The Awkward Introduction Post

Hello Community! My name is Ryter, I’m 52, and currently live in Minne-SNOW-ta.

I’m not quite sure what to say to introduce myself because, even though my life is an open book, not everyone wants to read it. So, I’ll post the Cliff Notes version and tell you why I’m here.

I don’t have any family at all and, in the last 12 years, I’ve become a hermit. (Why I became a hermit is the omitted long story.) I went from white collar jobs, to working class jobs, and now, for the last five years, I work as the caretaker of my apartment building. I’m a homebody who likes reading, writing, and nature.

My apartment building was sold and the new owner has made changes affecting people’s jobs. That also affected their living situation as their apartments were paid for as part of their compensation. So far my job is safe… but for how long? That’s when I discovered van life for the first time; as I was researching alternative housing for folks who are barely getting by. Since last July, I’ve been devouring everything van life.

I consider all of this good news because it was the kick up the proverbial that I needed to smack me out of my complacency and invisible existence. I have dreams and goals again after 17 long years! I want to rejoin the Land of the Living 3-Dimensional People again. When I learned about van life, I can’t tell you how much is resonated with me! Even though I’m starting from the very, very bottom - no money, no car, no family, and two friends (but also no debt) - I have every intention of making it happen. From zero to thriving in six months.

Please know, I AM NOT: lazy, feeling sorry for myself, or here to beg, mooch, or leech off of anyone else.

Please know that I AM: here to learn, listen, and to get advice and instruction. I’m also here to help and become involved in the van life community. I’m DOING van life for me, but I’m not IN IT for myself. I’m not in it for online fame (I have NO social media accounts at all) or recognition of any kind. I became a hermit because I wanted to live an anonymous, wallpaper life! Fame? Keep it! I’ll take friends in the van life community any day!

My Goal: To peacefully live the full-time, long-term van life and to help others whenever possible. I want to do this while creating streams of income for myself and permanently leave behind trading my time for money. (Advice and instruction in this area would be more welcome than gravy on a biscuit.)

How did I find this site? I performed an internet search for how to make a living online as a van dweller and read a post by @Van_Dweller. He gave me hope I haven’t felt in a very long time and I’ll never forget it. I traced that post to this website, which I’ll be spending hours/days eagerly devouring! But I wanted to start getting involved, too, and begin tearing away at some of the wallpaper. That’s why I’m posting my introduction, as odd and awkward as I know this post probably is.

If you took the time to read all of this, I’m grateful to you.


Greetings & Welcome!

Thank you for the kind words, and please feel free to beg, borrow, mooch, leech, and steal all the information we can offer. Helping others is exactly why I’m here too. In my spare time, I volunteer helping the homeless.

Friends, family, and an inward feeling of accomplishment cannot be overstated. I have practically no family left, but lots of friends, and if I can leave this world just a little bit better place, I will be a happy man. I need very little to live the life of my dreams, while improving the lives of others. I feel very blessed.


"Smiles are contagious, pass them on!" ~ Van_Dweller

Hello again!

As we are both new to the community, I think we probably share a lot of the same FUDs (fears, uncertainties, and doubts) and hopes for inclusion. Who, that takes the time to sign up and put themselves out there wouldn’t? Anyway, it is really nice to get a sense of who you are and where you are at in life.

Perhaps this is a great time, based on your intro, to suggest you look into Youtube and Patreon, if you have not already, as part of the means to the passive income lifestyle you seek. However, I know quite a few who have done it, as well as other “passive” income jobs like drop shipping, affiliates, etc. and it is maybe not as passive as some like to make it out to be. Either way, I wish you well and know it can be done.

On a side note, I absolutely love the Duluth MN/North Shore area. I am usually there once a year in April to speak at a conference then go hike and take pictures of your gorgeous landscapes. Perhaps guiding or photography is in the cards for you.

Have an awesome day!

Doesn’t seem awkward to me.

Thank you @Van_Dweller, @kevinmullett and @Bike_Stuff! I usually find Introduction posts on forums to be awkward because you never know what folks really want to hear. I may be a hermit and enjoy solitude and quiet, but I also love people and have never been accused of being shy! Normally, I’d be more reserved when posting on a new forum but, this forum is very different from others I’ve tried. Folks here are especially kind and helpful. I’ve been on some van life forums full of long-timer curmudgeons and know-it-alls whose idea of advice can be more… ego than helpful. That’s okay, too. I get it. They’ve earned their stripes and I’m not going to make waves! I’m grateful to those who pioneered before me, making the way easier.

@Van_Dweller, my fellow Minneapolian! I’ve worked with the homeless and displaced families, too. It’s something I want to do more of again when I’m on the road. My van life intention is, after spending a little time sightseeing (Yellowstone, here I come!), I want to travel the country where volunteers are needed in disaster areas and do what I can. Like I said, I’m doing van life for me, but I don’t want to then make it about me.

@kevinmullett - I’m considering YouTube. More for the community aspect of it because I don’t anticipate being a YouTube sensation! I’m not sure about Patreon. I don’t understand why people who are generally living paycheck to paycheck themselves, would regularly donate monthly to help someone else be able to live in a van. I could be wrong, but it does feel a bit like (as some call it) e-begging. Then again, as I said, being a hermit for so long, I don’t understand a lot of stuff like this. That’s my fault. I’m catching myself just in time before becoming one of those old folks who were content becoming relics instead of keeping up with the times. I have so much to learn now. As I consider YouTube, I just don’t know when I should start making videos. Six months in advance? Before I have a van or the means to live van life? Are folks really that interested to see a 52 year old man’s struggle to make it happen?

The north shore area of Minnesota is stunning. If I’m able to leave this fall, I definitely want to take a detour the area before heading out of state.