Student chooses to live in his car for a year and a half

Updated: 

Student chooses to live in his car for a year and a half

A 22-year-old student from San Diego, USA, has been living in his 2006 Toyota Matrix for nearly a year and a half to prove to himself how lucky he has been.

James Seckelman, a student of computer science and business at Cal Poly, decided to shun a life of student dorms and rented flats to experience life on the streets and appreciate the quality of his upbringing.

James has two jobs, working at Gap and a restaurant, as well as undertaking his studies. The jobs help pay for his university degree and fund food, fuel and any other items a 22-year-old may need.

"The entire purpose of moving was for maturity. And to experience things I hadn't attained yet," said James to cabvoice.com.

The 'homeless' student also revealed how adjusting to life in a car was difficult: "I bought a little camp-set-stove," he said, "I built, out of wood and nails, a little cooking station in my car.

"Prior to that, I went to a fabric store and bought black nylon and cut it into the shape of my windows in my car, and sowed magnets too, so they'll clip onto the sides of my car windows, so I have more privacy at night."

Despite the hardships that come with life in a car, James is convinced his experiment is worthy: "I don't want to live in a house because I hate the concept of rent. I think it is pointless. ... I don't think that half of our month's income should go towards rent, or even a third. I think that's bullshit, so I guess I'm rebelling against that," he said.

"It is through the struggle that you realize that outside the sheltered life of your parents, this is how the world really works, and to get out of this situation you have to try harder," he added.

James finally added that the experience had been "draining" and that he'd be returning home to his parents in the summer. "I have a much greater appreciation for my parents, my family and the things I take for granted, like a sink and a proper stovetop," he said.