Ok, so I have a confession: this is the first post that I'm actually typing up FromInsideTheBox. By the magic and miracles of modern technology, I'm actually able to access the internet by tethering to my cellphone. I've already talked about how this place is starting to feel like home, but I think calling it a dorm room, as someone said to me today, is much more appropriate. It even looks like one (see the picture above for the current state of affairs). The only differences are that it's larger than any dorm room I've lived in, and I'm not sharing it with anyone, which are both pluses in my book (sorry Zach). And while I don't have any problems with it looking like a dorm room, I do have a few plans to make it a little more "homey" in the future.
The Box and Beyond
Most of these future plans revolve around a company I stumbled upon called Happy Vans in San Jose. They specialize in turning cars, trucks, and RVs into homes, and do all sorts of conversions. How perfect is that? I contacted them about some modifications, and they said they're backlogged by about two months, so it'll be a little while before anything actually happens, but here are some of the ideas I've had.
- Carpeting. I've considered doing this one myself actually, and it's probably the simplest job on the list. It would have been smarter to do this before I started bolting things (the bed frame piece and the dresser) to the walls and floor though. Oh well. The main reasons I'd like carpeting is to soften the loud creaking sounds I hear when I walk across the hard wooden floor and to stop things from sliding around while I'm driving, not that it's much of an issue now. I guess it would also look and feel nice too.
- Sunlight. Just like I have 128 ft2 of floor, I have 128 ft2 of ceiling space, which is more than enough room to put in a sunlight. Also note that I call it a sunlight and not a sunroof, I live in this thing far more than I drive it. Anyway, in addition to looking pleasant and letting in ambient light, a sunlight would enable the next item on my list.
- Solar Panel/Power Bank. This one may seem a little outlandish, but it's a legitimately feasible modification (and also one that Happy Vans offers). Attaching a small solar panel to a part of the sunlight would handily collect enough energy to fully charge a power bank, like a Duracell Powerpack 1300, for example. And since it's nearly always sunny here, I'd consistently have AC power (aka wall outlets) that I could use for whatever I needed. In my current situation, I charge up a small battery pack at work during the day, and use it to charge my phone and headphones at night. It works fine, and I don't even have anything in the truck that requires AC power at the moment.
- Wall Paneling. As you can see from the picture above, the walls are lined with wooden railings, which is super convenient for securing things, though not all that aesthetically pleasing. Covering them all in some drywall, hell, maybe even some wallpaper would make the whole place look significantly nicer.
- Soundproofing. Before I could do this one, I should figure out a good way to lock the box from the inside, but in a way that nobody could lock it from the outside, which is tricky. But even without that modification, the benefits of soundproofing would be twofold: decreasing the sounds I hear from outside, and decreasing the sounds people hear from inside. Neither of these things have proved to be an issue yet, in fact, I kind of like falling asleep to the sound of crickets and waking up to the sounds of birds.
Remembering My Goals
I also think it's important to note that I don't actually need any of these things. I did need a bed and a place to store my clothes, and if I'm really trying to live in line with my minimalist and utilitarian ideals, then carpeting, a sunlight, paneling, soundproofing, and power are excessive and a waste of resources. Most of the reasoning behind wanting those things is for aesthetic value, and if I really cared about that, why would I be living in a box truck to begin with? I've already accepted my self-induced (truck-induced?) celibacy, spiffing up the back of a truck doesn't exactly scream "romance". And if that's out the window, and these things don't provide any real, necessary benefit to my life or increase my happiness, why consume unnecessarily, and waste money I can put towards my goals?