Residence vs. Living

Well, my Facebook post about finally getting my South Dakota Drivers’ License has caused quite a stir here. More so than I thought. I guess I better explain a little and maybe use this opportunity for input, comments, advice, anything you have to offer!!! Please use the comment section below. And now for a little story…

Once upon a time there was this boy named Joe… yes, I know, he’s 57 years old now, but he’s never grown up, never become a responsible person and in short is still a boy. Now that may be a bad thing to a lot of people and that’s OK. It works for me and, quite frankly, that’s all that matters (the exception being my kids, whom I love dearly and with all my heart and would do ANYTHING for).


So, about 7 years ago, I hatched out a “5-year plan”. something I had NEVER done before in my life. Something adults do, not me. I wanted to somehow live a life of travel (not necessarily leisure). And I set out to figure out how. Well, after 5 years of planning and a lot of research, I came upon a plan. To live on the road, I knew I would need some sort of income, because living my life of irresponsibility had left me with very little savings to count on in my retirement years. I certainly had NO desire to work until Social Security started. I wanted to retire at 55.

Turns out I love the obscure and unusual, especially when it’s sort of out there in plain sight. The plan that I came up with was to travel around the country in a small RV or van and take photos and tell stories of weird and unusual places I encountered in my travels. I would live full time in the RV or van and figure a way to earn a living along the way.

Part of the research I did included “where’s the best place to “live” while really travelling full time. I checked with a few “full timer” websites and the consensus came down to three states, Nevada, Texas and South Dakota. One of the major advantages of these states is no personal income tax, but another was cheaper vehicle registration, especially South Dakota. South Dakota also has what’s called a “transient residency” law. This allows me to claim South Dakota as my residence while travelling. The key is you can’t “LIVE” anywhere else.

Well… I have been working as a “relief” manager and Manager on Duty for several years now. I haven’t had an apartment or a house or any sort of dwelling since about 2010. So I chose South Dakota and set out to complete my plan. I reregistered my van there and even “retired” from Motel 6 in October 2012. Then there was a little “kink” in my plans and although I won’t go into detail here, I ended up losing my entire retirement savings.

So, back to work I went… van was registered in SD.. but Joe was not. Until now. I may have retired again… there are negotiations ongoing, but nonetheless, I took this opportunity to travel for a bit of a road trip. One of the goals of my roadtrip was to finish up my “residency” in South Dakota by getting my Drivers’ License there. Got that done.

Now… here’s where I ask all of you for your input…

    Am I an idiot for thinking I can make it on the road with just the support of people who look at my website clicking on links to buy stuff from Amazon?

    Should I return to the corporate work-a-day world like every other “Joe” out there to be underpaid, unloved and generally unhappy?

    Or should I pursue my website of weird stuff and photographs, doing something I really like but maybe being even more broke than I already am?

    If you would like to see what I did in 2010 in a sort of “trial run” go here: (it’s kind of old and stagnant now and you need to use the entire address… including the http://www to make sure you get to the right place)

As always… I appreciate the fact that you think enough of me or this website to listen/read my nonsense. I have big plans if it all works out.


About Joe

Just another random guy trying to stretch his mid-life crisis into something more long term.
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One Response to Residence vs. Living

  1. Danielle says:

    People like you. You are that likeable guy who people will go a little out of their way (maybe not a lot, lets face it people are selfish) to help. You know I always use your link! A good question to ask is what other site links would be good for u to use? Plus the more people u meet and befriend, the more people will use your links and follow u. If u weren’t such a good likeable guy I would say u are crazy for doing what your doing, but your “Joe”. Lol 🙂

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