If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it’s how expensive it is to live and how little the materialistic things matter. So when you come to that realization, mid quarantine, what do you do?
Part of the world has re-opened while a high percentage of it is still under lockdown. We’re anxious to get out of our homes but still want to social distance for the safety of ourselves and others. Throughout this time of being locked inside, most of us laid off with minimal money to spend, we have begun to appreciate life itself rather than the materialistic things that we typically fill voids with.
Coming to our senses we long for a change in lifestyle. Potentially a minimal lifestyle that doesn’t require us needing much beyond the basics. Dare I say a lifestyle that requires only a van, a few outfits, money for gas and food and a maybe our best camera (whether that be digital, film or a cell phone) to capture the priceless memories? If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m talking about HASHTAG VAN LIFE my friends.
Van life is nothing new but it is more up and coming than ever before and influencers have made sure to let us know that they ARE NOT missing out on this 2020 trend.
Is #VanLife for you?
CELEB got the scoop from some full-time van life travelers who have been living this glorified nomadic lifestyle.
Work From Home Doesn’t Have to Mean Stationary Home
@vanlifesagas has been living their life on the road since 2016. It all began in Iceland when they rented a van for ten days. The pair, Marie and Dom, quickly adapted to living with no network connection and connected with nature instead. They instantly saw this life as less stressful, more sincere and nature-oriented. Being able to stop, eat, and nap whenever they pleased, they experienced an enormous feeling of freedom “living to the rhythm of the sun”, they told CELEB.
Following their trip in Iceland, they lived another 93 days on the road through Norway, New Zealand, South Africa and Iceland. This short yet impactful adventure was the foundation to what would soon be the next four years (and still counting) of their lives.
What To Expect
Marie and Dom went into this with no expectations so that way there was no room for disappointment. They put together a team of themselves and their dads, none of who have ever converted a van before. It was three months of building a home on wheels that was thoughtful, beautiful and practical. They would arguably say that those three months are some of the best memories with their van.
The [Positive] Side Effects of Living in a Van
CELEB asked “Naturally, taking ourselves out of our comfort zone we will find a new sense of self. Looking back what do you see differently about yourself from before van life to now?”
“A closeness to nature that we never experienced before. The lifestyle we led before living on the road forced us to work like fools. 70 hours a week were more than frequent. We very rarely took the the time to be outside or to enjoy nature. In the van, you are so close to nature that you take the time to enjoy nature; it becomes part of our daily/weekly schedule.
Marie is spending most of her time working on her thesis for her PHD and Dom is producing a documentary on the reality of Freelancing vs. Corporate America during Covid-19. So, while their attention has been reoriented from office life to nature they still invest a fair amount of time into personal projects/ accomplishments.
Explore Multiple Ways of Doing #VanLife
From another perspective we have @climingvan who is a pair that balances work life with climbing all while living in their camper van. When they purchased their van in January 2019 they had no idea that one year later, when they finished converting the van, that a pandemic would hit. Unfortunately it had an affect on their travel plans but fortunately van life became the ultimate outlet for continuous travel and has allowed them to explore the UK in their “little home on wheels” as they call it.
Planned or Spontaneous?
Living in a van sounds like something so spontaneous and it absolutely can be! Although, past the spontaneous decision of committing to #vanlife comes some planning.
Being climbers, they each always wanted to live life from a camper van given how well it goes with the climbing lifestyle. So, both being planners by nature, they built this lifestyle for themselves (literally).
Charlie and Dan spent hundreds of hours researching different areas of the build and learned a lot along the way. They actually learned so much that they created a website and blog to document their van conversation which became a great resource for others to use when working on their own conversions.
Check it out at www.climbingvan.co.uk
What Will This do For Me as a Person?
CELEB asked “Naturally, taking ourselves out of our comfort zone we will find a new sense of self. Looking back, what do you see differently about yourself from before van life to now?”
“Living in a van definitely helps you see what’s important and take things slower. You can only fit a small amount of ‘stuff’ into a camper van, and so you have to think about what you really care about. You quickly learn that there’s really not that much you need at all! I think we also tend to be very busy people, rushing around and doing one million different things. Living in a van helps you take things slower, and have a slow pace of life. Even though you still have lots going on, you have a lot more time. It’s refreshing.”
Dom and Marie recommend trying several van models before you start because there is a fair amount of vehicle types to choose from. By test running different models you’ll be able to figure out what you like and what’s most important to you while on the road.
Charlie and Dan want you to know that no matter who you are and what lifestyle you live currently, if you dream of #vanlife, you can absolutely make it a reality. Following that, they can’t stress enough how valuable it is to spend time planning before you commit. Don’t rush the process. Find out exactly what you need so once you purchase the van that is best for you, you can get right to work on converting it.
In conclusion, with all of the different ways to experience #vanlife make sure that you try it first and then plan, plan, plan!
For more advice and motivation to begin your adventure, follow the journeys of Marie and Dom as well as Charlie and Dan. Just click the links to their websites and instagrams below!
See you on the road!