>"I don't want to settle down, get an apartment, get a day job. No! I pay no rent and I don't own a car, and I'm free."
In my 20's I was working in a BP/ski shop, leading trips, and taking a lot of my own. We'd lead trips with young and middle-aged professionals who weren't comfortable planning a 9-day trip on their own, didn't have a hiking partner, or just liked the group energy. They'd hear about all my trips and lament, "When I was young, I didn't have the money for the trips, tools, and toys I wanted. Now I have a garage full of tools and toys but not the time to take the trips." They all encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing, at least for a few more years. I'm glad I did.
After my seven-year "itinerant-bum phase", I settled down, and have been doing engineering ever since (although I still take about 10 weeks of vacation each year). I ended up advancing more quickly and ending up in charge of the professionals who got a job right out of college. Typically, they didn't have the people or life skills to sell projects, smooze clients, or handle difficult technical problems that would arise.
Too many Americans are enslaved to their mortgage, their cell and cable bills and car payments. Keep being "Tarp Guy" as long as it works for you. I see people in Alaska who do it their whole life.