The van movement is having a moment. Major life decisions are being made. Jobs quit. Furniture sold. Leases cancelled. People are opting to live in their vehicles for pleasure. Hell, I’ve been doing it for two years now. The road calls. Something exciting is waiting out there for you and an old VW or Chevy might be your key to finding it. Time to chase freedom!
Hold up. Pump the brakes for just a second. Maybe two.
Yes, life on the road is breathtaking. Yes, there are moments of pure bliss. The photos you see, the stories you hear, they’re real and they paint a vivid picture that you’d be crazy not to want to be a part of. But what about the other times? The breakdowns and the pouring rain. The flat tires and the break-ins. In order to appreciate the wonders of the good times, you might have to plow through a fair amount of sh*t.
To get those #vanlife photos that others lust over, you need to shell out money that most don’t have or spend a lot of time researching, repairing, and designing your vehicle. When I first set out on the road, I wasn’t happy all day every day the way I expected to be, the way social media told me it would be. I wasn’t shooting photos of scantily clad nymphs dancing in the breakwater. What the hell was I doing wrong?
The fact of the matter was, I wasn’t failing. I just wasn’t aware of all the intricacies involved in living in a van. These days, on the other hand, I’m road tested. I’ve been on tiny byways and the five-land interstates and I know the pitfalls of this particular brand of adventure. Some, in hindsight, should have been super obvious. Others took time to recognize.
So, before you quit your job and buy that beat up old Econoline or Vanagon that you hope will slake your wanderlust, let me offer a few points worth considering: