A COLLEGE student has dropped out of school to live out of his Ford Escape.
Robert French believed that the right path to success was to get a degree and get a well-paying job.
After racking up thousands of debts in pursuit of a degree he wasn’t sure he really wanted, French felt like something urgently needed to change.
In an essay published on Insider, French said that after two years of feeling like he was on a hamster wheel, he decided to get out and live in his car.
“I quickly realized that I wasn’t learning how to pay bills or manage my affairs,” French said.
“I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, I was still experiencing life through screens, and I was still paying thousands of dollars a semester.”
Shortly after dropping out of college, French got a job as a migrant worker in the Colorado Mountains, four days a week.
French spent the remaining three years in his Ford Escape Hybrid, camping out in the woods of the United States with his work friends.
French received a work stipend of about $350 a week, and because his food for the days he worked was covered by his job, he was able to use the rest of the money for gas for his car and propane for his camp stove.
It didn’t take long for French to get used to living under the stars from his car and slowly become more adventurous.
“After I got used to this lifestyle, I started planning more trips. I realized that I didn’t have to worry about accommodation and just pay for gas. I could go where it seemed interesting and continue to live the way I had been. So I did it.
After surviving a long list of potential dangers, including bears and armed landowners, French said this isn’t a permanent endeavor for him.
He said he was grateful for the homeless chapter of his life because it was more valuable to him than any college degree he could have earned.
“When I return to civilization and get a real home, I know that my vagabond experience has taught me more about the world and the people in it than college ever could.”