When you’re scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, do you ever stumble upon accounts about living that “Van Life” and the perks of life on the road? Same. And have you ever thought about quitting your 9-5, then loading up your personal belongings in a van and hitting the road? I mean, of course, we’ve all had that thought at some point in our lives, right? In one of their articles, The New Yorker defined van life as “a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.” And, they’re not wrong.
Within the past decade, many people have resorted to a minimal, nomadic lifestyle. They seem to fully embrace the opportunity of traveling the country, and even the world, with their van being their only lodging. Their main goal: freedom.
It might be time to tap into your wanderlust side and find a new liberating experience that’s more than just everyday life. After the past two years, we think it’s time to take life by the horns and take on something new and unfamiliar. Who knows? You might learn something you never knew about yourself. But before you purchase a van, sell most of your belongings, and set out on the #vanlife adventure, there are some vitally important things you might need to consider first, like how you’re able to afford something, how to start, what van will meet your needs, and MANY more things. Many more things – in fact, the reason for this article is to make sure you ponder the question: is van life really for you? So, we compiled a few questions that you should consider before leaving everything behind.
- Are you someone who likes spontaneous, unfamiliar adventures?
If you answered no, you might as well find another article to read, BUT if you answered yes, then the van life might be something for you. The best thing about the nomadic lifestyle is venturing into unknown and unexplored territories (at least for you). You get the chance to live life on your terms and immerse yourself in new cultures, communities, and sceneries. Who you are in the Rocky Mountains is probably different than who you are near the beach. You not only set off on an adventure, but you also get to set off on an adventure of self-discovery.
- Is this life something you can afford?
Van expenses are a real thing and an essential part of van life. Costs can vary from person to person and depend on what the person decides to spend money on. A few factors like gas (a major one), camping costs, eating out, purchasing food, recreational activities, and more need to be considered. Your budget really comes down to you and how minimal you want to go.
- Are you willing to purchase a van and remodel it?
Your van is the most crucial part of your plan. It’s not called “van life” for nothing. The first thing you need to do is figure out what van will work for you. You will need to do significant research about what van fits your needs, and the best way to do that is by reading what veterans of the van life recommend. They tried and tested the lifestyle for themselves, so they would be the ideal people to look to. We recommend Let’s Be Us or Kombi Life, both well-known on YouTube and who dive deep into the van life culture.
Once you find out what van you want, the next step is remodeling it. Is this something you can do? You have to consider things like finding a contractor who can remodel your van, and if you want to do it yourself, you need to think about the materials to build it.
- Will you embrace the need to maintain your van?
Breakdowns, maintenance, and unexpected costs can impact your van, and you have to be ready to keep on top of its durability. You will need to take it into the shop for regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, but what if you get a flat tire or your fan belt needs to be replaced? You have to consider those inconveniences if that’s something you’re mentally and emotionally ready to deal with.
- Will moving from place to place be a bother for you?
If you like stability, then the van life isn’t for you. Living day after day in a camper van is a lifestyle that only works for some people. After all, you’re going to be traveling from place to place, meeting new people, and exploring new cultures different from where you grew up, and if that intimidates you, you should reconsider life on the road.
If an unconventional but thrilling lifestyle is what you’re looking for, then the van life might be something you should consider. Whether you’re planning on living that #vanlife for a few months or a couple of years, we want to make sure that you’re prepared for everything, positive and negative, that comes with it!