Living with No Place to Call Home

Into The Rabbit Hole.

About every few months it seems as though the world throws all of our plans, our ideas, and our doormat up into the air. When our things land, everything has changed.

We hop from place to place, dreams to realities, house-sitting, van dwelling, to motorhome life, and back again. It seems as though we’ve jumped into a rabbit hole, feet first.

Dinah, Alice’s cat waving to her from atop the rabbit hole.

This way of life we’ve chosen, is leading us somewhere…and we’re letting it. Someday, we’ll grab ahold of the reigns, but until then, we’re experiencing life with no place to call home.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Three Quarter Time RVers.

Since we tore out the floor of our bus this last March, we’ve had no place to call home. We’ve managed by hopping between guest room surfing, house-sitting, the van, and an occasional AirBnB getaway.

Being out of our home on wheels is nothing new however. In 2012 we guest room surfed at Dennis’ dads house for 3 months while the CY1 had engine work done. Then in 2013, after our cross country drive in the ’78 bus, we left it at our mechanics for 6 months while we stayed with Jeanette’s Dad. For those of you counting, a quarter of our time on the road has been out of the vessel we call home.

With No Place to Call Home, Where Do We Sleep?

Becoming Pro Guest Room & Couch Surfers

Usually, guest room surfing is done during holidays and family gatherings. Staying with in-laws and parents is typically kept short and sweet. We are very lucky to have family that truly enjoys our lengthy visits and who understand our motor-whims.

Mom and I sleeping on her couch.

Still, there is an art to the extended in-house stay. With one week of our every month on the road being in someone else’s house, we better behave. So we try to be assets to their regular household life, and not deficits.

We often serve as the in-house IT department, fill-in cook, court jesters, and the occasional staff to our families businesses. Our parents have been great live-in hosts between our fluctuating motorhome life, and they even ask us back.

The Getaway Vehicle 

Does having sex in your parents house, while they’re home, ever get easy? Nothing says, we need our own personal time like a bed in back of a van, right?

This photo gives you the idea. Our lil’ private Idaho.

Plus, summers traveling on the West Coast would be incomplete without some sort of camper. Road trips between Southern California (Jeanette’s Dad’s house) and Northern California (Jeanette’s Mom’s house) via San Francisco and up the coast have been our summer go-to getaways for the last several years.

Our van has served as our vacation home on wheels (we’re usually celebrating our anniversary in it!) and a break from driving the bigger motorhome.

House-sitting is Cheating

How can two love birds balance travel and work, be comfortable, and have some personal time all with no place to call home? House-sitting!

This summer we ended up house and pet sitting in Lakeside, CA for two weeks. As previous San Diego residents, this was a neighborhood we’d never been to! It’s quiet, and we have a temporary office space with wifi and another kitty to snuggle (Cheaters!).

Deluxe set up at our temporary office space.

Pet sitting often follows house-sitting, and furry friends make great housemates. Although, Cleo disagrees.

Our Nomadic Cat

I wish I’d taught her to sit on my shoulder like those street pirate kids who travel with cats as their sidekicks. But she prefers laps and pillows, and she hardly performs tricks for treats. Lazy, but willing to travel, and we’re okay with that.

Cleo might actually be the most adaptable cat I know. No carrier necessary, no calming drugs, no scratching or peeing out of spite, and not yearning for the outdoors. However, there are new challenges these days. Her 18 years of age has left her toothless with an insatiable appetite, almost totally deaf, and gnarly arthritis. So we hold her – a lot!

Cleo, missing all the great scenery!

With No Place to Call Home, Where Do We Work?

Anywhere We Get An Internet Connection

When we started out traveling full time, our 27′ Class C RV didn’t have a space for permanent desks, so we learned the art of the backpack office.

Our  backpack office set up has served us so well that it’s still our preferred way of working. We can have onsite meetings, work from a park, work in the van between day trips, and be visiting family and friends all while maintaining steady work.

Working on the road at this Cafe in Pacifica.
Working on the road at a Cafe in Pacifica.

And it is working! This year already we’ve had a huge increase of new jobs and awesome new clients. The economy is partially to credit, however, we’ve finally become confident with our self employed nomadic life.

We have the confidence to accept work because we know how to get it done, we proven that to ourselves. Under any circumstance and from anywhere we might end up being, tomorrow or next month, it’s possible. Work is no longer a burden, it’s another adventure.

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Curious Lists & Stats

The downsides of life with no place to call home, in bullets

  • Explaining “Location Independence” to potential clients.
  • When we walk out of a movie theatre, it takes a surprising amount of time to figure out where exactly we’re at.
  • People think we’re homeless, and technically they’re not far off.
  • We spend too much money on things we already own – which happen to be somewhere else. Spices, medical supplies, cleaners, etc.

The last 175 Days in a Pie Chart


Our Current Changing Plans

So, what’s next? We’re pouring a cement slab as big as a whale! A 35’ Cheddar Yeti Bus that is. Oh my, we’re creating a home parking space. Wait, WHAT?


2 responses to “Living with No Place to Call Home”

  1. Brett and Callie the Manx calico cat Avatar
    Brett and Callie the Manx calico cat

    Just bought a 1980 bluebird wander lodge, same color, from Minnesota, it is now in Ohio, and when my house sells next spring I will be a full timer. Glad someone else can appreciate the “bird”

    1. JJ Avatar

      Awesome! Keeping these beautiful buses on the road is a treat! Have fun and bring your cat along for the ride too!

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