Where in the world is Noah Caldwell-Gervais? Well, there is no simple answer. He’s currently living in a VW bus, traveling the great expanse of America, with no set destination other than adventure.
A little Cliché? Yes. It totally does sound like the theme of dozens of Instagram accounts (It is). All of them are relatively the same: A life of minimalism, freedom from the hustle and bustle of corporate obedience that city and suburban life is oh-so famous for. Yet, it’s extremely admirable because this lifestyle is really one of the only ways that someone can truly escape the far-reaching hand of capitalism.
However, the body still needs food and the van needs gas, so how can one live life like that? Perhaps saving money for years, as Noah mentions time and time again is an almost insurmountable challenge for someone locked into an hourly service or blue collar job. Coming from a rich family could do the trick, but we’re not all born so lucky. The obvious answer in the digital age is social media monetization or blogging (See dozens of Instagram accounts I mentioned a minute ago).
That’s where our friend, Noah Caldwell-Gervais, comes into the picture. He’s a relatively prolific video game critic and writer. His video essays are unlike anything else in the space. It’s truly surprising how well-thought out, profoundly constructed, and academic his writing is despite his self-admitted lack of formal, higher education. He really is a symbol in the modern era of how college isn’t for everyone and one can still excel at their craft without a degree.
He makes his money from YouTube ad revenue and Patreon support.
His videos are long, often clocking in at over two hours, but his skillful pacing makes them fly by. The style is well-organized and he relies on citing varied literature and personal experience to support his claims. In some projects he’ll tackle an entire franchise such as his video covering the entirety of Call of Duty single player campaigns on PC. Much to my surprise, he had mostly positive things to say about the games with interesting comments about each campaign as a “Male Power Fantasy” and franchise’s accessibility to the hourly worker or average “Joe Six-pack.”
After watching a Noah video, I often spend time pondering the ideas he put forward and definitely feel an even stronger urge to play the games. Also, I feel for him, he often alludes to his desire for adventure; he doesn’t hide his dream of traveling the United States and drinking in the world as he rolls along its highways.
Since he set off on his VW journey with “Wife and dog,” he’s only released a couple videos. But I noticed a profound change in his style that reflects on his two passions, travel writing and video games. It seems he’s hit his sweet spot, almost as if his voice found its perfect pitch. He draws this allegory between travel, exploration, and adventure in games against his real world travels. It’s shocking how similar the two are.
Not only do I admire Noah’s work, but I admire his lifestyle and courage to set off on an adventure with no clear destination. Perhaps envy would be a better word than admire. I imagine that because he’s now living his dream that his writing and videos will only get better and better. The mind can do incredible things when clear and happy.