More people are entering the van life movement to seek freedom, travel, and save some money along the way. There are so many incredible things about this lifestyle but some important factors need to be considered before making the tremendous transition to living in your home on wheels. This post breaks down some important questions to ask yourself before you decide to embark on your van life journey.
- Can you live with a minimal amount of items?
- Living in a small space means living with less stuff. If thinking about downsizing gives you anxiety, you might want to reconsider whether this lifestyle is for you. You don’t want your tiny home to feel cluttered, so every item you have in the van must serve some type of purpose. When we first moved in to our van we had to carefully think about what we used daily including kitchen items, bathroom essentials, and clothing. When you own a house or rent an apartment it is easy to accumulate a decent amount of stuff over the years. If you choose to pursue van life you will need to decide whether you want to store or sell your items and also put a lot of thought into what is valuable to you in your daily life.
- Are you willing to learn?
- There is going to be a transition period when you first move into your van that may feel a bit uncomfortable at first. A van is a pretty small space, especially if you are living with a partner. For the first couple of weeks you will be learning the tricks of the trade… how to maneuver such a large vehicle and realizing everything has to be secured while driving. Every day tasks feel a little different at first because this is a different lifestyle. You will work through these adjustments and find a routine that works best for you but be prepared to be flexible for the first couple of weeks.
- How will you make money on the road?
- Although vanlife is less expensive than paying mortgage or renting an apartment there are costs that need to be considered like gas, propane, groceries, a van payment, and insurance. Having a plan to pay for these costs will allow you to spend less time worrying about your financial situation and more time enjoying all of the beautiful places you are about to go. In a world where remote work is becoming more popular there are many ways to earn income while traveling. Just a few options would be photography, freelance writing, travel nursing, social media marketing, blogging, or creating content on YouTube. If you are okay with being in one place for a period of time you could also be a camp host or pick up a seasonal job at a National Park. Here are some great resources on finding remote jobs on the road!
- Bearfoot theory: 20 Remote Jobs for Van Lifers
- Divine on the Road: 15 Full Time Van Life Remote Jobs
- Do you enjoy the outdoors?
- One of the main benefits of van life is having the outdoors as your back yard. This is where you will spend most of your time. There is nothing like waking up on BLM land with views of beautiful mountains and the stillness of nature. If you are not comfortable with dirt, bugs, and going a few days without showering then this probably isn’t your jive. While it is possible to live in a van without spending time in nature, it would not be very enjoyable and could leave you feeling cramped and stuck. Even on days when we are in our van we usually have the doors open to enjoy fresh air and still feel an element of the outdoors.
- Are you flexible?
- This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself. Living in a vehicle does not come without challenges. At some point you will have to deal with finding a place to dump your toilet and grey water, mechanical issues with the van, figuring out where you will sleep at night after driving all day, learning how to fix things when they break, ect. If you are the type of person that is able to go with the flow this is the life for you. If you are not, van life will certainly teach you how to be more flexible.
Although van life has it’s challenges, it is one of the greatest adventures you could ever embark on. As with anything in life, it is important to do your research before jumping into this type of lifestyle and to make sure it will be beneficial to you. If you have any questions about van life or have other considerations to add please drop them below in the comments!!