Videos

Life on the Road: Vanlife Voyagers

Living on the road provides priceless experiences, but it may not be for everyone

Left and right it seems another person begins their adventure into van life, but what exactly does this lifestyle entail? And would it be right for you?

The Basics

Vanlife is exactly what you may think: living in a van. Usually, one looking to venture into this lifestyle will purchase a trailer, or more commonly, outfit a normal van to become their new home.

Once they’ve established their mobile living space, vanlif-ers then set out on the road, exploring anywhere their vehicle can take them.

Many people who document their nomadic lifestyles choose to share over platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.

Some even still maintain ordinary jobs at which they work remotely.

Locations

Today, you can find these individuals all over the globe. The Vanlife website contains collections of diaries, documenting vanlife experiences internationally.

Vanlife’s Purpose

The most intriguing part of this lifestyle is the sheer amount of flexibility you have. Your home is your vehicle, so you can travel wherever and whenever and always still stay the night in your own bed.

You’re also forced to re-establish your values. From those I’ve looked into, it seems that most van-lifers quickly transitioned to an extremely minimalistic lifestyle. Not only do they lack the room for unnecessary objects, they also value the new experiences awarded to them over any physical entity.

Lastly, the uncertainty. It seems that more and more young people crave to escape the mundane reality of materialistically-rooted 9 to 5 rhythms that exist within our predecessors. This ideology fuels a generation of nomads to view the sights, sounds, views, and people of the world as reward for the fruits of their labors instead of a new car, computer, or phone.

For more on what van life means, take a look at Always the Road’s testament on their experiences.

Conversions

The creativity involved in transforming a car into a home stands as one of the most fascinating aspects of vanlife.

Here are just a handful of amazing conversions:

Image via Mpora

Image via Gnomad Home

vanlife

Image via Vanchitecture

vanlife

Image via GoodsHomeDesign

Companies such as Off Grid Adventure vans, will even customize your van for you for about $20-30,000.

Or you can choose to do it yourself. Luckily, tons of resources exist now to help get you started such as The Vanual, which outlines each step of van conversion and all the supplies needed.

Is it Right for You?

The idea of waking up with a new, breathtaking view every single day is almost enough to make most people (or at least me) drop out and/or quit their job and spring into vanlife. But, there are some points to consider:

  • Going to the Bathroom
    • If you don’t have a restroom inside your van, you’ll have to find public restrooms to utilize on the road.
  • Wifi
    • Some vanlifers get internet installed into their van, however, this can be extremely expensive. So, you’ll have to find places that offer free wifi, especially if you work remotely.
  • Showering
    • Hygiene is crucial, but on the road, you’ll have to learn to accept not showering every single day. Certain individuals equip their vehicles with an indoor or outdoor shower, but many rely on gyms or find other ways to bathe.
  • Laundry
    • Washing clothes will either have to wait until you have access to a laundromat or you resort to doing laundry in a sink or stream.
  • Space
    • Going solo in a van might not prove too much of an issue, but if you travel with a companion you’ll have to become accustomed to extremely close living quarters. Alone time isn’t really an option.
  • Loneliness
    • On the other hand, if you’re a lone traveler, you might experience loneliness on the road.
  • Impermanency
    • If your middle name is routine, vanlife definitely isn’t for you. This lifestyle bases itself on impermanence and the ability to get up and go wherever, whenever.
Staying Involved Off The Road

Realistically, we can’t all drop everything and move into a van. But, if you want to see the experiences of other vanlifers while you wait for the right moment for you (or just for fun), here are a few vanlife bloggers:

vanlife

Image via YouTube

vanlife

Image via YouTube

vanlife

Image via Chewy Design Co.

vanlife

Image via YouTube

Cover image via Influx Magazine

0

Also published on Medium.

Sarah is a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Miami. She...