The award-wining independent Nomadland, with Frances McDormand. (Photo courtesy of Searchlight)
The rise of nomad lifestyles in Arizona
The nomads are on the move.
Recently depicted in the award-wining independent Nomadland, with Frances McDormand playing a woman who lives out of her van and travels across the USA taking on temporary work, the allure of the nomad lifestyle has been growing across the country in recent years. Arizona, which features significantly in the film, has become the center of this nomad lifestyle in a variety of different ways. Read on to see why the nomad lifestyle has risen in prominence and how Arizona is playing its part.
A Response to the Housing Crisis Across America
As explained in this recent Guardian article, many people choose the nomad lifestyle because they cannot afford to pay the rent anymore, or prefer to simply pocket the difference every month. This is because living like a nomad means that you only have to pay for the upkeep of your vehicle. With stats showing that a minimum wage job cannot cover the rent in basically any county in the country, and that nearly half of Americans spend a significant amount of their money on rent, it is likely that the freedoms of a nomad life are only going to increase in the future.
Relocation Assistance in Tucson
For people looking to live and work remotely in Arizona, Tucson is currently offering a killer program. Named Remote Tucson, a program offered by Startup Tucson, it helps both logistically and financially with the costs of moving. Money is given to its participants that totals an impressive $7,500 and it includes a program that pairs new residents with community ambassadors that show off their new home. Most importantly they offer free Wi-Fi, meaning that you can work on your laptop remotely whether you live out of a large RV, a Suzuki Swift or would rather live in a traditional home.
The Largest Nomad Gathering in the Country
Every year the nomad equivalent of Burning Man — both in terms of spirit and size — occurs in Quartzsite. Named the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, it was started by the van-dwelling expert Bob Wells as a way of bringing together the entire community. Beginning with just a handful of people in 2010, the event now brings together thousands of people each year. Lasting over two weeks, the rally sees participants come to share tips on how to make nomadic living work, including lasting off solar power, finding places to legally stay, and how to obtain decent medical coverage — often including skipping over the border to Mexico.
Campground Rates in Arizona
If you’re just thinking about living the nomad life yourself in Arizona, it’s worth being acquainted with the cost of campgrounds. While the national average can be anywhere between $25 to $80, Arizona skews somewhere in the middle ground, with winter rates of around $40 and summer rates just over $50. It’s also worth considering that the Bureau of Land Management offers land that is available to stay for free. Just be aware that one cannot usually stay for longer than two weeks.