I’ve been snapchatting (snapchat: AustinCCook) my journey living in my car for the last month and a lot of people have been asking questions so I thought i’d give you all the juicy tid bits. In my next post i’ll answer all the questions
No i’m not broke. I sold my house in Nashville a little over a month ago and usually I have a simultaneous closing so I can move into another house as soon as I sell my current residence. My hobby is buying houses, fixing them up WHILE living in them (a mass chaos campout if you will) and selling them. I know….stressful hobby but i’m single, have no kids and have moving down to an art so it’s really easy for me. Before I closed on this new house I had to go fix a water line that had busted so that I could turn on the water after closing. When I opened the front door to the house bugs came crawling out by the boatloads….bed bugs and cockroaches were everywhere!!!! NOOOO Thank you. I canceled the contract and told my title attorney i’d rather sleep in my car than buy that house. Later that day reality set in…I had sold the house I had been living in, had a moving truck full of all my furniture and didn’t have a place to go…cue the violins. Time Out… I grew up here in Nashville, all my family is here and I have money in the bank. I have plenty of options, I just didn’t want to impose on anyone or spend money on rent or a hotel.
Why am I so stubborn and uptight?! Well, per Dave Ramsey’s advice 3 years ago I sold my houses that had big bloated mortgages and downsized. Since the house I was downsizing to was so much smaller/cheaper I was able to pay cash. BUYERS BEWARE: Not paying a dime on rent or a mortgage for 36 months will make a person a little stubborn when it comes to spending mullah….in a good way
So there is NOOOO WAY I’m paying to rent a room, apartment or hotel. Which can only mean one thing….TIME FOR AN ADVENTURE!!!
The first night in my “carpartment” I got the couch cushions and pillows out of the moving truck, laid down the passenger side seat and loaded that baby full of pillows. She was a bit lumpy. Luckily I found a spot to park next to the Harpeth River and I think the peaceful sound of moving water distracted me from the fact that I was sleeping in a position that even a contortionist would find uncomfortable. I woke up the next morning with my forehead between my kneecaps and said, “this won’t fly.”
That day I was determined to pimp out my new residence. I bought a 4 inch foam mattress to put on top of the couch cushions and cut it to fit perfectly, or in HGTV terms…I now have a custom designed bed for my carpartment. Just like every other person from Franklin, TN I grew up going on tour with bands. This bed is more comfortable than any tour bus bunk i’ve ever slept on. Later that day I found a storage unit in the boon docks, which is one of my only bills, and I’m storing all my furniture for $60 a month. (yeah…that’s less than most people’s cell phone bill)
Every night I park somewhere different, no, not to throw off the POPO. I’ve actually made friends with some of them in different cities in order to make sure i’m staying in areas where we won’t bug each other. MOSTLY because I don’t want them rolling up if I forget to put alcohol in the trunk, then it’s an opened container in a car with only 1 person, the driver. Even though i’m not driving, just sleeping, they will give me a DUI. No Bueno.
I always wonder what people picture when they think of Nashville. No I don’t park outside the Bluebird Cafe. I prefer the COUNTRY! Which is a 10 minute drive in any direction. I’ll drive to auditions or meetings during the day and pass an amazing spot and pick out my new fox hole for the night. That sounded sexual but I assure you….it’s not. Besides a couple nights when I’ve been booked to work in other states, I’ve lived in my car for a little over a month now!
“But Austin…where do you shower?! That’s so grody!!!” I go to a Title Boxing gym everyday so I shower there. Easy Breezy. I’m glad you brought that up though…so far there have been some hurdles. A big one is that i’m not exactly a great sleeper. I have to have melatonin, white noise and a Christmas movie playing while I fall asleep. Yes, you read correctly….a Christmas movie. As you know that requires electricity. So I have to make sure my computer is charged up before I find my sleeping destination or else I will be up all night long and not in the fun Lionel Richie way. Merriddees in Downtown Franklin is one of my favorites to get my charge on.
Sometimes I park outside a place where I know the password to the wifi, sometimes I’ll park in the middle of the country, whatever tickles my fancy that day. One small problem i’ve run into when parking outside a Starbucks is hopping out of my car in the wee hours of the morning in my unmentionables to look up and find myself eye to eye with a dump truck driver. Sure, he had a gentle smile but I wasn’t in the mood for his shenanigans.
I had to make an adjustment to my sleeping schedule as well. It’s impossible for me to sleep with the sun blaring in my windows so I now go to bed at 9pm and get up at 5am…which is quite different from what I’m used to.
I haven’t yet run into this problem but i’m assuming that inviting a girl back to my car won’t have the same allure as bringing a girl to a house…but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Alrighty, till next time. Safe Travels