Living in a van put many things into perspective for me, and really allowed me to find myself. It can do the same for you if you let it. It can be therapeutic, cheap, and very rewarding.
Imagine the possibilities! Don’t like your neighborhood? Move on and try a new one for a night. Need to escape the cold weather? Drive South for winter.
While on the road in Australia, we met a ton of others living (and loving) the van life. Many people had set out for a short trip and ended up driving around and living for many more months.
One of my favourite parts of moving into a van was dropping everything.
It’s cheaper than rent
Depending on how you look at it, van-dwelling can be cheaper than paying rent. I say can because there are a lot of costs which first-time van dwellers don’t account for (like engine repairs, smaller or lighter gear, warmer blankets, gas, camp fees, etc).
We lived in the city and did the whole stealth camping thing, parking in different neighborhoods around the city, never staying more than a night unless it was in a friend’s driveway, so there were no camping fees. Stealth camping takes some practice, and there are a few lessons to be learned, but you can get away with it for a long time.
If you have friends with a spare driveway, plugging in and pitching a few dollars or trading labour for the cost of utilities can be a good break if you’re going through a lot of propane.
There’s something extremely freeing about being attached to only the things you need to live.
One of my favourite parts of moving into a van was dropping everything. We sold it all. We sold everything that had monetary value and gave the rest away on CraigsList or to friends. There’s something extremely freeing about carrying only the things you need to live.
Even when we thought we had slimmed down, we slimmed down some more. And when we officially moved into the van, we slimmed down even more. You’ll find there’s a lot less room in a van that a house. This can also be a good thing. You really gain focus on the things that are important, and scratch the rest, because it’s only weighing you down.
Vandwelling is always an adventure
Living the van life is living the good life. Stressful at times, it can be an incredible prescription for the restless.
Our months in the van were incredible. We left the city and went camping every weekend, and toured the rest of British Columbia with our kids every time we could get a long weekend. With a good set of gear and the right tools, you can get a lot done.
Although a lot can happen to ruin a day in the van life, like rain, getting harassed by the police when not being stealthy enough, a flat tire, a spilt pee bucket, a chipped windshield, drunken wanderers waking you up in the middle of the night…
The list goes on and on, but van life is worth every bit of shit that comes with it. Live free! Embrace van life.