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Are you "homeless" because you travel so much?

Are you "homeless" because you travel so much?

Old Aug 19, 04, 10:49 am
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Question Are you "homeless" because you travel so much?

I was reading this thread and empathized a bit with the OP because I too am somewhat "homeless". I travel Monday - Thursday for work and am in some way homeless. All of my personal effects are in storage and I only go home to New Orleans about two weekends a month. My clothing is at my parents home. I "sleep around" for lack of a better word while home (sister, parents, friends) depending on what my plans are for the weekend. The other two weekends I take side trips or visit friends. I can't believe that I am the only one who is like this. Are there any other road warriors who are "homeless"? I have been living a transient lifestyle since July 2001.
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Old Aug 19, 04, 11:11 am
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I work on a project with 100% travel -- Sunday night to Saturday morning most times, so if you go home you are home for 24 hours. Several of my colleagues have gone to the nomad lifestyle like you -- no home to speak of, and on the occasion we get to leave 'early' and leave Friday night they go to whatever city is nearby and cheaper than flying to their nominal home.

It's a nice lifestyle for a while, I'm sure...
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Old Aug 19, 04, 2:25 pm
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Not me. Although there were a couple of times lived out of suitcase for several months I still kept a home.

How do you get on for mail (non electronic)?
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Old Aug 19, 04, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
How do you get on for mail (non electronic)?
I officially still claim TX residency and have all tax documents sent to my friend's house in Texas. Very little of value goes there. My friend opens anything that comes to me and if it looks important she will send to me. Most of goes in the "round file." I have stopped most paper bills and statements. Since I have no home I don't pay cable, phone, electric, gas, etc. Everything else goes to my parents address. They too act as my "personal assistants" and open all my mail and if it looks important they call and ask me what I want to do with it.

Once you have no home you realize how little mail you actually receive.
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Old Aug 19, 04, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by prncess674
I was reading this and empathized a bit with the OP because I too am somewhat "homeless".
This probably goes off on a tangent, but what does OP mean? I see it used so often here in FT. Thanks.
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Old Aug 19, 04, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise
This probably goes off on a tangent, but what does OP mean? I see it used so often here in FT. Thanks.
OP = Original Poster
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Old Aug 19, 04, 4:06 pm
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Road warrior for about a year now. Have roughly 200 nights spent at marriott properties in the last 12 months. I've flown all over the country visiting people that I met in college at the University of Michigan.

Major Con you definitely rely too much on past relationships with friends. Its not as easy to meet new people that you are going to maintain a relationship with.

Major Pro you get to travel the states on the company's buck, and you also enjoy the perks of FF miles and Hotel points!
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Old Aug 19, 04, 5:54 pm
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Well, I don't "quite" fit the definition of homeless, but I do come pretty close, like some other posters.

Fly out on Sunday afternoon, do Mon-Fri, fly home Fri night. I get a few hours before bedtime to go converse with my wife, then to bed. Unless it's a late flight in, then I take a taxi home form the airport, shower in the 2nd bathroom and go straight to bed. I get all day Sat and then Sat night. Half a day Sunday, then repeat the cycle.

I do own a home, though.

But this reminds me of a fellow Oracle consultant I met in Kansas City a few years ago. He was an Oracle DBA, probably making close to or at, with bonuses, 6 figures. He was 26 years old and single. When he went home every weekend, he stayed with his parents. If he needed a car, he borrowed one of theirs. He ate there, too. Soooo, no house payment, no utilities, no car, no car insurance, no expenses for the kids...he was banking almost his entire pay check. Something I could and can only dream of, but it sure had to take the "sting" out of being homeless!
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Old Aug 20, 04, 3:08 am
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There is an apocryphal tale in my department of a consultant who failed to renew his apartment lease, broke up with his girlfriend, packed everything he could into a Suburban, and dispensed with the rest. His "permanent address" was a Mailboxes Etc. in Austin. He would then drive to the closest airport Sunday night, work the project du jour till Thursday evening, fly back, then drive and stay where he wished that weekend. He rented a condo in Breckinridge for a couple of months one winter, but that was the longest he stayed in one place. He apparently kept it up for 2 years before settling down and getting hitched.

I kept a virtual parental home for a bit when I first started traveling constantly, but found that I wanted or needed to feel more rooted. I moved to the West Coast, in part, because I felt that as long as I had little control over where I worked all week, I could at least make sure I had someplace awesome to crash on the weekends. I too enjoyed being able to visit all of my old U-M friends (Go Blue!) and far-flung cousins but frankly I'll take a weekend at home over most reunions these days.

The road-warrior lifestyle is a double-edged sword IMHO. I love several aspects but some of the trade-offs seem to be more and more costly to me. :ambivalent:
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Old Aug 20, 04, 10:00 pm
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Happily Homeless

I feel that material possessions can weigh you down. It is hard for most people to understand this since we work most of our lives to gain material possessions. Perhaps it even goes back to childhood when we fight with other kids to "own" toys. Ask Freud I guess. However I have learned how ultimately liberating it is to get rid of all your material possessions.

The first thing to go was my car. This was really difficult. I used to love cars. I even collected antique cars and owned several at a time. And I was living in LA where you HAVE to have a car. I had been leasing a fancy new car when I started business traveling. But with all the travel I rarely used it. So I paid the lease fee, paid for insurance and paid to park it at the airport. Meanwhile during the week when I reached my destination I rented a car to get around. After a while I got so used to renting that I became quite comfortable with the idea of not having a car. I had my revelation. When I thought further on the subject I realized all the responsibilities of owning a car were draining. You have to clean it often. If it gets "hurt", you have to take it to a "doctor" to get fixed. If someone steals it you are really put out, insurance or no insurance. All these things are baggage that I found I was quite happy to get rid of. So I finally did. Now as a full time renter I never worry about payments, insurance, oil changes, car washes, mechanical issues, "is my car too old or is it time to get a new one?", and best of all if someone hits my car or even just sideswipes it a bit, I don't care at all since it becomes Avis's problem.

Recently I was driving an Avis Cadillac on an LA freeway at 65mph, when something fell of a truck in front of me and smashed into my Caddy. It was a violent collision and the airbag punched me in the face. Nevertheless, after a few minutes of clearing my head, I called Avis and told them to come pick up their wreck and get me a new car. After dealing with the police and tow truck, about an hour later I drove off in a new Caddy without the slightest bit of worry. Had it been my own Caddy, I would have plenty of worries such as insurance claims, getting a new car, etc. Not to mention the emotional issue of my "baby" getting smashed. These things really weigh you down. Thanks to Avis and American Express (who handled the insurance issues) I was free.

After making the mental leap of not owning a car, it was somewhat easier to get rid of the rest of my material possessions. Now I have nothing save some clothes here and there and my business tools which are necessary for my job. I guess my laptop is my most treasured possession, but it is after all just a tool.

On the rare occasion when I've dreamed of winning the lottery, I never dream of buying anything. No house, car, boat, etc. What I dream of is the luxury of being able to go anywhere at anytime in a comfortable manner and to rent anything I need. Money buys you that freedom. However I am happy without a lot of money since gainful employment pays my travel bills.

As for practical matters, my mail goes to my work and a secretary forwards it to me. It's just credit card bills and frequent flyer stuff and I do most of that online. After my last physical move I didn't fill out a change of address form and that has stopped a ton of junk mail and old associations from following me. I have friends all over the world which really helps. I'm leaving some detail out here since it will be unique to each person. Especially the issue of lovers, spouses and children. But I'm sure we can all understand how liberating it can be to get out of a bad relationship. Oh, how much easier that is when you don't own anything!
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Old Aug 20, 04, 10:37 pm
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I totally relate to the above poster how my frequent travel has lead to an aversion to keeping "stuff". Interestingly, I've recently taken stock of how my behavior patterns have changed as a result of work travel.

1) I like driving rental cars. No need to worry about cold starts, squealing tires, riding the brakes, keeping the indicator lights going for 5 minutes at a long traffic stop etc.

2) I now find it uncomfortable to pay for my own meals. Similarly, fuel and tolls and things like coffee.

3) Trying to keep any and all paper mail down to zero. It's become quite an obsession for me.

4) Totally used to watching movies alone. In fact, it's better this way since you don't have to feel bad if your companion is not enjoying the movie.

5) Keep everything "ready to go" in a rollaboard. I have 2 of everything: one for home and one for the road so I don't forget anything.

6) I expect towels to be changed every day when I am home. Similarly I throw away bars of soap when they get small but are still usable.

7) I can sleep standing up in a plane if I have to.
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Old Aug 21, 04, 9:23 am
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what a great attitude you have!! I love your analogy on collecting stuff. I am at the point where I am trying to truly cut the cord of my material possesions. When I think that I have stored my stuff in a self storage facility for the last 3 yrs at $120 a month (that over $4,000 I start doing the math asking myself is this stuff even worth that much and have I missed it? The unit isn't even full anymore because I keep giving things away. for example, my sister's bed was old and ratty. I told her I had a practically new bed set just sitting in storage and that she could just have it. I don't forsee myself ever really wanting the things in the storage but I haven't been able to part with them yet.

I am not a "car" person such that I drive a luxury vehicle but I have since bought another since becoming homeless. Mostly it just sits there collecting dust and if you did the math of how much it costs to run it and maintain it verses renting a car on the weekends I am home it doesn't really pay to own a car but I love knowing that it is mine and I can drive anywhere I need to. When my old car finally bit the dust my dad was really trying to talk me out of buying another car since I am rarely home but some deep down urge was telling me I needed to own a car. go figure.

Maybe one day I will get rid of all my belongings and become truly homeless but for now I am happy just leaving my stuff in storage. I guess I like having the option to set up atleast a 1 bedroom apartment with out needing to buy anything if the need/want arises.

Last edited by prncess674; Aug 21, 04 at 9:43 am
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Old Aug 21, 04, 9:50 am
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So what is it that some of you do to never be home? The only people that I've met that travel this much are pharmaceutical salesman. Just interested in hearing what else you all do?
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Old Aug 21, 04, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by kreeft
So what is it that some of you do to never be home? The only people that I've met that travel this much are pharmaceutical salesman. Just interested in hearing what else you all do?
I used to do alot of ERP implementations but that market went bust. I now mostly do risk management. I work for one the Big 4 accounting firms. I live in New Orleans which has no major industry other than tourism and for some reason my company thinks I have unique enough skills that they are willing to ship me off to clients week after week. My group at work is a national group comprised of 30 people. Some of them live in major metro areas (NYC, SFO, DFW) that they don't travel as much but geography never really plays a part in who gets staffed where. It is always who has the best skill set. Before moving back to New Orleans I lived in Houston and for about 6 months I was travelling to Chicago from Houston while one of my colleagues who lived in Chicago was travelling week after week to Houston. We were literally passing in the sky every week.
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Old Aug 21, 04, 12:22 pm
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If I was single and dogless, I would have made the "move" years ago. After I pay off my truck, I am thinking of just using rentals when home.
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