If you are a passionate traveler then surely you have been getting many recommended videos on Youtube for living the van life. It is a very trendy topic these days and there are many influencers latching onto it.
It’s a powerful draw if you like to travel especially during these times where international travel is going to be restricted for some time. The whole idea is that you can outfit your camper or van to actually live full time with all the modern conveniences. Then, you can live your life on the road like a modern-day nomad.
With remote working, a good solar generator, and free wifi everywhere, it makes little sense for some people to live in one place. In this article, I will go over the basics when it comes to living the van life.
Advantages of the van life
The last ten years has really woken people up to some disturbing facts about the economy. Two once in a lifetime recessions have occurred in that time with a pandemic thrown in for good measure.
These types of events can dramatically alter a person’s plans. Especially if that plan is to live a typical lifestyle wherein you get a job in the city and buy a house from which you commute. It is out of the reach of many people these days to take on student debt to get a good job and then the cost of housing is often too much as well.
An alternative to all of this is to live cheaply in a van or camper that has been outfitted to be as comfy as possible. This way you have no debt holding you back and you can work remotely anyway.
Another benefit is that you can take chances in life. It is easier to live your dreams when you don’t have massive debt or a house that plants you in one place. You have far more control over your life when you can pull up stakes at any time.
Travel is a great way to expand your horizons and learn more about the country you live in or the world in general. You’ll be in contact with far more diversity of people than you would when you have the same neighbors and coworkers. Dealing with the same people day in and day out can stifle your learning.
How to make money
Since the start of the pandemic, many people became forced to work from home. And many people have continued to do so even with some lockdown measures being lifted. For those people, this is an easy transition as you can continue working for the same company, just from your van instead of your living room.
In some cases, you may need to do your work at a library, coffee shop, or coworking space. In other cases, you may find yourself in a campground with free wifi so you can work from your van.
If you don’t have a remote job you can create one for yourself. There are infinite possibilities to working online either for yourself or for a company. For instance, if you worked as an accountant, you can search for related jobs that can be done remotely. Or, you can go out on your own and look for clients so you can freelance. This is an attractive possibility for those that want the freedom to work when they want rather than be obligated to stick to a company’s requisites.
There is also the possibility to run a blog, which can be about anything and not just your travels. Blogs work to make you money through advertising and affiliate marketing so pick a topic that pays well and go from there.
Then, if you are a creative type, you can certainly use your passion for creating art to make money online.
The beauty of all of this is that your expenses are so low that you don’t have to make a lot of money to get ahead.
Where to go
You can be as off-grid as you feel comfortable with when you live van life. Or, you can go where there are services and conveniences. It depends on your needs.
Before you set out, make a list of your needs and then wants so you can get an idea of the type of places where you should go. If you need to be connected regularly to the internet then you need to make sure that you are either picking areas that have campgrounds that offer it or are near some coworking spaces.
Part of the plan should also center around lifestyle so you can choose the area that will align with the things you want to do. If you love the excitement of the city then you can certainly find places to dock your van in an urban setting. Nature lovers have their pick of any type of landscape.
Sure, you want to be spontaneous, but having a rough plan of where to go will make your experience much more enjoyable.
Be aware of the challenges
As wonderful an experience it is to live on your own terms, but there are challenges. The more of these challenges you are aware of then the better you can plan.
For instance, water is going to be one of your major and ongoing concerns. You have to know where you can fill up and how long you have before you run out. Your travel plans will revolve around the water, wifi and sewer issues so you do need to plan your stops.
Another issue is where to get mail. Of course, hardly anybody gets mail these days as things can be done online. But, if you want packages delivered, this can be a problem if you are on the road.
The most obvious issue is also a lack of space. You have to be very careful about how much stuff you accumulate over time as you won’t have room for it. This also includes food and cooking. You have to go food shopping much more frequently, which also adds to how much you need to plan your trips so you can be close to access to food.