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Old 04-07-2015, 12:17 PM
 
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I have a relative who is somewhat of a dreamer. He/she's tired of living in their Midwest state and thinks everything will be better in life if they can just get to the Sunshine state. "We'll worry about jobs/money, etc when we get there, but first we got to get there." I honestly believe that a 'beach bum' is an actual lifestyle.

Sort of reminds me of the Guns n Roses video "Welcome to the Jungle" about the small town kid who takes the bus to Hollywood to try and make it big.
Everytime I see a beat-up car driving south on I-95 that's loaded for the move, I think the same thing.

I'm sure there are tons of these types of stories that don't end well.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lenniel View Post
I'm sure there are tons of these types of stories that don't end well.

There are. I'm not sure what your question is, or if you wanted to hear these types of stories. But there are plenty of those stories here in the Keys, the Mecca of Beach Bums (which is sad, because we have almost no public beaches in all 100+ miles, and none of them are open after dusk, but beach bums never bother to research that).

Most of the time, in the whole of Florida but especially SFL, it doesn't work out, and ends up becoming somewhat of a nightmare. There is a ton of competition for low-skill, low-wage, no benefit jobs, and also for affordable safe housing - so much in the Keys that both barely exist at all, even for locals. A lot of people end up becoming homeless and desperate, and have a lot of terrible stories of assault or other dangers they encountered while desperate for a job or place to live. Many people resort to doing sexual favors just to keep the "beach bum" lifestyle in SFL, which is never actually worth the sacrifices made. I see offers online for this all the time, both from those who will give to get a place to stay, and from those who will receive in return for crashing on their couch. It's hard to go back home and admit defeat after the dream dies. And, in truth, many people cannot even afford to leave - many people are always begging on Craigslist for free rides out of town to go back where they came from, and they post for months and months with no offers given. I find it especially irritating that most of these people have several pets, or just got a brand new puppy while they're living on the street and obviously can't afford to properly feed or care for the animal given that they can't even find a way to put a roof over their own heads.

Dreaming is great, but laziness, ignorance, or selfishness are not. And there is a distinction to be made here. People just need to put in the effort to do a little research first and make a plan, before pursuing the dream. I'm not sure why that is too much work for so many people.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:25 PM
 
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So your cousin thinks moving to Florida and likely ending up homeless will be some sort of magical vacation? Tell him/her to grow up and be realistic. They will get here, go broke, end up in some inner city shelter and hate their life. Most people who live on the coast have money, and most people with money don't want to deal with homeless people bumming around. Being homeless in Florida is no different than being homeless anywhere else, it will suck. All the bugs, wildlife, and police will make living outside a dream im sure. Being a beach bum is a way of life, a way of life for rich older people who have worked their lives to retire down here, besides that i think he/she is living in a fantasy world. Tell them stop being a moron and get a job first and do things right.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:32 PM
 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad5paRXNWVg
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 02blackgt View Post
So your cousin thinks moving to Florida and likely ending up homeless will be some sort of magical vacation? Tell him/her to grow up and be realistic. Tell them stop being a moron and get a job first and do things right.

I don't think people like this respond to that kind of reaction. If they did, they would not be contemplating going against the grain in the first place - there are plenty of people shooting down their ideas all the time, I think it only makes them want to prove you wrong even more.

Prevalent Violence in Florida Vacation Spots Against the Planless/Drifter/Homeless

I would suggest to instead try something like showing the cousin the various videos of abuse to homeless in Florida, and perhaps endless articles discussing the homeless and/or economic problems that we have here. Many of these dreamer people are visual learners, and will get it more when they see for themselves that people in places like the Florida Keys really are fighting for scrap jobs and really can't even find a couch to crash on. You can look up the video, which someone posted to another thread about Keys homelessness recently, showing the cops unduly restraining and ultimately killing a man they mistakenly suspected was homeless in Key West. There is also video of a homeless man tased in the Key Largo recently while he had his hands already up, after being pulled out of his minvan. There is video of a homeless man being assaulted by a cop in Ft. Lauderdale, and there are many instances of issues for people living on the edge in Miami, too. There is a special kind of rage local people have in SFL, and especially in the Keys, for people who appear to be willfully homeless or bumming it in some way. They view such people as coming down and taking services as well as jobs away from locals, in addition to bringing down local property values and increasing levels of local illegal activities including drugs and prostitution. In places like the Keys, there is absolutely nowhere to hide because nearly every inch of land is privately owned, most of it is developed, and these are small islands with only a single main road. There is nowhere to sleep outdoors, or park, without people noticing, and then getting angry and harassing you.

Why Bums/Drifters Have It Harder In Oceanfront Florida
It is much more personal to people in SFL and in oceanfront Florida than in many other places around the country, because people view slackers as moving there and intentionally taking food directly out of their mouths and the mouths of their kids, without having any intention of contributing a single thing back either to the community culture or to local property taxes.

People with the bum-for-life lifestyle also don't get that in many areas of Florida, regulations and permitting are strict, and residents who feel pressed constantly to follow all these rules won't hesitate to call on a neighbor they feel is violating them. So for instance, Monroe County has a law that any improvement to one's home that is valued at more than $800 total in materials and labor, must have a permit. Well, a ton of people move down here every day assuming they can just stay in someone's fancy waterfront home and offer to do their lame unlicensed version of carpentry or maintenance. Guess what? Renting a single room here in a shared house frequently costs $800. So how much work can you possibly do of value to the owner before you hit the threshold and they legally are required to get a permit and hire a licensed professional? Neighbors always want to know who is in the neighborhood, and if they see that someone is slumming it in your house doing that kind of work for you they'll often report it because they don't want that kind of element around bringing down their property values, drinking all day or buying drugs locally, etc. It is illegal in nearly all of Monroe County to camp in yards, live in boats at someone's house, etc. It's illegal to be in public parks after dark. Nearly all of the places that rent rooms or couches to drifters are illegal (and in constructions that are below-flood and were unpermitted because they are dangerous), and again may have neighbors that will report. Monroe County is so insane over their hatred of drifters and homeless that they physically removed covered bus benches that cost $20k in the Upper Keys, simply because homeless were laying on them, which totally spited the rest of the local population who really needed them.

These are the types of issues that drifters face when they come to popular waterfront areas of Florida. They will generally get a far less friendly response than they will in places they are used to, and the opportunities will generally be far less because of all the competition with other drifters, not to mention locals. Everybody who drifts and dreams wants to come to a place like this. In the case of the Keys, you are talking about a handful of tiny islands that are privately owned or federally patrolled wall-to-wall. Florida also has an issue with illegal immigration, especially SFL - so that means citizen drifters often get caught up in patrolling for refugees, making that type of life far more dangerous than it is in many other states. The worst of it is when we have severe storms, extreme heat, or thick swarms of mosquitoes harboring disease (like the dengue outbreak in Key West in 2009), and these dreamers literally do not have the money to ensure that they have adequate shelter or to evacuate to protect their own lives.

It's not the carefree tropical paradise that they imagine. Helping drifter-prone loved ones to understand this, using visual proof if necessary, is the kindest thing you can do. No one is saying don't have a dream. Just prepare for the dream first so you can make it come true. Nothing worth getting just falls into your lap. People work their whole lives and nearly kill themselves to be able to live in some of these vacation spots. If it were that easy to just fall off the back of a truck and land into the good life, nobody would do it the hard way. It's because the easy way doesn't actually work, and is in truth way harder than working directly for what you want and planning ahead.

Famous Drifters Who Never Make It
I think "Into the Wild" is a great biodrama film about the downfalls of the drifter life. A lot of drifters hold McCandless up as their hero, and at first it looks romantic, but in reality he got beat the hell out of because of his ignorance about the truth of the lifestyle, and in the end - *spoiler* - he dies in agony and terror completely alone due to lack of knowledge about what he is doing. He also broke his family's hearts. The whole thing was totally unnecessary. He could have had a similar romantic trip by simply researching what he wanted to do first, and working various odd jobs on his way up to being where he wanted to be. When he got there, he could have done the study and practice necessary to be truly self sufficient in the wild, without starving and freezing half to death and then dying by poisoning himself out of total ignorance. I don't think he even made it through a full year outdoors before he died, because he was so profoundly ill equipped to live out his dream. It was a total waste. That was in the 60s. It's way more of a brutal world today. WAY more.

Even "Fatu Hiva," a memoir about living the dream of a tropical island in the 1930s which your cousin might really love if he hasn't already read it, ends with locals attacking them and the wife getting a tropical disease which forces them to go back home. I have read many books about the tropical lifestyle, and about drifters, and they all end the same way - it only takes them a year or two before they get wiped out by a hurricane, by madness and drug addiction from the isolation from others and the problems they're trying to run away from, or by starvation and exposure to the elements and or to local violence. They all have a romantic start and a horrific end. The dream is not a bad one, it's just that more practical planning is needed.

You can't fall @$&-backwards into paradise. If you could, we'd all be there already.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:42 PM
 
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This is gruesome, but another reason people need to think carefully about their choices in the drifter life. Just saw an article 'Key West Man Crushed to Death in Garbage Truck,' which included the following:

"A Key West man died after being crushed in a garbage truck near Daytona Beach last week. Ronald Lantery, 51, was sleeping in a commercial dumpster used for collecting cardboard and paper products on April 1 when it was emptied into a garbage truck, subsequently crushing him to death, according to Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Gary Davidson."

This is horrific, but the type of thing one can encounter in drifter life if not thinking... sleeping in a dumpster, even one that seems attractive because of its dry, clean, non-smelly recyclable waste, still comes with this risk. I think it is quite fortunate at least that he could be identified, for those who would want to be notified.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:02 PM
 
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Do you have a day or two?
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:36 PM
 
Location: FLORIDA
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it can be great to live here, just do homework.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ComSense View Post
it can be great to live here, just do homework.
It would be great to live anywhere if people did their homework - but that's the problem with Florida, it attracts a lot of people who used to like to skip homework in high school...
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:47 PM
 
Location: FLORIDA
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Agreed.
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