Imagine a permanent road trip, or a camping trip that never ends, or having a portable home; that’s what vanlife is. That, and oil changes and constantly searching for laundry facilities, of course.
Basically, you’ll always have an adventure waiting at your doorstep (literally), and sometimes it’s a bad one, but most of the time you’ll get to experience something amazing, fun, and eye-opening! If you think it might be for you (we strongly recommend it!), or if you’re just interested in what those vanlife lunatics are up to, then, by all means, keep reading!
Pro Tip: Be realistic. It’s not gonna be all rainbows and unicorns, but if you’re into this lifestyle, all the setbacks are definitely worth it!
It’s pretty self-explanatory, really: you live in a van. Or a bus. Or a car. That’s what we vanlifers have in common. Other than that, our only common ground is that we love adventure – how that’s embraced, that’s up to everyone to decide for themselves – the world is your oyster!
Vans can be shipped pretty much anywhere, but it makes more sense to let the road take you wherever it is you want to go – it’s both cheaper and a lot more fun that way! It also opens up for spontaneous decisions, which, in a sense, is what this lifestyle is all about. Should we head east or west? Flip a coin. Where’s the weather better? Let’s go there!
Well – this section could be a blog post, ten blog posts, or a whole book, but we’re gonna try to keep it nice and short, and only include the essentials – good luck, us!
Here’s where it gets fun – and tricky! This is a decision that you’ll have to make yourself, but here’s a hot tip: get a hightop. It’ll make all the difference in the world. Since we have a soft spot for our darling Red (no, for real, we do), we also love the adorable Wandwr Bus (it’s blue!) and just seeing the pop top on the Summer of Seventy Five bus makes our knees weak.
While our hearts indeed do beat a little faster for a VW Bus, there are loads of other options as well – just look at The Skoolie, a former yellow school bus or the Renault Master turned Better Off Lost Mobile! Your imagination is your limit. Don’t be afraid to let it run wild!
Yep. Plan everything. Work out your budget (and don’t forget about hidden costs like insurance, repairs, and other services). Your kitchen – including storage – will most likely be tiny (unless you have a whole bunch of cupboards like Gabrielle), so you’ll have to plan your meals and can’t just have snacks available at all times, sadly. Same goes for your stuff: prepare for ‘multi-use’ becoming your new mantra. Don’t worry, though – you don’t really need all those things anyway!
Anywhere, is the easy answer. Simple, and true. If you’re into beaches and surfing (who isn’t?!), you’ve got your route made out for you – just head to the nearest coast! Where you can go depends a bit on your weather preference; if you’re chasing the crisp, frosty cold, you might want to take a leaf out of the book of the guys behind Blue Moon The Crew, and get a newer van that won’t break down as easily – it’ll also be warmer!
Again, how you bring home the vegan bacon is up to you, but remote work is always an option. You can also do like The Van Life and travel the world taking stunning photographs, or make your own jewelry like Chiona Life. Don’t feel very creative? That’s okay; the Idle Bus Theory know everything about finding gigs that’ll pay for your gas and then some, and you can find other temporary or seasonal jobs. Easy peasy.
How to build a car. From scratch. Or at least how to do the basics, like changing a tire, checking its pressure as well as checking the brake fluid, or what to do when the engine over-heats. Knowing this will save you a lot of money, time, and headaches. Also, you can’t rely on having access to WiFi, so have a look at what your options are!
Oh dear, there are so many reasons – where to start?! Freedom. That’s a good one. You can come and go, leave and stay, as you please. And let’s not forget about the adventures you’ll be having on the road. They’re literally everywhere.
Other than that, vanlife is a good way to save some money – no rent, and few bills! It’ll also allow you to get out of the rat race, and finally focus on what’s really important to you, whether that’s experiences, relationships, or a passion. It’s a great opportunity for personal growth and to get to know yourself – along with all the awesome people you’ll meet!
It’s also an excellent way to do some down-sizing, to cut back on all the things that you don’t really need, and to get some peace and quiet. Or to mix that serenity with thrilling adventures. We like adventures, can you tell?!
Right? Are you at least thinking about what it’d be like? Let’s do it; it’ll be fun! You can always start slow, and if there’s anything you’re wondering – we’re here and will share everything we know about the sweet, sweet vanlife!