Okay, so it’s not my birthday, but it does feel like it… I just made the final payment on the bank loan that bought my ex’s half of the van, which means for the first time in my life I can truly say that I own my own home. And I can put it wherever I want!

Years ago I met a guy in the Kootenays who was squatting on crown land halfway up a mountain, a half hour walking from any road. He’d built a cabin out of logs that he felled on site, he’d hauled up windows and a clawfoot tub and even a small cast iron stove, he’d diverted water from a nearby stream… he’d made a really gorgeous little home, with an incredible view of the valley. It was kind of isolated though, and I asked him what first inspired him to live there. He said, “Well I was born on this planet, so I don’t think it’s right that I should have to pay to live here.” Sensible, right?

I started vandwelling as a fun experiment, and had no intention of doing it past the summer, especially since all of my school applications are at places that are a lot colder in the winter than it is here. But I have to say… after this, it’s going to be really hard to go back to paying someone for the privilege of living in their home.