Update: This About page is old now!
Right now I work at inputmag.com as the Guides editor. I’m still plagued by student loans, but the money I saved up while I was out on the trip outlined below actually did snowball into enough to pay them off… I’m just choosing not to because the yields in crypto are a lot better 👀.
What is Misofrost now that my journey is over? Well, all life is cyclical, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m planning my next van build. Until then, stay frosty out there.
Hi, my name is Evan Rodgers and this is Misofrost, a blog about my journey to free myself from student loans in the stupidest, most extra way possible 💅.
I live in New York City and work in media, which means I've lived paycheck to paycheck for the past seven years, and frankly I'm sick of it. Any extra money has been funneled into my student loans but, thanks to the interest, some of them have actually gone up.
BUT, as many of my worst bosses loved to say, we're all about solutions here. Cutting to the chase: I'm going to be car camping all across the beautiful western half of the United States for six months to sprint on my student loans. I estimate that I can pay off about half of my loans, which would be life changing. I will still be working remotely, so this is one half #vanlife and one half digital nomad (yuck).
Here's the thinking: rent is the only expense I can really move at this point. Sure, I probably need to prune some content subscriptions back a bit, but I don't have any credit card debt, I don't have a car payment, and I don't go out very much anymore. Elders love to wag their finger at millennials' spending, but listen here grandma, I've walked that austere road for a few years now and guess what: it's still not enough.
What I found, though, is that there's no winning when it comes to housing. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the farther you get from the city, the cheaper the rent becomes. Except... it doesn't. You definitely get more space, but you can never spend less. You're going to spend $1,200-1,500 to live without roommates basically anywhere.
When I've spoken to friends about this, there are two common questions: where will you sleep, and where will you poop? Great questions, I'm glad you asked.
The tent I'm using is a Freespirit Recreation roof tent. I wish I was driving that beautiful Land Cruiser in the picture above, but I'm using a 2004 Honda Element that I bought on Craigslist for $2,800. It's true, the tent is expensive. A lot of people doing this sort of thing are in it for the lifestyle, but if you poke around YouTube, you'll see that this is a fair few people's only option. This sort of elevated homelessness and the systemic problems that lead people to it is something I'll be writing about here on Misofrost.
Anyway, about the poop: it's pretty simple, some places have pit toilets, others are so remote that you just have to dig a hole. Call me a freak, but pooping in a hole outside is very satisfying.
You might also be wondering about how I'm going to continue working. My setup is pretty cool, so I'll have a post up about it soon, but I got a top-of-the-line LTE booster, high-end antennas, and I'm bonding two Verizon LTE connections and two AT&T connections. Here in the city I've gotten 200mbps down and 50mbps up out of this rig, and out in the countryside I've gotten ~30mbps down and 20mbps up. It's not blistering fast but it's plenty for video calls.
If this project is something you're interested in, please consider following me on Twitter and Instagram.
See you on the road 🚙