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How (And Why) This Man Lived In His Car For Over A Year

Welcome to Hotel Prius.

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Chris Sawey wrote to BuzzFeed to share his story about the events that led to him living in his car for over a year, and how it changed his life.

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This is Sawey. After he graduated college in May 2013, he drove across the country in search of new job opportunities.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

Along the way, his car was broken into.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

All of his valuables were stolen, but the most important thing that was taken was his laptop, containing all of his résumés and professional portfolios.

"With no real way to prove my work to employers, finding work was proving to be, well...challenging," he says. "Despite my circumstances, life continued and the bills and rent kept coming. I was burnt out, exhausted, and depression was taking over like you would not believe."
BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"With no real way to prove my work to employers, finding work was proving to be, well...challenging," he says. "Despite my circumstances, life continued and the bills and rent kept coming. I was burnt out, exhausted, and depression was taking over like you would not believe."

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Growing up in foster care and children's homes had prepared him for weathering difficult life circumstances.

"One night I had this idea," he says. "I made a list of my monthly expenses and what I thought to be 'necessary' spending — food, gas, cell phone bill, car insurance, and saving for the future – that's it."
BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"One night I had this idea," he says. "I made a list of my monthly expenses and what I thought to be 'necessary' spending — food, gas, cell phone bill, car insurance, and saving for the future – that's it."

So Chris removed everything from his car and studied the space. He decided to try to live out of his car temporarily as an experiment, and to try to get ahead.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

He called it "Hotel Prius."

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"It was challenging at first, but the truth is, you just get used to it," he says. "Having the mobility to go anywhere means I can keep my options open to say 'yes' to opportunities as they present themselves. What's that? A job in the Northeast? On my way! You never know what could happen, but with Hotel Prius, I stay ready."

Sawey gets a lot of questions about his experience, but the most common thing asked is where he showers.

"Gyms," he says. "No matter where I go, I can usually find a gym from $10–$25 a month. Plus, I can work out, use the Wi-Fi, and if I'm lucky, use the pool!"
BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"Gyms," he says. "No matter where I go, I can usually find a gym from $10–$25 a month. Plus, I can work out, use the Wi-Fi, and if I'm lucky, use the pool!"

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And where does he park?

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"Anywhere I want, just as long as I stay within the local laws."

What fits in his car? A lot.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"My depression has disappeared, and life has provided me with the kind of challenges I just love to work out and solve. Life feels real, and organic, and best of all, simple."

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

"What started as a one-month experiment to get ahead and catch up on life after a turn for the worse turned into over a year of so much more than I could've ever hoped or imagined. This is that adventure."

BuzzFeedYellow / Via youtube.com

Email dearbuzzfeed@buzzfeed.com to share your story!