Life · Tips and tricks · Uncategorized

Here’s What I Learned from Being Homeless pt. 1

Tis the season to be grateful and I’m grateful this is only my second time being homeless. As I sit here hiding from the 92F (33C) degree weather in an air conditioned library while getting to use free wifi (I’m now in a house sit, with a BED. It feels sooo good), I think how ungrateful I can be when I wish I had a “home”. Many people have different definitions, but mine is somewhere where

  • I’m with my boyfriend
  • It’s for longer than a month
  • There’s warm water. Why do public bathrooms only have cold water? Why? I’m weak, I need it to boil my flesh

It feels as though all we, as a couple, do is run around trying to escape the fact that we’re simply from two different countries. It tears me apart, and having a “home” has been on my wishlist since we started dating.

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How can you not love this man

Drama aside, it’s our 2nd temporary period of homelessness and we’ve learned lots of things that I would have loved to know the first time around, SO I figured I’d write them down in case any of you might need them (although I hope not).

First things first

This post is actually a guide. The next one (Pt 2) is more about the fun stuff we did. I typed too much so.. I have to split it up.

Sleeping

We slept in our car, but also actually paid for two nights out of our week in a campground for showering. It was $45 a night (normal ones are about $30) which is steep BUT it’s worth it for all the rad stuff they had to do. I might have high standards but I always look at campsite reviews to see just how nasty the bathrooms are going to be. The one we went to was clean, the bathrooms were separated so instead of stalls they were each a little bathroom with a shower, toilet, sink and mirror. OH MY GOD it felt so good to use a clean sink and toilet and not have to awkwardly turn diagonally over Sebastian to stretch my legs.

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If you can’t afford to sleep in a campsite, and you have a car, then truck stops are the way to go. In the area we were in, it’s illegal to sleep in your car unless you’re in a designated area. You might want to look it up in your area, but that’s why we had to use a truck stop. They are never clean, and we met a huntsman spider, but it’s a place to sleep.

If you’re sleeping in a car and there’s two of you, I hope you like spooning.

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It’s small.

Wow those are definitely not the most flattering pictures, sorry. You can string clothes and blankets around the windows for privacy so nobody can see your bits when changing or watch you while you sleep.

We got sleeping bags and a tent off Gumtree (Australia’s Craigslist) for cheap, you can also go to a thrift shop for that.

If you don’t have a car, you can sleep on benches if it’s warm out. If someone tells you to leave, it’s easier and less awkward to tell them you were drunk walking home from a party or something than telling them you’re homeless. If it’s cold then you can find a place open 24 hours that most likely won’t be busy, like a small gym and lock yourself in a bathroom stall. Those are some of the saddest words I’ve ever typed.

Showering/Washing up/Bathrooms

I apparently have a tiny weak baby’s skin so if someone looks at it wrong, or if SOME people rub their face all over mine because they like to pretend they’re a cat or something, then I’ll get 5 billion zits. So I have to wash it twice/day. I washed my face in McDonald’s/Hungry Jack’s handicapped bathroom many a time. Locks never worked. Absolutely depressing, lowest point in my life and I think my soul lost a good chunk of itself every time I did, but it gets the job done. Go somewhere where nobody goes. Of course on the last day I found out the library has the cleanest bathrooms EVER so I did it in there.

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The lights lit up as I was walking in which made me feel like me + this bathroom were destiny. I could hear angels singing in the distance.

 

 

If you need cheaper showering for a longer term, you can get a gym membership or trial membership. A week long one will be free but clearly only a week. The problem with gyms is they like to lock you into a contract so just be weary. You can also go to a swimming pool for a day which should only be like $8 and get to use the shower there PLUS have a swim.

Going to use the bathroom is easy, fast food joints and gas stations are basically always open and couldn’t care less if you use their bathrooms without buying anything. Most of them wouldn’t care if you just killed them right then and there, they all look dead inside. That’s customer service for ya.

Laundry can be done at a laundromat. It’s kind of expensive, but it’s better than smelling like.. a.. homeless person. If you’re trying to do begging, people are more likely to help someone who doesn’t look like they need it than someone who does. Don’t ask why, people are weird, but keeping up appearances will help.

Food

Yeah this part is depressing. If you’re able to buy some camping gear, like a cooler, bowls, pots, silverware, maybe a burner, then do it. We got some used stuff for free from a previous house sit so we got lucky. Again, you could buy used equipment off Gumtree/Craigslist. Anyway if you don’t have a burner then you can do what we did and buy cans of soup, beans, whatever and eat that. Free plastic spoons/forks can be found at 7-11 or any gas station.

Only problem is it’s always going to be room temperature and taste like the Great Depression.

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I also meal prepped 2 kilos of rice and a big batch of some mighty fine black bean and chicken mexican mix, plus stir fry so we were able to eat that. We used tortillas, and cheap bread. If you’re in Australia, then go to a Woolies in the evening, at least after 5 PM but usually after 8 PM and most of them put their bakery items on sale. If you’re lucky it’ll be for less than half price 😉 If you’re not in Australia, then you can still check out the stores around where you live.

Two sad meals lol. We kept frozen veggies in the cooler. They were never frozen which was perfect. One day my corn on the cob was still rock solid frozen and it was like eating a popsicle, which was perfect because it was hot as hell outside.

The cheapest food you can get will be stuff like beans ($.60-$1.25 a can), fresh veg like carrots ($1.20/kilo) or potatoes ($2/kilo), fresh fruits like bananas ($2/kilo) and apples ($3/kilo), and frozen veg which can be as low as $1.65/kilo. We never buy anything over $10/kilo unless we’re feeling really fancy, like turkey for Thanksgiving ($15/kilo). Sausages are always really cheap ($4.50/kilo) so if you have fire or heat or whatever, you can feast like a king on sausages and that fresh bread you got from Woolworths 😉

If you have access to a microwave, you gotta make microwave potatoes. Just stab it all over like you have blood lust, add some oil if you have it (touch of water works too) and nuke it for 3-6 minutes depending on how big the tayto is. You can mash it if you want to too. Can also put it in plastic baggies and carry it with you to eat on the go. Sebastian used to make 2 kilos of mashed potatoes at a time and sit there with a LARGE mixing bowl full of mashed potatoes and eat it like a bowl of cereal. Yes he has issues.

Whatever you do, do. not. give. into. fast. foodIt is so overly priced and you’ll be wasting your money no matter how tempting it is. Now I’m a hypocrite because I let Sebastian buy frozen cokes all the time when it was nearly 40C but the man can’t handle the heat so I let him. Just don’t follow my lead.

Oh also water can come from drinking fountains or bathroom sinks of course, just buy a cheap big bottle of water for $.70 and reuse it.

Things to do for fun – Things I learned while being homeless pt 2

I’m going to write a second post on this because I already typed too much, so the next one will be about what we did to enjoy ourselves PLUS extra tips I forgot to add. I hope you found this useful, although ideally you didn’t even need to read it at all.

Being homeless really makes you mad jealous of people you see through restaurant windows eating a nice fancy hot dinner while you’re sitting on a bench eating a can of beans with a plastic spoon. Also makes a real bed about 15,000,000,000x more comfortable. I have nothing to complain about though, there’s people who don’t even have clean water or access to a school, plus baked beans are pretty darn tasty even when cold. So with that I shall get onto typing up the next post. Sorry I talk so much lol

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52 thoughts on “Here’s What I Learned from Being Homeless pt. 1

  1. Hiya. Thank you for this post. I had to ‘sofa-surf’ for 3 months last year to save up for a deposit when my boyfriend’s flatmates said i could stay only 3 nights a week and I found that stressful enough. I know it’s totally different but I respect your perseverance and resilience!

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      1. Yeahh their decision was controversial haha! So many friends stepped in and let me stay on their sofas or share their bed for a night which was very touching; I saw more of the goodness in human nature in the end. All good now. It challenged my perception of what it means to be ‘homeless’ for sure.

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  2. You have such a genuine, positive attitude it blows my mind. You’re right, so so many of us take the things we do have for granted and are always looking for more, without looking around to see that people around would be happy with even a fraction of what we do have. I really appreciate you writing this post and being so honest, it must have been hard but it genuinely is amazing that you’re raising awareness about homelessness, as a lot of people tend to forget that it is REAL. I really hope things get better for you guys – with that attitude, they are bound to! Thank you again for the honesty of this post xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Luckily it wasn’t hard to write at all because I had a lot of fun (even though it sucked a lot of the time too lol). I really appreciate everything you said and I’m glad there’s people like you who can realize they’re lucky. Why are you saying thank you when it should be me lol. Thank you again, for real 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Seriously,
    This post, just BLEW MY FUCKING MIND. Not even lying, I have to study so I have to keep this short for the sake of studying, but am I seriously reading about you being homeless? Like I am almost in Ahh, because I could not imagine – nor could I possibly have such a great attitude, a positive outlook nor do I think I could survive the same way as you before breaking down and possibly giving up. I seriously cried reading this, this whole thing makes me very emotional, I couldn’t even finish reading because it is too much.. too real.. and tears at my heart. Wow. I hope you hang in there, homeless is so real, I see it and have seen it, and I was just sitting here thinking “all these things I wish I had” not even stopping to think about all those who don’t have.. or won’t have, are struggling day in and day out to make it another day, another hour.. another minute even. I seriously give you respect for being able to share something like this with readers. I was watching a movie a couple of months ago about homelessness, it was a drama and about two people who met (each of them were homeless) but while dating stayed homeless as well.. and yes one makes it out of it but the other does not.. and it just broke me. I am happy I came to your page to find something so honest and real-life.. this seriously is a good post and something to bring awareness to others about.

    Shay-lon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really hard not to break down and cry about it honestly, and I cry about anything. One time I cried because I got to be in a room full of kittens and it was apparently so cute that I just had to start crying lol. It’s just that it doesn’t accomplish anything but make me feel worse, so I like to stay positive and assume it’ll be okay. There’s certain experiences that really did a toll on my spirit, but like you said, there’s lots of people who live hour to hour trying to just live and have it worse than I ever will. Some people will spend $200 on a shiny new watch (guilty in the past) while others are trying to scrounge up $1.20 for a few cans of food for dinner (currently guilty). I’m really glad there’s people like you though who can put things in perspective and have a LOT more compassion than most people out there. Thank you so much for your comment because it really makes me feel so much better. Also I want to know what that movie you watched was called!! I need to see it haha

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, at least you are honest about it. Ya know, you used to spend 200 dollars on a watch, hey many people do that and with clothes too (I currently have done) and while I sit and think for what? what does this do for me, ya know. Yes, sure people might compliment it, I might feel good at the time about it, but then looking back, I sometimes think.. it only heightens my excitement until something better comes along and who do I need to impress.. and why.
        I guess my age group ( I am 24) and younger want to live glam lifestyles, have nice things in order to be accepted or feel accepted, and truly it does nothing but boost an ego or two. I was always told “what you have on the outside, doesn’t mean it is what you are in the inside” — you can have nice things and be a bonafide bitch in other words. I am still learning about things as I grow about people and things.
        People don’t have compassion, they only pretend to have it during the holidays to build their own spirits and put on a face that the world will like, in the end, people don’t really give a shit (some people anyways).
        Your story is one I will continue to keep up with, not because I think it is a fun read, but because it is real and I like that, you talk about shit that others are afraid to sometimes admit and while some may find this weird you blog about it, I find it compelling because you are giving other people in your situation some kind of relief.. and possibly hope.
        I will have to look for the movie and let you know, because I think you would enjoy it possibly – I sure did.

        P.S I am a semi-emotional person, and when something really tugs at me, I can hardly hold back the feelings.

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      2. I know a lot of people avoid talking about things they’re embarrassed about, but I think it’s better that it does gets said because people who are bothered by it don’t have to read it/listen, and people who are in the same situation who genuinely would like to learn and compare their experiences can. I wish I would have known some of this stuff and I would have saved myself some time. Also, I still keep my watch because 1. my mom got it for me, so it means something to me since I don’t see my family often and 2. it looks good as hell on me lmao. Nothing wrong with having a few nice things although you’re so right, people definitely get caught up in it and try to base their self worth on what they have rather than who they are. I really appreciate you following me, I never expected to start this blog and come across people so cool. For real though, don’t forget about the movie cause I actually wanna know! I’ll track you down if I have to!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I admire your beautiful attitude and willingness to share advice to others that might benefit. I am very sorry that you both are going through these issues and I’m hoping that things turn around for you both very soon. Many people have been and will be in these situations and truly benefit by the understanding and compassion from fellow human beings. Best wishes to both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I can’t complain because I get to do it with someone I actually have a lot of fun being around no matter the situation. Others don’t have it so easy unfortunately, but there are a few compassionate people out there luckily. Thanks for your kind words 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry 😦 At least you had a car and the appearance of not being homeless to work for you. I can’t imagine how people who don’t have those advantages would do it. This makes me want to donate to homeless advocacy groups. I don’t know how bad the problem is in Australia but in the US it’s terrible. Although I doubt we’ll get much done with our new president about to take office :/

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    1. I house sat for a few couples who went on vacation to the US and they all said they didn’t expect to see so many homeless people. I haven’t even seen one here now that I think of it. Well besides me, but that makes me happy. Also, I’m not sure how long you plan on staying in Europe but another 4 years might not be bad lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We drive quite a bit and luckily only have to sleep in the car every once in awhile (twice this year so far) but if we were sleeping in it constantly that would definitely be first on the list. We’d also easily win the title of cutest car lol

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  6. I can’t get over of how much you and the hundreds people out there don’t deserve being homeless, but you’ve managed to bring out such a lovely and honest post, I know it’s not much to say, but I’m praying that you and Sebastian get the perfect home and live a good life. Have a good day, Lindsey ❤

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  7. Even though I’m sorry you’ve had to be homeless twice, it’s extremely endearing that you and Sebastion make it work (and seemingly quite well!). I look forward to the day you two are able to make a home for yourselves… you’ll have so many stories to tell as you experience all these adventures and mishaps. 🙂 I’m happy you’re back with a bed and warm water, and I hope that there are fewer times you are without those things. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to have warm meals and a comfy bed. Experiences and reads like these are important and humbling. Best wishes for your travel, Lindsey! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Vegan cheese is so good. 😱 When you come back to the US, hunt down Miyoko’s Kitchen (I think that’s the brand). They make the best cheese. 🙏 And milk is there no problem! There’s almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, soy milk… I think that’s it, and there will be more. Almond milk is probably the best. 💪

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow this was very eye opening and honest, it’s amazing how you are grateful for the little things when most people now days are very self focused and take a lot for granted. Wishing you all the best for the holidays x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I never guessed (from your blog) that you might have been going through periods of homelessness! It was very humbling reading this and it sounds really tough. Can I ask why you’re homeless? Is it because you’re traveling on a budget etc… ? Or are you finding it difficult to find a job? Anyway, you seem to have done pretty well stretching your pennies. I don’t like to admit it, but even though I have a fulltime job, sometimes the bills get so bad I have no money for food and I go to my parents to eat – but only if I have enough fuel to spare to get to their house in the first place. I joke about it with them, but they don’t see the times I open my food pantry and break down crying. Some people have no idea just how much food you can actually buy for $5 when you’re poor. Aldi has been a lifesaver for me on that front. But I have to put it in perspective. I live in a lovely house and have super supportive parents who occasionally slip me a $50 and buy me groceries. Also, I’m getting housemates in January to help pay the bills, so hopefully this time next year I can afford to eat nicer food, take my dog to the puppy parlour for a proper haircut and buy some new clothes! Here’s wishing you a very merry christmas, wherever you’ll be 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well luckily both times were because we were between house sits and don’t have enough money to go live anywhere else for 1-2 weeks. Aldi is seriously the best, they have the BEST peanut butter too! I really hope getting roommates helps you and they’ll be super nice and randomly bring you food all the time. You can also take 1 or 2 bites out of their delicious leftovers without them noticing hahah. Just don’t get caught. And you’re so lucky to have great parents that you live near!! Parents and grandparents are always trying to slip their kids money when they can. I’ll also have to get myself new clothes, I accidentally stick my arms and toes through the holes in my socks and shirts all the time and rip them even bigger lol. I hope for Christmas you’ll get a ton of new clothes and get your puppy (what kind is it anyway?) a haircut!

      Liked by 2 people

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