Most people typically don’t know how to respond when we tell them we’ve decided to make a major life transition to live full-time in a van. Many questions likely come to their minds: Where will they park? What will they do for work? What will their days look like?
Along with these questions, we assume many are simply wondering: Why?
The answer to us is simple: Why not? However, to provide a little more rationale behind our decision, here are our top 4 reasons why we chose van life:
Although it may be obvious, one of the major reasons we decided to live in a van is to see as much of the country as possible. While we have already visited a total of 31 states combined, there are many amazing places which we have only been able to spend a couple of days. Van life will allow us to spend weeks in locations that we love while also allowing us to discover new favorite spots.
As lovers of national parks, we hope to visit each one during our time on the road. If we decide to purchase property one day or buy a home, we believe this experience will give us a better idea as to where we might want to settle down.
While it is convenient to have structure and routine, it is even more ideal when you can choose how you want to arrange your days and weeks. We have both worked years of 40-hour work weeks, driving to and from the same apartment each day, and making the same meals each week. We see van life as an opportunity to break from the typical work week structure and have more control over our time, especially in terms of our work/life balance.
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.Stephen Covey
As lovers of the outdoors, we can’t wait to be able to spend our days outside (and we’re sure that our dog, Willow, is excited about this, too!). To have the ability to start and end each day in nature while spending the majority of the day working and playing in the sun is worth it for us. While neighborhood walks around our apartment complex were predictable and nice, we would rather work, walk, hike, and run in a variety of beautiful locations.
The final (and perhaps biggest) reason we have chosen van life is because we have felt an intense yearning for something greater in our lives. For the past five years, we have tried the “classic” lifestyle of working 9-5 jobs, renting an apartment, and living for small adventures on the weekends. We have purchased countless items such as furniture, decor, and clothes to fill our apartment. Ultimately, we have found that this way of life has not made us feel truly happy or fulfilled.
While most people our age are likely preparing to buy a house and have kids (which is totally valid!), we have no desire to do that at this point in our lives; rather, we feel a pull in our hearts for the unknown. We want to experience life more fully with fewer possessions while hopefully learning more about ourselves and the world around us along the way.