In 2011, Ralph Lauren designer Foster Huntington gave up his job and apartment in New York City to travel along the California coast, living out of his 1987 Volkswagen Syncro. He began documenting his adventures on Instagram and coined the hashtag #vanlife.
It’s easy to scroll though #vanlife Instagram posts and be tempted to quit your job and hit the road asap. But don’t get carried away. If you’ve never lived out of a van before, it would be smart to start with a test run of taking a weekend or week-long trip in order to experience the more unglamorous parts of the lifestyle before selling all your furniture and giving up your house. You also don’t have to go all in.
Living out of a van isn’t for everyone, however. People with certain lifestyle preferences or personalities aren’t a good fit. For example, people who require creature comforts like a constant Internet connection, an extensive wardrobe or daily lattes can find it hard to live a nomadic, spontaneous lifestyle. Same goes for people who like structure, fear uncertainty or are homebodies. So be honest about whether you would enjoy the #vanlife long-term.
While #vanlife can be a source of stress and anxiety, ultimately it’s important to remember to pause and take in the beautiful moments made possible by all the planning, as well as the unexpected interactions and sights you’ll see along the journey. The fun and freedom is what #vanlife is all about.
#Vanlife is all about the bare necessities. It requires living with limited funds and space, so major downsizing is required for most people making the transition from an apartment, condo or house. You must pare down your wardrobe, cooking and cleaning supplies, tools, and more, to their most compact, minimal state. One van-lifer wrote for Wanderlust travel magazine that she brought just two bowls with her, ditching her plates and other superfluous serving surfaces.
Here are some tips to get you started, as well as a reality checklist. – Tribune News Service