Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've been living in my van at Duke University since January of 2009. I've pledged to not take out loans or borrow money from anybody. I've done this in order to: 1. Afford grad school and 2. Have an adventure. The following entries detail my experiences vandwelling.

9/2/11 Some tips on how to afford college


1/6/09- I find my the van on craigslist and buy it.

1/8/09- I renovate (or pimp out) my van.

1/14/09- I read "Walden" for the second time, reflecting on why I've decided to live in a van.

1/16/09- It gets down to about 10 degrees F.

1/26/09- I spend five hours trying to figure out how to combine the Flight of the Conchord's "Business Time" with 20 seconds of footage of my backseat turning into a bed.

1/28/09- With funds rapidly dwindling, I resort to doing MRI studies for money.

2/5/09- My van leaks and I deal with smells. Not the first, nor the last time I deal with this chronic issue.

2/11/09- I'm lonely as hell, so I tell a bum my secret.

2/16/09- I describe how I cook in the van.

2/18/09- I unveil my cookbook.

3/1/09- My mom finds out about van; thinks I'm crazy.

4/5/09- I get food-poisoning and throw-up in the van.

4/19/09- I take pictures of myself doing resourceful things.

4/22/09- I get my tax return and reflect on wealth

5/5/09- Some passersby compare my van to the A-Team's while I try to nap.

5/6/09- I entertain my first guest and discuss what it's like to tell other people that I live in a van.

5/8/09- I clean out the van and reflect on my first successful semester of vandwelling.

5/9/09- I break down my finances and compare them to the average American's.

[I go to Alaska to work as a backcountry ranger for the summer. Click here to view my "Alaska" series.]


8/26/09- I shave off my summer beard and reflect on celibacy during the process.

8/27/09- North Carolina is F-in hot in August.

9/3/09- Ants take over my van.

9/30/09- I'm lonely in my library.

10/3/09- I almost witness an orgy unfurl.

10/9/09- Mom finds out about the blog.

10/16/09- I read aloud an article about living in my van to my travel writing class. The article would later be edited and submitted to Salon where it printed.

10/19/09- I eat trash for the first time and enjoy it.

10/25/09- I cook up another pot of spaghetti stew.

11/4/09- I go to halloween dressed as Thoreau. Also reflect on the miseries of grad school.

11/9/09- Some guy inspects the van while I'm in it.

11/16/09- A family has a picnic next to my van for 4 hours. I must remain still.

11/20/09- I record the sounds of vandwelling.

12/2/09- I find a pile of something mysterious in the back of the van.

12/7/09- I print an article in Salon. Chaos ensues.

12/13/09- I reflect on my newfound fame.

1/6/10- The Buffalo News does a story on me.


1/11/10- I talk about going to the gym. Videotape myself shooting the hook.

1/25/10- I get in an accident and sprain my knee, cleverly blaming my blunders on a girl

2/2/10- I'm interview by radio host, Dick Gordon.

2/22/10- I stroll through Duke's infamous K-ville.

3/1/10- A picture tour of the van.

3/5/10- I have some mice problems.
3/20/10- A sleeping bag company sends me a free bag. I review it.

[I spend my summer with a hermit in Stokes County, North Carolina in a cottage called Acorn Abbey. Click here to view stories from that summer in my "Other Travels" series.]


FIFTH SEMESTER - Spring '11 (Final Semester)

Post Graduation

6/10/11- I do an experiment wrap-up radio interview with NPR Buffalo.

Go to my Alaska section to read about my travels after my vandwelling experiment.