By Bri Griffith // junior Creative Writing major // Editor-in-Chief
On top of being the drummer for “Moonspeaker,” a local Pittsburgh band, and working as a Residential Counselor for individuals with intellectual disabilities, Carlow alum Aiden Angle, 26, has chosen to live a “mobile lifestyle,” which began with him living in a van, and recently moving into an ambulance.
Angle was a Psychology major with a concentration in Human Development and a minor in Creative Writing at Carlow University before graduating in December 2015. Upon asking Angle how he found the van, he said, “How does any millennial find anything? The internet.” Angle bought the van for $9,000 in October 2016 after surfing the web, noticing it at a dealership in his area.
Angle said he bought the van to challenge himself, but he also likes the idea of minimalism. He said he chose this “mobile lifestyle” to have less things and more time for experience.
“I am a creature of stability and security,” said Angle, “but at the same time I have a gypsy side. Having a van and making it a safe space that can move is just perfect for me.”
“I was living with my Grandma at the time, and her house was up for sale. When the house sold and had a set closing date, I really had to start cracking down,” said Angle. From December 2016 until the end of February 2017, Angle was doing something to the van almost every day. He started insulating it in October.
In order to make the van a livable space, Angle needed insulation, a bed frame, and a cabinet for clothing and food storage. “[I’ve pretty much been living] without a kitchen, electricity, and heat from February until now, although I recently got the solar power up and running,” said Angle; he’s been living in the van full-time since the end of February.
When it comes to parking and sleeping, Angle parks in his mom’s driveway during the work week; when he’s out with his friends, he’ll park near their place(s), or find a nearby Walmart. “I’m now on a strange mission to tour the country through Walmarts,” said Angle.
Although Angle’s van saves him money, and is good for hauling band gear, there are some negatives. He said, “Not being able to stand up or have friends over is a bummer, [plus] I’m only able to legally drive myself and one other person; it’s hard to cook, so [I eat] a lot of fast food.”
Although Angle loves to “try new things and live in the moment,” he never expected to live in a van until he “just did it.”
On April 5, 2017, Angle traded his van in for an ambulance, which only cost him an extra $500. Why? “Because I’m insane,” said Angle, “[but] mainly for my health. I have back and neck problems, and not being able to stand was causing me a lot of pain and migraines.”
According to Angle, an ambulance comes with everything he needs, including electrical, storage cabinets, and a bench, which he’s hoping to turn into either a couch or bed. “[The ambulance] also comes with outside storage compartments, which will be great for art [supplies], instruments, skateboards, and tools,” said Angle.
Angle only recently acquired this ambulance, so his first plan of action is to remove the decals that allow it to identify as an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) vehicle and the red lights, for legal purposes. “[After that], I’ll give it a good scrubbing, and move in. There’s a lot of work to be done on this project for sure,” said Angle.
Aiden Angle will be attending Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey in August 2017 to earn his MFA in Creative Writing. You can check out Moonspeaker’s music at https://moonspeaker.bandcamp.com.