Not so long ago the American Dream consisted of a white picket fence; two ubiquitous college bound children, a dog and a car or two, which you owned outright in the garage. The American Dream was about having a 9-5 job which made you feel secure, and even though this job may not have been the most exciting one or even something which you enjoyed getting up to do everyday it was necessary, and all a part of the dream. I guess most importantly for many generations the American Dream was not complete without owning a home. Here’s the thing…I think most of us still believe in the American Dream but personally I think this dream has changed in its nature. The American Dream has changed because America has changed. Think about the uncertainty of today’s job market, and the massive heap of student loans which college graduates have to pay off. It makes sense that more “millennials” are choosing to rent instead of making the gigantic investment of buying a home. Better yet, I feel as though the dream of more square feet that the generation before us desperately wanted is slowly but surely withering away. Sure, there may still be people out there who long to live in a McMansion, but downsizing and the aspiration of being able to pick up and move whenever you want to wide open spaces or another city is becoming the reality.
Wayward Nation is the story of 5 friends in search of the new American Dream. They want to inspire young people to go out and do what they are passionate about. I felt a connection to these guys after watching a few of their episodes; the show highlights a movement to pursue what I believe will be long term, and a movement that I want to be a part of. In May of this year my boyfriend and I purchased a 1983 Dodge Ram Van. It is not the most pretty of things, but soon Dolores will be looking like a true gem. The idea is to make this van a fully functional traveling home; the conversion process is ongoing, we try to work on it every week. The hope is to travel across the country seeing, learning and doing… eventually finding a place out west. Through the van transformation project, we have found so many other young people even young couples with children latching onto this idea of tiny living on the road. There are blogs and Instagram accounts dedicated solely to van travel and van life.
It seems to me that many of us feel trapped in a mold that we feel society wants from us, or chasing this American Dream that may not even be genuine. Productions such as Wayward Nation, and projects like the one I am undertaking are not as few and far between as most would think, anyone can do this.
Go to @ramvanchronicles to follow Dolores, as she gets ready to set out on the open road! Stay tuned for photos and videos on this blog!!
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.