This is Fez a 2005 Scion xA. I didn’t even know what a Scion xA was until the day I took my daughter Allie out car hunting for her first car. She was dead set on learning how to drive on a manual, even though I told her they are a pain in the ass. We drove around the Springs looking and finally came across this gem. The price was right and she loved it. Okay she loved it then, but after many hours learning to drive manual in a church parking lot, she finally confessed she was no longer in love with Fez : (
We talked about it and decided the best thing to do was to sell it. No sense having a car you don’t enjoy especially your very first car. I spent a couple days cleaning, waxing, and getting it ready to sell on craigslist. Something slowly happened during that process and I started to get a bit attached to old Fez. That’s what Allie had named it. I started thinking about it more and more. At the time I had my 2000 Chevy truck plus my 2009 Subaru Impreza. My truck was… ah my truck. I had used it quite a bit in the past for remodels and rental type work, but lately it was just used for fun little cruises to Walmart and back home. I enjoyed rolling down the windows and cruising around town. And as far as my Subaru went it was old dependable. Great in the snow, fun to drive, and a very sensible car to own in Colorado.
What got me thinking about keeping Fez was I was still making payments on my Subaru of $310 monthly and paying about $60 a month on the truck for insurance even though I hardly even drove it. Now if you know my current situation you know I’m digging myself out of debt.. a lot of debt. Fez was already paid for and not having to pay an extra $370 for bills started to actually make financial sense. Now there’s something that doesn’t come out my mouth to often – financial sense. Why was I making a $310 car payment each month when I’m in debt? It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. I’ve got two kids and we needed a dependable car.
The things is though I don’t even commute to work I work from home! Maybe it also had to do with what would “society” think of this divorced dad driving around in a clown car piece of shit. Well that thinking didn’t really help me make my $310 monthly payments did it? The more I drove Fez the bigger the smile I got on my face. Yes it was small. Yes it looked like a clown car, but you know what I realized I could be smiling all the way to the bank and pay off my debt along the way. I don’t know why I didn’t listen to Dave Ramsey 2 years ago and just sell my shit and buy a car I could afford.
As you can see I’m still learning as I grow!
“Once you go Fez you never go back” – from That 70s Show
I haven’t posted in quite some time, but all seems to be moving according to my soul’s plan. I’m not beating myself up as much and joy and content are growing and growing. I had a good summer hiking and even got to do a cool backpacking trip up to Devil’s playground on the back side of Pikes Peak! The hike was brutal, but days later I just had a big grin on my face. I did it and loved it!! I slept out under the moon above tree line. I’ve come to realize nature with exercise is my therapy.
Okay so what’s all this business about Bob Wells and living in a van? Well you know all about the saying that the teacher will appear when the student is ready? For the longest time my son Bob had telling me about some folks he follows on YouTube who live in vans and travel. I started checking them out and came across this guy named Bob Wells. He’s been living in a van for the last 15 years. What interested me about Bob was after his divorce he was pretty down like myself and really didn’t have many options for housing and decided to live in a box van. It was just fasinating learning more about him and his life. I could relate at so many levels.
Two things that resonated with me from Bob is the concept of Comfort vs Freedom and being out in nature. Bob says that the more comfort we have in our life the less freedom we have. I’ve got the video below so you can learn more. Even though he’s comparing it from living in a big RV to a van…think of it as living in house or renting a house compared to simplifying and living in a smaller environment. It just makes so much sense to me on so many levels. It’s so crazy we buy into purchasing a house on a 30 year slaved mortgage and also buying vehicles that drain our budgets. These are 2 of our biggest expenses in life and we often don’t even questions them. I say start questioning them!!
The other piece was being out in nature. As I said I’m learning nature has such a calming affect on me and beats any pill I can take for happiness. In one of Bob’s videos I believe he mentioned some mental health counselors have even suggested some patients to hit the open road and camp out in national forest, BLM, disperse camping, …boon docking!
It’s so interesting to me that when we are young we don’t have a lot of “stuff” and are so content. Then comes adulthood and we start accumulating more and more stuff, but we are no longer content. When retirement comes though we start seeing more and more people downsizing and simplifying their lives. Why do we go through this exercise of accumulating and accruing debt and having less freedom in our working years?
Anyway you can tell I’m jazzed about this van life and that hasn’t happened in a long time to be excited over something. Now all I can think about is when I can I sell all my shit and hit the highway. Yes there is a lot of planning and considerations to be made – but it’s one exciting option I’m going to explore!!
Here’s some links to learn more about this lifestyle and Bob:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAj7O3LCDbkIR54hAn6Zz7A
Comfort vs Freedom: https://youtu.be/i-_Bw83SvYI