In an effort to learn more about the lifestyle we’re proposing to set out on, I read the book, “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder. I’ll admit, I mainly picked it up because of the cool Airstream on the cover. I thought it would be kind of lighthearted and newsy – and the title fit in with my perceived notions.
This was a heavy book. Mentally.
Very well written, it was a deep dive into the lives of certain full-time van dwellers as they worked on the road and tried to stay afloat. It was about scraping and scrimping, working hard labor for farm harvests, Amazon, and campgrounds. These are all jobs I’ve read about as we’ve been learning about full-timing, but this was a point of view I hadn’t yet experienced. Bruder gave a no-holds-barred commentary on how difficult the work can be.
While I don’t think I would recommend the book to people who are “just” into camping, I think it’s an important read for those who want to learn more about alternate walks of life in the US. It’s a lifestyle somewhere in between transient and almost homeless, full of people who are fiercely independent and willing to work hard long into retirement age, as long as they have their idea of freedom.
I give it a solid B-.