If you ever wondered about van life, you probably asked yourself, “Is it really that awesome?”
As I was browsing on the social media platform, TikTok, a breathtaking view popped up on my feed. And it was a van camped out in front of a majestic view, they were on a hilltop overlooking the trees and a lake. Similar to this photo above.
I forgot the content creator’s name but they said they sold their house, bought a van, converted it into a home and they never looked back ever since.
They park on the beach, on the lake, and in front of gorgeous hilltop mountains. They enjoy different views every week. To be honest, it looks like a dream.
Imagine being able to live your life while traveling, and bringing your home with you. How awesome is that? Weekend at the grand canyon, Tuesdays at the beach, Wednesday at another exotic location…
But is van life really as awesome as they make it out to be? That’s what you’ll find out in this article.
You should consider van life if:
- You want to explore the unknown.
When you embrace the van life, certainty is out of the question. You are in for a different surprise each and every time.
The possibilities are endless and anything can happen. Living in a van is an unlimited road trip, a never-ending adventure because you’re a nomad with no permanent address. Isn’t it terrifying yet exciting at the same time?
If you’re a person who lives on the premise of stability, this isn’t for you.
Van life is for people who are still searching for more, for those who aren’t afraid to gamble.
You could camp in the woods today and be in the city tomorrow, who knows? As I’ve mentioned, anything can happen.
- You’re up to the challenge.
Van life is not as glamorous as influencers depict it to be. It has different meanings for everyone. For some, it’s an escape while for some it means freedom from the norm – living your life on your own terms. For others, it’s a minimalist approach to living life.
Van life is not an easy way out. You will have to make it work. There is discomfort and instability, plus the inconvenience of not living in a house.
You have to appreciate what you have and embrace simple pleasures with grace.
- You are in search of personal growth.
Do you want to focus on your hobbies and go surfing all weekend? Do you want to be more in touch with nature?
Van life is a way to rediscover yourself and find different ways for you to grow as a person.
It will enable you to confront yourself on issues you didn’t know matter to you. You will be thrown into a situation where you will be forced to be flexible, adaptable, and open-minded.
If you’re still looking for maturity, to realize some aspects of your life, then van life is a great experience to achieve personal growth.
- Van life is a great option if you’re trying to save money for your future.
While you should be able to save money, this is actually not a black or white issue. Living in a van doesn’t necessarily mean you cut 90% of your cost compared to living in a house although there should be a significant difference.
Here’s what you can save when you live in a van: you pay no rent or mortgage and there are no utility fees.
The money you can save from not paying these bills can go a long way, However, some van owners pay for gym memberships to take showers. You still need to buy your groceries, living essentials, and you do need to gas up – this depends on how mobile you are.
How you will be able to save money will still totally depend on your lifestyle.
- You want to live life on your own terms.
The past year has proven to be very unpredictable and we did not see any of it coming. Mental health was one of the most common issues that everyone faced.
Adapting to a global pandemic meant taking a total break from the norm where you wake up early, get ready for work, drop off your kids at school, and go to the office. This had been the norm for a really long time.
Then what happened? A lockdown, a pandemic. All of a sudden, you are not allowed to go out and you are confined to the space of your home. Good for you if you have a backyard or a big house, but what about those who aren’t lucky enough?
As of writing this article, things are slowly getting back to normal. But what just happened is proof that life can be volatile and unpredictable.
What if something like that happens again? For sure, you would want to be able to roam around an open space.
Life is short and if you want to celebrate life living on your own terms, try the van life. A word of caution: it is not easy peasy.
If you get a freelance job to work at home or in a van, you have the freedom to live your life how you want to.
Cons of van life
Here are the cons:
- Cramped space
It depends on your van but it will be totally incomparable with a house. While some people buy a school bus to convert it into a home, some live in a camper van. It’s like basically living in a car and you have to cook outside.
- Cooking can be quite a challenge
For some people, they cook outside, while some have the luxury to cook inside their vans. Either way, don’t expect cooking to be a breeze inside a van. However, with the right mindset and the tools of the right size, you’ll be doing great.
- Urinating and defecating will also be one of the challenges
You can buy a portable toilet or go do your business in the woods. (Be mindful of your waste though, because you have to scoop it and throw it away!)
- You will always have to be outside
The point of living in a van is so you can have more time outdoors. If you’re a homebody who loves the AC, you better think this one through.
- You have to consider the scenario of how it is to work inside a moving vehicle.
Let’s just say you’re not always parked. How would your working scenario be? Where would your desk be? Most people who are in this situation think of ways to make it work. Most of them are freelancers or running their own businesses. Again, it’s going back to how you feel about stability. You have to make certain adjustments, do you have to be physically in the office? Or do you have your time in your own hands?
Moreover, van life is not a vacation. It is a way of life and something to be studied and researched carefully before jumping the gun.
Here’s how to begin
- First, you have to look for a van in your area. It could be second-hand or brand-new, whatever fits your budget.
- List out the pros and cons. Are you going alone or with someone? How about your job?
- Find out the do’s and don’ts and reflect whether you will be able to follow them and sustain the lifestyle.
- Find out for spots and nearby areas you can park your van. This could be fun – practice the scenario in your head.
- Make an itinerary.