Is Van Life Really as Good as it Sounds?
#Vanlife is one of the most popular trending hashtags on Instagram and that’s not by chance. When strung together, these two simple words feature tales of epic adventures, desirable nomadic experiences, and life without many rules. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
With over eight million posts in the last eight years, there is no doubt that many van dwellers are having the time of their lives working and seeing the world from the comfort of their home on wheels. The romanticism around the lifestyle might have you wondering if van life is really as good as it sounds. Let’s dive into the pros of owning a van and address some of the concerns that pop up for those who are interested in taking van life from a hashtag to making it a reality.
WHY CHOSE VAN LIFE?
Eager to ditch the 9-to-5 grind and become a permanent modern nomad? As a van lifer, you’re typically on your own clock. From working freelance jobs that offer flexible schedules and deadlines to starting your own company, opting for seasonal work or if you’re lucky, securing a remote gig (the single good thing that has come from COVID), you’ll have more flexibility on where to spend your days when working as well as when you’re off the clock.
You never know how little you need until you have ditched 90% of your things and loaded the necessary 10% of your belongings into your van. When your main concerns are what to make for dinner and finding the place you want to spend the night, you’re able to slow down and enjoy what’s in front of you. Fewer worries can provide less stress and in return, the chance for better mental and physical health. Luxury adventure vans are incredibly well equipped and typically come with comfort creatures many don’t want to live without (i.e. toilet, shower, queen bed, refrigerator, AC, charging ports and so forth) so while you’re minimizing your stuff, you don’t have to sacrifice the modern comforts you’ve come to love.
Lower Financial Stress
Owning a van isn’t cost-free living, but it does cut out many monthly bills the modern American has grown accustomed to. Gone are the days of paying rent or a mortgage, utilities, internet, cable… even your car payment is rolled into one home/vehicle expense when you live out of your van. Sure, you’ll still have your phone bill and any streaming services or subscriptions you can’t live without, but you’ll significantly cut the number of bills you have when you live and work on the road by simply no longer needing them. That’s not to say you won’t have expenses – campgrounds can add up (that’s why many van lifers opt to stay on BLM land) as well as fuel and general van maintenance.
Did Someone Say Complete and Total Freedom?
This is perhaps the biggest pull of van life… the freedom to go wherever you want for as long as you want, period. Explore attractions you’d only ever dreamed of, spend weeks, heck months in your favorite state, eat at every taco stand across southern California, visit all national parks across the United States… the world is literally your oyster.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
There are a few things to be mindful of when getting ready to take on van life. Though definitely not deal breakers, it is good to be aware of some of the quirks that come along with living untethered:
– Initial Costs: Vans aren’t cheep, but they sure are worth the investment.
– Tight Living: Welcome to your 17 to 19 foot home! It’ll take some adjustment, but you’ll get use to your new home in no time. Big bonus, your front yard is a bazillion acres long when you live on the road.
– Follow the Rules: Be sure to check that you’re only recreating/parking/camping in legal areas.
– Plan Ahead: If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants kind of adventurer, van life is certainly for you in most aspects. One thing to be mindful of when you’re on the road is that you’ll make your life so much easier if you decide where to camp ahead of time. A little bit of planning goes a long way.
Every person will have their own, unique, out-of-this-world experience when they take the leap into van life. It is pretty much guaranteed you will never look at life the same after you’ve tasted the freedom living in a van has to offer and that’s the true, desirable beauty of this ever popular lifestyle. Of all the van lifers we’ve ever met, they seem to have one thing in common – they all wish they’d gotten on the road sooner. If you’re looking to experience this dreamy lifestyle, check out Rec Vans inventory of Class B vans.