Picture waking up and opening your back sliding door to a picturesque ocean views or crawling into a warm cosy bed after staring out at the stars all night. Whilst living in a van is not always sunshine and rainbows, many people are converting to this life for a more eco-friendly, simple and cost effective way of living. This phenomenon has allowed people who society might have deemed “aimless wanderers” to make their way of living, a lifestyle and a social movement.
It is interesting that many of these van lifers are from a generation who have significantly more student debt and lower rates of homeownership than previous generations. They are also from a generation which is seeking innovative ways to alter their carbon footprint due to climate change. Is van life a trend stemming from the demands of modern living?
A close friend of mine recently bought a van and has been living in it for a couple of months. After embarking on a road trip with her, I had a taste of what van life is all about. Here are some of the perks and cons of van life.
For those who love the outdoors, you can constantly explore the best nature spots and reserves and see new places and faces. If you are parked near a beach. There is nothing better than a morning swim and immersing yourself in nature.
Using less energy on power and electricity means spending less money and making less of a carbon footprint on our fragile planet. Many vannies also use solar power to get energy for a fridge and other appliances. Living in a van is very cost effective lifestyle.
Freedom, freedom, freedom. You can choose where to go, and it can be very therapeutic getting away from the demands of society.
In most places there is usually a community of vannies who have a similar outlook on life and are generally very friendly.
Van life is simple and with less space means you have less stuff and therefore less waste.
Space can be an issue, in particular if you are in the van with someone else. You spend a lot of time in the one space and there often needs to be a lot reshuffling and organisation of van items.
Whilst there are often public showers, bathrooms and taps for hygiene, for some this is not ideal.
If you are not a freelancer, stable income could be an issue. In particular, if you need constant wifi.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find a legal spot to park and rest for the night, away from the hustle and bustle of caravan parks or streets.
Trying van life was an awesome experience but before you run off and buy a van, maybe give it a try first! Either by renting one for a week from a company or borrowing a friends.
The most important thing that van life taught me was that in society we have so many things that we do not need. Many of us are constant consumers and this causes unnecessary waste and impacts our planet. We can live very easily and comfortably without a lot. Why not start practicing how to only have things that are necessary.