Are you scared of the van life? I was…

I am writing this after being on the road for two years. This is not a post about being scared for my safety while living in a van. It is about a deeper fear within me.

Three years ago I decided to set out on my wanderlust journey. Only to realize I was terrified of leaving everything, selling my business and my belongings. I felt society and even my friends, business associates, and family would judge me. Would they think I was ‘quiting life’ or giving it all up?

Something was holding me back. I couldn’t even take the first steps in living the van life. I was doing some personal coaching with David Hamilton and during one of our last sessions, he gave me permission to sell my businesses and start down the road towards vanlife. It was a simple statement that allowed me to take the first steps towards the vanlife.

‘I give you permission to leave Denver and go on a roadtrip.’

It could have simply been the act of someone I respected, saying ‘yes, you can do this’. It removed society’s expectation that one must live life a certain way. Regardless, the permission that Dave gave me sent me quickly towards my goal of living a simple life in a van.

In the next few months I took the first steps to design MY ideal lifestyle. I hit the road in my Dodge pickup truck. I left Denver headed to San Diego and up coastal route 1 to Vancouver, Canada. While on the road, I loved to tell people about my road trip driving route 1. However, I felt embarrassed to say I was sleeping in the back of my pickup truck.

Personally, I always enjoyed my new adventurous life. The mornings when I woke up to beautiful vistas and sunrises were incredible. But I was still hesitant to describe the rougher aspects of living on the road, like peeing in a bottle or washing up in a mountain stream or wearing the same clothes for days on end.

After two years of vanlife, I have gotten rid of my head trash and I have no shame when I don’t conform to society’s norms. I am part of the movement to live simply – be it the vanlife movement, the tiny home movement, or the energy efficiency movement. They all tie back to the same underlying principle – living simply.

I now confidently tell people that I am a digital nomad traveling the US in my converted Sprinter van.

Now when I tell people I am living in my Sprinter van, I see faces light up. I inspire them. There is no more shame or embarrassment, only good feelings and freedom.

I have met others who are living this dream and I will share my stories, trials, and triumphs.

My mission is to connect current vanlifers, share my love of research and knowledge and bring more people into the community.

4 thoughts on Are you scared of the van life? I was…

  1. Yes, I’m scared. As long as it was a dream it was great. This weekend I purchased a used Mercedes Sprinter van to start the process. I borrowed the money to do it — and now my fears are taking over. I am a single woman with no carpentry or electrical skills. I want this to be my retirement life, that gives me 3.5 years for the process to take shape. Today is day one and I am feeling like “Oh Shit! What did I get myself into?” Mainly it’s the financial that scares me. Did I pay too much for the van? Yes, probably – but it comes with the territory I decided. A single woman who knows nothing about engines. I’m afraid of the expense of keeping the engine maintained. I’m afraid of break downs on mountain roads. I did not know all these fears were in me. They surfaced the minute the van was in my possession. “Did I make the right choice?” And so on and so forth. But here I am. I did it. I took the plunge. I have a van. I have to tell myself, it’s okay. Take one step at a time. This might not be the ultimate van. This might not be the van that I live in during my retirement years, but it’s a start. I made a step. I started.

  2. I have been wrestling in my mind with this very thing for awhile now. Your honesty on this fear is very helpful to me. Your story inspires me. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *