October 2, 2016

The One Question I’m Most Asked as a Car-Dwelling Nomad


Since making the decision to move into a tiny-home-on-wheels and live life as a wandering nomad, I’ve been asked a lot of question.

But it’s interesting that the most common question I’m asked on the road is if I’m lonely, or how I deal with the loneliness.

Considering that I’m living in a car, I would think that there would be so many more interesting things that people might wonder.

Loneliness, however, is apparently the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think about the idea of my lifestyle which makes me think people must be terrified of being alone, or see it as something to be avoided at all costs.

But here’s the thing: I can be completely alone for days on end in the mountains and not feel the slightest bit alone because my cup is full to overflowing.

And I’m okay with that.

And then I can set foot in a city, where I am simply one among millions, and have a moment of feeling like the loneliest person in the entire world.

And I’m okay with that, too.

Loneliness is something to be accepted and embraced, not feared. 

Loneliness is something that can visit us at any point and any season in life, whether we are literally alone in the wilds, are surrounded by an ocean of people, or are with our partner or loved ones.

I think that one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is to grow comfortable with aloneness and loneliness—to be able to sit with it happily, so that it does not limit us, but is just there—present but not intrusive.

To me, to live on the road in close harmony with nature—to cook and eat every meal under her sky, and spend my days trailing footsteps across her floor—feels much more natural than seasons in the past, when I woke up each day and sat at a desk for eight hours.

Sure, there are moments where I glance in a restaurant window and see a group of friends lingering over their dinner or a couple sharing a sunset and my alone-ness is highlighted, but it’s simply a remembering or an observation—as if looking at the sky and noticing it is cloudy today—not a hardship or a sadness.

And there are so many more times when I think about the beautiful souls that I’ve met along the road—connections that don’t happen when you’re (we’re) entrenched in a normal rut of society living. I meet people and hear their stories every day at the most unexpected moments, and I love that.

Since I’m usually alone, people in the most random locations approach me and simply start up a conversation, or other times start pouring their heart out—something that they probably wouldn’t do if there were another person with me. And I love that I have the time and freedom to sit and listen.

And sometimes, I meet new friends and get to see how they are living their “one wild and precious life” and am inspired.

There has been no point along this journey where I wished for a “real” bed to sleep in or a night out drinking with friends or a kitchen to cook in and a table to sit at or a couch to watch TV from—no point where loneliness has seized my heart and made me wish to be somewhere, anywhere, other than where I am.

I know that there will be seasons where I have those things again, and I will enjoy and appreciate them, but in this season, I don’t feel that a single thing is lacking.

Now. Is there anything more interesting you’d like to ask?

I am blissfully content, whether I’m heart-overflowing on the summit of a mountain or feeling like my alone-ness is highlighted in a sea of millions.


Author: Hana Rexroth

Images: Author’s own ; Jakob Owens/ Unsplash

Editor: Erin Lawson

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