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Full Version: As an experienced vandweller, how has your perception changed?
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I gave up my TV in the 90's.  When Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn died, so did Hollywood.  I got tired of paying for the privilege of having garbage dumped into my living room.  (And I don't miss it.)  About 18 months later, I noticed that the effects of advertising and the media had worn off.  I wasn't buying 10% of what I used to, for example.  I found myself thinking differently... more clearly and less influenced.  Logic, common sense, and reason returned unhindered.   I was no longer "under the influence" and I had peace.  

There was another unexpected benefit.  I saw and heard how the general population spoke and acted while under the influence of the media, advertising, Hollywood, etc.,  It was like scales dropped from my eyes and I began noticing how people were speaking/behaving how they were being "programmed" to, while believing they were thinking for themselves, not realizing the affects that all of these entities were really having on them.

So, I'm thinking van life has to be pretty similar because, for the most part, it's outside the norm of being part of the S&B, consumerism, on-grid, materialistic and entertainment-driven system.  Surely, after you get some vandwelling time under your belt, you start to notice certain things in other people - the public in general - that makes you think, "Wow.  I used to be/think like that.  If they only knew what they were really doing/saying/feeding into..."  

Has anyone had any of these types of realizations after living the van life for awhile?  How has your perception of life, other people, the general public as a whole, the system, etc., changed?  (If at all.)
When I speak to people, they sometimes can't understand what I'm saying. I spoke with a guy yesterday and he was asking about what I did, my trailer, etc. I told him what I was doing for work. He said that eventually I will find something I like then will settle down and that sometimes it takes a while to find what a guy likes. He didn't understand that I was doing what I liked to do.

Some people can't comprehend living in a small place and the topic for them is so different that we can't talk on the same level. I was given a free hat from work. I didn't want it, but they said to take it anyway. It went in the garbage. I didn't want to make my life difficulty by stepping over items that I don't want/need, so I threw it away. They are happy they forced an item on me that I didn't want and I'm happy I don't have it anymore. Some of the relationships I have are that way. Not just with physical items, either.

I also got tired of all the fake Reality TV and lies from TV. I am really out of the loop on that stuff, but I'm OK with that. I like being appropriately educated on stuff that matters. I still vote and do my civic duty, but I don't get my information by watching mindless drivel- commercials often included. You wont' find me standing in a looooong line for the newest Iphone or on a Black Friday. I'll be out living life instead of living in other's self made drama.

I also eat better. Much better. It's hard to consistently eat bad when the nearest convenience store is 35 miles away. I miss pizza, though. Good pizza, not the cheap stuff. Some people say I look better and some ask if there's anything wrong with me. Apparently in today's society if you can see your ribs or the veins in your arms, you're not healthy. When I hike, almost everyone is behind me blowing bubbles. Then they get mad at me for not waiting for them. I just let them smoke a cigarette and rest while I'm out having fun.

I had contacted my State about how to maintain residence and they won't talk to me about it. So, that is likely going to be a problem at some point. The rules reflect the mentality of the people living the American Dream. Since I'm not conforming to their version of the Dream, I'm a bit of an outcast. That's something I still struggle with.

So, yes. My life has changed quite a bit compared to others. I was never a very slothful, deluded dude, but am better now. Not having that constant influence has helped.
I totally agree.

I gave up on the social norms a long time ago, and it has been liberating to say the least. I see so many people that are "sheep" to what they are told they should be, should be doing, and how to do it all. From the clothing they wear to the electronics they purchase, it is all force fed to them and they follow those patterns without much of a question.

Since starting my "2.0 life" (when I started traveling) my eyes have opened up a lot. I find it easy to see the lies and histrionics in just about everything I see coming from the media, advertisers, and our elected officials (from all sides of the isle). I'm much more a free thinker now than I ever was. Honestly, when I think of where I was and what I was doing/thinking just 10 years ago, I am amazed I made it out alive.
Not really on topic, but I lived in in Thailand for 25 years and had no access to English TV for much of it and Thai TV is terrible. I love American cable TV now and believe this is the Golden Age of television. Many shows are better than movies. I always have a tablet computer and Netflix available these days.
Canine - Thanks for replying.  I agree with you about other folks not understanding.  I get that a lot right now, even before I hit the road, just because of my simplicity.  People are always trying to give me things that I don't want.  "I have an extra TV I don't use that you can have if you want it."   Confused   I used to keep trying to explain but found that it really doesn't penetrate, so...  But, in my mind I'm thinking, "Shame on you for having an 'extra TV' that you're not using in the first place!  How much debt do you have that you could be selling it (and other stuff) to be paying it off?"   Then I need to remember to myself back in my place and remember that I was like that too, at one time.  I'm no better than they are.  I'm just in a different head space.

I'm an open Christian conservative in a massively outspoken liberal big city.  I keep my views to myself unless I'm directly asked and that's when I get hammered.  I'm grateful for it, actually.  I hold no grudges or bad feelings towards anyone.  (Why let them live in my head rent free?)  It's been good training ground to learn 1) about myself so I can change in areas I needed to change, like being short-tempered.  And 2) to learn to keep a guard on my mouth so I don't treat anyone else the same way.  Finally, 3) it taught me to not take other people's criticisms, or insults, personally.  They don't know me.  Hurting people hurt other people.  So, I learned to listen instead.  Sort the good from the bad and carry on.  

Van-Tramp - I couldn't agree more.  I used to want to shake people senseless to knock them out of that propaganda coma.  I even tried a few times but it only made me look crazy.  People have to wake up on their own and different things will trigger it for different folks.  

Quote:Since starting my "2.0 life" 
I wanted to start a YouTube channel called Life 2.0 but the name was taken.  I know some folks here cringe at the thought of YouTube and that's okay.  Personally, I hate journaling.  Ugh... that's so Oprah.  YouTube, for me, will be a way of keeping myself on track because I'm not the most self-disciplined person.  It will keep me accountable and, if I can earn a bit of income on it to help me to the next gas station at some point, I'm all for it.

You said you're amazed you made it out alive from where you were 10 years ago.  Just over 10 years ago, I fought my way out of it hard.  Unfortunately, I went to the opposite extreme of becoming a hermit and keeping to myself.  Now that I'm centered again, I feel like I'm stepping out into a new world that I don't recognize... at all.  Honest to God, if you gave me a new TV, I'd have absolutely no idea how to use it.  

GeorgiePorgie - I'm glad you enjoy it and wish you all the fun that you can find with that.  But, for me, what you described sounds like absolute hell on moldy bread to me.