September 7, 2010 my house burned down. From late September until April 30 I lived in a lovely house that the insurance company rented. Now I am a motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river. If that sentence doesn’t strike you as funny, you might read the story In Which I Become a Motivational Speaker or at least click the link there to the Saturday Night Live Skit to which I allude.

For the first weeks after I moved out, I mostly imposed on people (who didn’t seem to mind the imposition) and a few nights, actually lived in my van. A few nights, for example, I parked on the lot where my house once stood. I then went with a cousin and her family to visit our cousin in Quito, Ecuador. On June 17, I locked the storage unit in Knoxville for the last time and hit the road.

From June 17 until just before Thanksgiving I was on the road. For Thanksgiving through the first few weeks of the new year I couch surfed at friend’s and family’s houses in Birmingham and Knoxville. I spent six weeks in Ecuador from mid February until the end of March, followed by another week or so of visiting Birmingham and Knoxville before I headed to the Florida panhandle. I don’t know just what I will do around County Road 30-A, but I will see if I can find some way to make some kind of life near the beach.

If you want to contact me, call or text 865-226-9465 or email jay and put @iliveinmyvan and a .com at the end of it.


3 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Rushmore can wait | | iLiveInMyVan.comiLiveInMyVan.com

  2. Joe Boyle says:


    I really enjoyed your writings about the Galapagos. Sally and I have commented often on how fun it was to have met you on the voyage, and now to read your reactions to what we all saw!

    We admire your creative talents and look forward to following your blog in the future. Our re-entry to life in Illinois has been good, but I must admit, just like feeling the rocking of the Santa Cruz after I was in Quito for a few days, images and sounds of Ecuador still break through to my consciousness. It probably also helps that I have been playing Otavaleno-type CDs whenever I can. I may have mentioned that Bertha and Javier (from Quito) gave us a CD that has the song “Amigo Negro Jose,” which was one of the tunes that the band Alborada played during our surprise party on Monday. Apparently the song has strong roots as a populist anthem, adopted by Chilean prisoners during the Pinochet era. I will be trying to use the first three frets on my guitar to learn it.

    Paz, Happy Spring and Easter.


  3. dee says:


    Where are you going from here? More van travel or are you basically done with that?

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