At 22, Charlie West was fresh out of college and, like all young adults, was about to come face to face with the most terrifying thing imaginable: the Real World. Crappy jobs, worse housing, outlandish rent, and the prospect of a soul-sucking life in Corporate America all loomed on the horizon. Filled with doubt and uncertainty for the future, it was clear that a bold action was needed to escape this dreaded Rat Race and stave off the “quiet desperation” which engulfs so many people as they move into adulthood. Inspired by fictional heroes such as Tyler Durden, and real life ones like Kerouac and Thoreau, West impulsively decided to move into a van in search of the freedom he so desperately wanted. Navigating the rough streets of south Boston, getting stranded in a blizzard in the Colorado Mountains, and dealing with the anxieties and uncertainties of such a crazy endeavor, Charlie eventually found his way to the heart of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay. Here he befriended other “Homeless Hackers,” and lived for a year amidst the world’s most powerful tech companies- and the nation’s largest housing crisis. What began as a quest to escape insane rent and dire living conditions became a journey of reflection and self-discovery.