August 7, 2012

Blending In

When I first started full timing out of the Jetta in Amherst Massachusetts it took me a few months to get my footing. I lived on campus for a bit until I was kicked out and then had to run into a few cops before finding my Wal-Mart spot where I lived for about a year. Now that I'm in New Hampshire the whole thing starts over. It's not like there's a guide to long term parkable places on the seacoast, you just have to fish around until you find a comfortable, safe, and lightly patrolled lot.

Last night I slept at a Target, which wasn't too bad, but it reminded me of a major rule of vehicle dwelling.
When searching for a spot to sleep retail store parking lots can be great. While it's very temping to park at the edge of a parking lot, far from foot traffic and prying eyes, that is often the worst place to be. A lone car will draw attention to itself and make you a target for cops and security patrols, so instead find where the overnight employees are parking and sleep there. Yes, you might get a few slammed doors but it's unlikely that anyone will come knocking if you're stealth enough. Act like you're suppose to be there and, above all, BLEND IN.
I got a pretty good night's sleep, but then there was this morning. Showering is not easy when you live in a 1997 VW Jetta. Most cushy luxuries, like a stove, I can do without and every 24 hour fast food join has a rest room. Showers, on the other hand, exist in very few places outside the home.

Yesterday I mentioned my trip to the YMCA and their $75 "one time sign up fee" on top of the $47 monthly fee. There was a time when the Y was the cheapest show in town and they were great because once you signed up you could use any Y in the country. Not anymore though, the rates have gone sky high. My solution? Planet Fitness. The one closest to my work was offering a $10 signing fee and $10/month with no contract so I jumped on it. Even at $20 that's about .66 cents for a shower each day plus I can walk on the treadmill and watch the morning news. Bonus!
TIP: For those of you traveling with no plumbing I would recommend the "Black Card" (sounds exotic). For about $20 a month you can use any planet fitness in the US. When you consider that a shower at a hostel costs about $4 then, even if you took a shower every other day, a gym membership would save you nearly $500 per year.
So this morning I got up and went to the gym before work. I walked for a 1/2 hour, watched the news, and showered. I felt very productive and just think: I can't skip the gym EVER or I don't get a shower and in this sticky heat that would be very bad.  


  1. Thanks for the Planet Fitness info, I'll certainly join one here soon!
    Do you have a donate button, or Paypal address? You oughta be compensated for your work here!

    1. Who knows, I might add a donate button someday. Being broke is half the fun, right?

  2. Hyia Ash.
    It's cool that you're writing again. Any serious plans about getting a van or something larger?

    1. I'm always searching for something larger, but money is a big factor. Some day...:)


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