It used to be something of an embarrassment to be living in a van. It signaled to people that you were basically homeless. Well, times have certainly changed and now it is the cool thing to do to live in a van.
As the modern world is becoming unsustainable, lots of people are giving up their stressful jobs and expensive homes to live a simpler life in a van or tiny house. You don’t have to be a hippy or follow any particular political position to want to live the van life. You just need to have a sense of adventure and the ability to adapt to any situation.
Sure, there are challenges, but once you adapt and get used to things, you’ll wonder what took you so long to have made the leap. If you’re already a camper, then many of the benefits to van life will already be familiar to you.
In any case, read on and see if you think giving it all up and living in a van is right for you!
1 – You save money
Imagine having no mortgage or rent. Also, imagine not paying property tax, heating and cooling bills and high maintenance costs. This is easily the biggest benefit to living in a van as you can save money in multiples of what you were able to do before.
The cost of housing has gotten so out of control that it can mean putting retirement off if you can manage to retire at all. If you live in a van, you now have no mortgage and the costs of maintaining the van are much less than a house.
Not only do you not have a mortgage, but in many cases, you are getting free energy to power your lifestyle. Portable solar panels from companies like Lion Safari LT can give you more than what you need to go about your daily routine for electricity. Since you aren’t powering an entire house you only need some small power stations. Plus, the van battery itself will provide electricity while you are on the move.
You will still have some expenses like paying for campgrounds on occasion and maybe even a gym membership so you have a place to shower. But, those are minimal compared to what you would pay to maintain a house.
2 – You can work anywhere
The recent Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that traditional work is no longer necessary. Commuting hours per day to an office is wasteful and outdated as a concept. So many people were sent to work from home that it became clear that this was the better way to operate anyway.
That means that you can essentially work from anywhere. And since wifi and mobile is available just about anywhere, you don’t even need to be in one spot all the time. Work from home can now mean work from anywhere.
Even better is that now that you are spending far less money to live, you can take a chance and even start your own business. One of the things that holds a lot of people back from going it alone rather than keeping a job is that it is too expensive to get through those lean months while your business builds.
Now, you can take that chance since there is nothing holding you back.
Online businesses are easier than ever to get started and require very little capital. As long as you have a good idea and are willing to focus on it then you can be successful. And the world is your office!
3 – Live more intensely
There is nothing routine about living in a small space like a van or tiny house. You have to be very intentional about everything that you do. Which makes even the most mundane aspects of life much more interesting.
Then, everyday is an adventure even if you aren’t out exploring. Preparing meals, relaxing and even getting ready for bed has to be thought out and keeps you in the moment.
Now, imagine how much of an adventure it is to be out on the road doing all of this with the sights, sounds and experiences that the world has to offer. You never know what’s around the corner awaiting you so there is a constant thrill of discovery that you don’t get under normal circumstances.
You’re also less plugged into devices, sitting in traffic or shopping as a means of fulfillment. So you are able to take the time to enjoy a sunset. Or, read some books instead of sitting on social media to pass the time. And, since you aren’t commuting you can spend more time doing a hobby that you enjoy over wasting time in traffic.
4 – Self care
Living in a van and the challenges and benefits that it provides is a great way to get back in touch with yourself. It enables you to be in the moment and think about the things you really value and do what makes you happy rather than always doing what you are obligated to do.
Detaching from your daily suburban routine of your old life will allow you to take better care of yourself. Both physically and mentally. There is far less time sitting around in a sedentary lifestyle so that helps you stay physically healthy. And not sitting in a car or office all day does wonders for your mental health.
It’s a very non selfish way to be selfish and think more about yourself in a very wholesome way.
Van life is not without its challenges. There will definitely be days when you just want to lounge in your pajamas in front of a big screen TV and watch a movie. But, these moments pass when you end up in a spot with incredible nature all around you that you would have never discovered if you were sitting in your pajamas.
The benefits definitely outweigh the challenges.