A growing group of people from all over the world are giving up conventional accommodation to live in their vehicle. That’s right, welcome to van life. But the term van life embodies a lot more than just the act of sleeping in a van or vehicle, it is a subculture of nomadic people who are choosing to reassess what is really important in life.
Why are people choosing van life?
People choose van life for a number of different reasons including:
- To save money
Living in a vehicle can save people a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on rent. Although the upfront cost of buying and kitting out a van can be quite hefty this pays itself back pretty quickly if you choose to make van life your permanent residence.
- To travel
Many van lifers choose to pursue nomadic jobs which allows them to experience the true freedom that comes with living in a home on wheels. Travel the world and sleep in your transportation, it really is liberating.
- To learn how to live with less
Living in a van or vehicle really makes you stop and reassess what matters to you and so for many van lifers, this decision helps them learn a few minimalistic principles. A van provides constraint and everything you put inside it needs to have a purpose which goes against a lot of what we are taught in our consumerist society.
- To learn and grow
Van life is a learning experience like no other. From learning the principles of construction during the van build itself to learning mechanics on the road and how to survive without a shower, toiler, washing machine and oven inside your home. On the move, you’ll experience many new cultures and meet new people, you’ll form new friendships and learn more about yourself.
What kind of vehicles do people convert?
If you look up van life on the internet you’ll soon find that it encompasses a whole range of vehicles from the more luxury Mercedes Sprinter to the convenient VW Transporter and every other type of van in between. Big vans, small vans, old vans and new vans, there’s no one type of van life conversion. One of the biggest joys of van life is the individuality, each and every build is unique to its owner and encompasses those things that they choose to prioritise. Whereas one person may choose to install a toilet another may need a desk, a log burner may be necessary for a van lifer in a colder climate but this space could be used to house something altogether different elsewhere.
Do you want to know more?
Van life is a magical concept and one that sparks interest from people in all walks of life. If you want to learn more about it then the best thing to do is jump online and research some full-time van lifers such as Eamon and Bec who live full time in their converted Mercedes Sprinter. There are also a number of great blogs, websites and podcasts on the subject too.