago and it’s taken over my life by (snow) storm. On my first day the hill was so crowded and the demand for instructors was so high that my second lesson I worked solo with 12 fresh new skiers. With no training it was my responsibility to get these folks (mostly around the age of 28) from gaper level skiers to something that might be able to hit a chairlift. Dare I say that I am training future rippers capable of dreaming up their next runs in the nights before they hit the slopes. Unfortunately this is not the case for everyone.

Some of the best moments of my life have been had on the side of a snow covered mountain. Conveying this to people is the best part of my job, but the reality is that most people suck and take a learning class just so they can think that they are getting unusually good at technique when in actuality it’s almost entirely about the attitude. The attitude of pushing your limits is the thing that is going to get you super good at skiing. What I get paid to do is to hold gapers hands and tell them things that make them feel like they are getting some type of understanding. I try and enlighten people to the truth as much as I can, and the truth is that if you want to get good at something you need to keep pushing your comfort zone.

The people that go pro will go for years without lessons because they have the “can do” attitude and don’t need lessons. What anyone can do to get good fast is hit the bunny hill until they can make a turn left and make a turn right. After that has been accomplished they need to take the chair (even against better judgement) and then get something like 400 right turns and 400 left turns in. After that has been accomplished its time to take it to the gnarliest terrain possible and send it as hard as you can.So long as it doesn’t kill you, you are going to come out stronger. This is the point where something akin to the title of ripper can been attained. Here is when people are capable of loving the sport for the sport itself. But hey, that’s a tall mountain for anyone to climb and I don’t expect it of everyone.

I worked with a young boy about the age of 6 for my last lesson today. We started with boot work and then gradually moved up to walking on flat ground with skis attached. After that we worked on hiking up the mountain without sliding backwards and then bombing a short distance without falling. By the end of hour one he was making turns and even stopping mid run. When I told him that I thought he had a natural gift for this sport he shrugged and said he figured as much. After a day of teaching people, most of which will never find their passion, it felt like a gulp a hot cider after a long and cold walk through the rain to work with this kid. He had the attitude and thus had a future in the sport of skiing. I can’t wait to see him next week to we how much further we can get.

I have been saving the best until last and must say that the feeling I get from working with people that really learn comes in a close second but first the feeling I get from the woman of the mountain. Everyday I teach up to 40 different people how to ski. I am doing public speaking about something that I love and all day I get to dick off and hit on women in a sly and politically not appropriate manner. It’s clear when a girl is into me and it’s something that happens slightly less than once a class, making it something like 3 girls a day. At first I was taken in by my co-workers. The girl at the shop, the girl at the ticket counter, a fellow instructor; but as of now its all about the girls I teach. I am kickin it with one the day after tomorrow. We are meeting up near the ferry, next to the bay of the Puget Sound, downtown Seattle. I can’t think of a better place for a first time.

Life always feels better with greater meaning. Meaning may be very thing that makes life feel good. A job can be a great source of meaning and a great job will do exactly that. Money will always be a problem but now, at the end of the day, I enjoy the food more because my body is exhausted from a solid day of work. Now, leave work and feel like a made a difference in someone’s life. Now I can say I made a difference in my life. I feel good about my life and where I am going. Hope you’ll stick around to see how it goes because I will be sure to let you know. I will be here, writing, learning, living and loving. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Best blessings and I hope that you too can find something that gives you meaning.

Tips and Tricks for living in your car

It’s been almost 5 months that I have been living in my car. There have been many upgrades that I have been able to make and have come a long ways from when I was sleeping in the back seat on nothing but the matting that is provided upon purchase. Now I live in a capable vehicle that can go from full size bedding to a 5 seater in less than ten minutes. The car community here in Seattle is off the chain as Seattle is home to more car campers than anywhere else in the country. My life is something that you would expect from anyone that lives in their car, although I must claim that I am faring better than most would be in my position. A few things that that I would like to talk about are; charging your phone, hanging out, and work.

First, as anyone can attest, we all carry around phones and much of our lives are devoted to the task of keeping the phone alive. For most people the day is started with a phone at full battery because it can be charged when asleep. For me it’s just the opposite and for a long time I would spend a good chunk of my day at starbucks for no other reason than that I would need to charge my phone, which could take something along the lines of an hour or more! Over the past few months I have realized the importance of batteries and the different ways to charge them. For starters I have a $20 batter that I picked up from Target that gets its power via USB which I keep plugged in to my car port and is good for a +30% after a day of driving. I also have a JobRocker Max which functions both as a battery charger as well as a boombox. It’s got a great battery life as and is good for maybe three or four charges when at max juice. I am not able to plug this in to my car as so simply look for opportunities to plug it into an outlet whenever I get the chance, but mostly I just carry it into starbucks maybe once every other week. I do not feel that it’s healthy to go in to a starbucks for the sole reason of charging the phone and I try to stay away from this with the help of these batteries. I also have a computer but don’t like to rely on it.

Hanging out in different parts of the city is the biggest advantage of living in your car. If I want to move to the north side it’s as simple as finding a parking spot where no one will bother me. This is a very simple to find but I will note that public parks are generally not open past dusk and even if the park does provide all the best places to wake up in the morning and pee, people will get annoyed and the cops will often be called. Shame really. On the real though, there is generally a solid place to park within one mile of anywhere in the city. I make it a point to schedule my life in a way where I can sleep in the most convenient of places and am able to drive far less than someone that needs to end up in the same place every night. I have made it a point to not park in the same spot twice though I do have a few favored spots.

A sub point that I would like to make that will look and feel a lot like bragging, but could provide some real use for anyone that is looking to use this as a model for building their own car type of living situation, is the point of the luxury type of living situation that I find myself in. In my center console I have all my grooming supplies along with various charging cables. In the compartment under the climate control I keep my weed, pipe, scissors and most other paraphernalia type equipment (pots legal in Washington, other stuff that I keep there, not so much). In the glove box I keep tissue and snacks, and behind the seats I use for storage by which I can fit all of my possessions. It helps coming into this lifestyle being a practicing minimalist. In the back I have laid a full size futon mattress that I got specifically because it is about half as thick as your regular mattress and so I am able to fold the seats up and down without too much effort. I keep the JobRocker Max in between the drivers and passenger seats at night and then move it to the back bed in during the day. It’s plenty warm with two sleeping bags and a blanket and I have more than enough room for two, which happens on occasion though not nearly enough! Another important point is that the back seat windows are tinted. This is something I did not think about when I bought the car but is something that has proved to be incredibly valuable as it protects the privacy of my room.

Last but not least I will speak on my job. Currently I am working as a ski and snowboard instructor up on the mountain. I am able to keep the board on top of the car and my boots in the front seat. The mountain that I work at is a good 40 miles away from anywhere that anyone would typically live and my shift are typically 3 or 4 days in a row. I am able to save on time and gas by camping in the region of my work which is not only efficient but also epic. It get lonely way up there in the woods but there are a few local bars that I can go into to make fun of the locals and to stave off the pain that comes with solitude. There is also all the greatness that comes with solitude as well. Books, meditation, writing, research, social media, building the consciousness of the future are all things that I have a passion for and all things that I find in abundance when living in my car.

Gangsta from the Emerald Triangle

The Emerald Triangle

Every year hippies and vagabonds travel from all over the country for trim season in Northern California. For a few weeks or a few months thousands of trimmers trim weed from morning until night in something of a hippy concentration camp. Farms pay anywhere from $100 or even up to the fabled $300 per pound. In either case the job is similar to something you would find in an eastern sweatshop. Long hours, near zero job security, virtually no skill development, and a job so mind numbing that only those so high that they cant see the pot forest through all the smoke are willing to do it.

I apologies to all those who feel that trimming is one of the greatest gifts to the lower class known to man and I must admit that if you are an illegal immigrant or cant find work doing anything else then yes, trimming weed is the perfect job for you. Not for me. In this post I will be going through my life coming away from the Emerald Triangle and the type of thing that you get into, not when you trim weed but when you sell it.

My journey started off about two weeks ago. I was living in a Subaru in Seattle working as a pedicaber making ends meet one day at a time. An old friend I knew way back from my Hawaii days gave me a call and said that he needed some help with his harvest. Something about the timing of the phone call gave me some sort of spiritual vibes and so I left Seattle without a second thought. Looking back I am a bit frightened at how far away from reason this call pulled me. It was not as if there was anything holly about my friend but in any case I left without a second thought.

I found two riders on Craigslist that helped with the gas money on the way down. They both turned out to be super awesome people and I was able to learn from them the entire ride down. Spent a night in Portland and then arrived in North Cali the following night. The town that I was to meet my friend was way up in the mountains and I could not find a place where my phone could connect and so had to drive a few (30) miles back from where I came from just to get in contact with my friend. We were eventually able to meet up and he was able to show me the world that he had been living in sense we last talked way back on the island of Maui.

Up in the mountains without service everyone was as hippy as it gets, some sort of trailer person, or reder than redneck; brown neck if you will. Without phones we spent most of our time running from house to house making deals and straitening out our shit before we bounced town, which didn’t take long for us to do. In a place where there is so much weed and no money, everyone owed someone else some money. I don’t think that we got our shit perfectly strait before leaving because as we were leaving we got chased down by a dump truck that chased us down the exit road at top speed. The only reason we made it out alive was because the truck owner was a felon and driving on the public highway would have been a huge risk for him. We only barely made it to the main road but we were off. We had no money but a fuck-ton of weed and we were hitting it off like two crazed bats finding a new mountain for the first time.

Its been four days sense we were chased down by the truck. Its been a super slow and chill journey. In just about every town we pass through we stop and try and sell weed to anyone that will have some. Because of how slow we are rolling its a great way to explore the state. Selling weed is getting much easier the further away from North Cali we get. This type of life has been gangster shit the entire way too. More gangster than I am used to handling in my everyday life.

The first night we were parked waiting for a friend to get home when a girl that looked homeless asked us for a cigarette. She didn’t look harmless at all and we asked if she wanted to smoke some weed with us. She denied us and walked away. Just down the road we saw her get into a Cadillac and drive away. My friend got sketched out and told me to get in the car and drive. Just as I had pulled out of my parking spot the Cadillac came around the corner and someone held a strobe light out the window so that I could not make out who was in the car. “Got weed bitch” I heard someone say. In less than 5 minutes we were miles away from that spot and not about to go back.

The next night we traded some bud for a little thing called Lucy. We were in a college town and were able to climb the homeless hierarchy with extreme efficiency. Around noon we were talking to street kids at their pick-neck spot, by midnight that same night we were talking with what appeared to be an ordained hippy shaman who claimed that he was three hands down from the laying of the acid. Maybe it was the acid but I was super impressed with our short work in that town.

In Cali the weed laws have changed drastically in the past few years. You can legally carry up to 28 grams and if this law is broken it’s similar to a traffic ticket in that there is no jail time. Still, it is illegal to sell and today we had our first encounter with the police. My friend ran and all the cops chased him. He was able to ditch the weed before the cops caught him but still put behind bars. At this point in our journey we are balling and so he was able to pay his own bail and we are still rolling our way down to SoCal. Lucky.

We take each day at a time and the beginning of our trip was a struggle but now I feel that we are strait kicking ass. I cant say how long I will stay with this type of lifestyle. It doesn’t suit me as well as something where I keep my head lower but its new and exciting. The payoff is huge and I might just stick with it until shit goes a little crazier. Who can say? Not me. Maybe future me can. Stay tuned and I will let you know.

-Cheers mates

Car life>hammock life, sometimes 

Car life is great. I can’t wait to take it to the coast where I will be able to explore from my super mobile home. For now, I am still in the building phase and am working on building the car into the home of my dreams. It needs a passenger window, new carpet, and there are a few cosmetic improvements that can be made. I have been watching different youtube videos that people have made that show off the different style of living that people have invented for their subarus. Some of the youtubers have solar and water collector which is a bit beyond my price point, but a wooden framed that fits into the back seat would be nice. Maybe some cardboard cutouts to fit onto the windows. A disco ball. A play for two.

Currently, I live on the outside of society. Not having a single place that I stay and call home makes it so that I am something other than main stream. Not having a mailing address is difficult in that my first check from where I work will be sent to a location that I do not reside in. All government documentation is mailed and I am currently using my mothers address who lives 5 states away. It’s frustrating that society assumes that you live in a house and if you don’t then you are going to have to figure these nuanced things out. I signed up for this however, and do not regret my decision. At this very moment I sit in a coffee shop next to people that dress like they have a house, a car, a job… Most of these people have probably been going to the same job for years and have savings accounts and maybe even a house. I am so far removed from this type of life that I now feel on the outside looking in. I am beginning to wonder if starting a career and saving up enough money to “fit back in” with the mainstream might be the things that I want to do. (Reading this paragraph through I think- classic, a guy that lives in the rough desires comfort).

The people I went to school with have all graduated and are now making more money than they have an idea of what to do with. I don’t have a way to grasp how much I owe in school loans and also don’t have a definite plan of paying it off. My school friends make plans to travel but something like three years down the road, after they have saved up enough money to make the trip in luxury. That looks like a really good idea for the perspective of my car, but there is no way I could ever wait that long.

I value the experiences that I have had so far but wonder if I might be able to choose a better path for myself. One adventure to the next is something that would be hard to give up, maybe impossible. The wear and tear of life feels like it might get to me at some point and I might then be forced into choosing something different. For now I will continue down the path of the unknown. I wish to be in Australia and that is where my sight still lies. A month or two of work and then I will be off to continue with the great adventure. I will need to figure out how to make money doing the coast over the next few months. This week will be focused on the car. Next week I cannot say. The week after that is still a greater mystery and from then until death anything could happen.

Living out of a Subaru

Today I woke up in the back of my Subaru and took 15 minutes to meditate on where I am in life and where I am going. I am literally parked in the Sodo area of Seattle Washington, close to my friends bus and close the garage that I ride pedicabs out of. Last night was the first night spent in the Subaru. I changed sleeping positions three different times throughout the night. Today I will get some proper bedding for the fold down back seat and then next week I might head south for trim work and fit myself nicely into this west coast kind of life.

My friends are starting to take off in success and I am here, getting thrown all over the United States having to rebuild from zero time and time again. My experiences come with me and I am more competent at building a life than I have ever been. Right now I feel that its time to set my sites on one plan and stick with it. Right as I make up my mind to do this however a million options open up. Only the near future seams certain. In about a week I will head south with some friends in search of trim work. Trim work is not something I am fond of but it would be a way to make money without spending. After trim season I could head even further south and explore what is going on in LA and other parts of SoCal. It would be there that I sell the Subaru and head out to Australia for the adventure that I had originally planned on making.

There is another plan however, that could push the Australian adventure back about 8 months. Here in Seattle my best friend is a guy who turns old school busses into mobile homes. He is making a great argument in my mind that  could get me to stay here in Seattle and convert a bus over the winter into a place thats able to transport pedicabs around the states to different festivals. This would involve me investing quite a bit into building the bus and also into building a pedicab that is festival worthy. After the festival season comes to an end I would be able to sell all of my equipment, take what I have earned, and head out to Australia like I had originally planned.

As I talk about great plans with different friends that I have made over the years, we all talk about what we are going to do with this coming summer and skip over talk of the winter. It seems like everyone is going to hibernate for the winter. I cannot let this come to pass. It seems vauge to head south for the winter. I would like to travel to some distant place where I can make money or maybe work another winter on the mountain but still the issue of money comes into play. Perhaps Hawaii, or maybe Australia, or maybe here in Seattle.

There is so much to do and so little time to do it and the coffee does nothing but stimulates this feeling. For now I will go and speak with my friends about great things before heading out on the town to make money and then head back to my car to sleep. Good things are happening. Good connections are being made. Life is good and it’s alwasy time to act.