Choosing the Pod Life

The rent is too damn high!

A recent quality of life survey by the University of California in Los Angeles found that the residents of the sprawling metropolis are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with housing affordability.

In response, thousands of young people are giving up traditional housing in favor of living in a "pod" — a hostel-like living experience that confines their sleeping quarters to a nook in a room full of similar nomads.

And their commitment to the idea is astonishing: some "podestrians," as they call themselves, are getting the logo of a local pod-housing network tattooed on their bodies — several on their necks.

"I've managed to get this PodShare tattoo," said Nat, who got a neck tattoo of the company's logo, in a video clip that identifies her as "Podestrian #3668." "It kind of represents what I came traveling for."

The Pod Life Chose Me

The idea of living in a pod shouldn't come as a shock in LA, where a simple two-bedroom can cost more than $2,000 a month — and incomes haven't kept pace.

In response, ridesharing and co-working spaces have become the norm, while house ownership and a stable full-time job are becoming increasingly elusive to young city dwellers.

A particularly illustrative example of that trend is PodShare, a Los Angeles-based "affordable shared housing" network, that allows travelers, new LA residents, and temp workers to crash on a twin-sized memory foam mattress.

Kitchen, bathroom, and living room spaces are shared with others, while WiFi, lockers, and laundry are provided on location. The price: in the neighborhood of $1,400 a month, depending on location.

Freelance Living

PodShare's website positions itself as part of the "rise of the freelance economy" on its website.

"Millennials don’t own a gym at home, they buy a membership," reads its about page. "We don’t subscribe to cable television, we watch Netflix."

But it's not just a simple fix for when you're in town for the night — PodShare's "podestrians" can be incredibly dedicated to the concept of co-living.

They're so devoted, in fact, that one prominent section of the PodShare website is dedicated people who've gotten the company's logo tattooed on different parts of their bodies. In video testimonials uploaded to the PodShare's YouTube page, PodShare fanatics share how much the business means to them.

"Being in LA for me has always been a dream for me," said Daniel — otherwise known as "Podestrian #1770" — in one a testimonial from 2015. "And PodShare is totally part of it. I met friends for life, for sure."

READ MORE: The Affluent Homeless: A Sleeping Pod, A Hired Desk And A Handful Of Clothes[NPR]

More on pod living: Young People Are Choosing to Live in “Pods” Instead of Apartments

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