I turned onto the gravel covered Main Street and thought – technically – this is my home. There is an unpaved street called Main Street, a bar, a restaurant, a few prefab homes, railroad tracks, and a rundown playground that could use a new coat of paint. There’s not even a church or a school in this town. This little town in South Dakota is technically my home according to the US Postal Service.
After half a decade of nomadic wandering around the globe as what some may call an ‘irresponsible bum’ – there is one important thing I have learned.
You cannot exist in this world and not have an address.
I’m reminded of this during the holiday season as I get requests for my address daily – apparently holiday cards are still something that people use the USPS for. But more than that, I find that in order to do any type of business – even virtual location independent business – people expect an address. In addition, the US government also expects you to have an address for taxes, voting, and things like a driver’s license. Credit card companies, banks, and online websites also expect addresses.
As much as it pains me – I’ve had to succumb and get an address.
How do you decide what address you’d like to have as a nomad. For me I didn’t have a lot of choices. For the first two years I continued to use a New York address and ‘borrowed’ the address of a friend. After realizing that New York was not a good place to call home when it comes to taxes, I decided to move…and ‘live’ with my parents in South Dakota. Yes – I am now considered a resident of South Dakota. I have a South Dakota driver’s license, I’m registered to vote in SD, I have insurance agent, and my banker actually knows my name.
My parents actually don’t even live in a town – they are in the countryside between two towns that are each about 5 miles away. The bigger town of Milbank (population 3,700) is where the banks and grocery stores and truck mechanics are – it’s pretty typical small town Midwest America. However my parents’ address is technically Twin Brooks, which is a tiny, miniscule town with a population of 68 people. Yes – 68.
I ventured into to Twin Brooks recently to take my mom to lunch in the one restaurant in town that is just open for lunch. We went to a cute little restaurant (located in the former post office) along Main Street. After lunch I decided to drive around a bit to see this place I called ‘home’. My mom and I drove past the Gunslinger – the one bar in the center of town where we had experienced a big night out a few years earlier. There are no paved roads in the whole town, no stop signs, and the church closed down a year and a half ago. Quite frankly – there’s really nothing there at all. However, as I drove over the railroad tracks I thought – if I have to have an address, this is as good of place as any to call home.