San Diego Ph.D. student living in car for personal experiment

Posted at 11:09 PM, Jul 12, 2017

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) --Westley Dang is a Ph.D. student whose career consists of experiments. But one of his latest experiments was personal.

"This experiment was basically to figure out what I needed in my life to be happy and how little I needed in my life to be happy,"  said Dang.

He set out to live in his car for a year and put the majority of his belongings in a storage unit.

"Places all around the world people have much less than I do and they're still able to put a smile on their face every day," said Dang. "It's really just a matter of attitude so I just wanted to remove as much from my life."

He relied on his organization skills as well creativity, taking showers at his gym and brushing his teeth at work. For the first three months, his biggest worry was someone catching him sleeping in the car.

Dang also relied on his friends, who he's been able to spend a lot more time with living this way.

"I realized what made me happy was my friends and activities I like to do. Not necessarily being in a home."

He liked it so much, he did it for another year. Next week, he's going on his third.

Somehow, Dang's mentioned keeping the experiment pretty quiet.

"My mom still doesn't know. But luckily she doesn't pay attention to news too much in San Diego," said Dang. "I want to save it for the best time and I'm still looking for the right opportunity."

He's not sure she'll completely understand what he's doing, but Dang says for now there's no other way he wants to live.

Dang has been working on a blog and hopes to make it live in the next couple months. For updates on when the blog with launch you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @WestleyDang.

He also did an Ignite San Diego talk about his experiment, watch it here.