Is Vanlife for you? 14 Reasons why it might not be

Social media is pretty good at glorifying almost everything and vanlife is no exception. We have all seen the idyllic views, the perfectly tidy vans, and don’t forget the couple so blissfully in love that makes you want to cry yourself to sleep. But is it always that good, and how do you know if you’ll even like it?! Well read on my friends because finally a big dose of honesty is coming your way… 

 
Campfires and stars are definitely an upside of vanlife, just don’t be like me and forget the marshmallows…

Campfires and stars are definitely an upside of vanlife, just don’t be like me and forget the marshmallows…

 

Firstly, how do you know if you will you enjoy vanlife? Try before you buy. That’s it, that’s pretty much the only option (article done, don’t bother reading anymore, ohh wait… unless… you’d like to know a few more truths about this whole vanlife thing).  I’ve heard countless stories of people going out and buying a van, heading out on their first road trip and hating it. Like 100% get this van out of my sight and get me a real bed kind of hating it. So how will you know if that will be you or not? Borrow a friends van (if you have nice friends willing to lend you theirs), or rent a camper for the weekend. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but that first weekend will have either confirmed vanlife is for you, or you will have just saved yourselves thousands of dollars.

Researching free camp spots well in advance will keep you from driving yourself mad trying to find one last minute.

Researching free camp spots well in advance will keep you from driving yourself mad trying to find one last minute.

The endless changing views on your road trip are definitely a positive.

The endless changing views on your road trip are definitely a positive.

Secondly, here 14 things to consider that nobody seems to be talking about:

-       Are you ok with dirt and sand constantly getting into every crevice not only in your home on wheels but also your own body? Seriously… EVERY crevice!

-       Are you ok with sweating profusely overnight and not having access to a Laundromat to wash your sheets for another 2 weeks?

-       Are you ok with sneaking around looking for campsites, every, single, night?

-       Are you ok with a desperate dash to a public toilet each time number 2 comes knocking?

-       Are you ok with sleeping, cooking, hanging out, and escaping the weather in an area smaller than your current bathroom?

-       Are you ok sifting through all your clothes to find the least smelly item to wear for the next 3 days?

-       Are you ok with reducing your closet to 1/10th of its current size?

-       Are you ok with not being able to stand in your home and feeling like the hunchback of Notredam 90% of the time?

-       Are you ok with getting moved on from your camp spot at 2 am because you “didn’t see any signs”?

-       Are you ok with licking all of your cutlery and dinnerware clean and throwing it back in the drawer because it’s too hard to clean properly?

-       Are you ok with jumping in icy rivers, shaving under a park faucet, or bucket showers in Walmart parking lots to feel somewhat less crusty?

-       Are you ok with being crusty?

-       Are you ok with going on an insect killing spree with your spatula (that you just licked clean) when a swarm of mosquitos invades your van right before going to bed?

-       Are you ok with using more baby wipes than a family of newborn triplets to get you through another 3 days before you can face jumping into another icy river?

 

So this all sounds a little dramatic right?! Well I can honestly say every one of these points has literally happened to me countless times, and I’m sure I cant be the only one out there.

In the end there are sooooo many amazing aspects of vanlife that deserve to be glorified, simply because the freedom and special moments we get to experience are often amplified by the hardships we go through to enjoy those moments. So if you think you can laugh at the stupidity of the above situations and look on the bright side, maybe vanlife is for you, however, if you think each moment would slowly wear you down after 5 of the above points and another 10 things I didn’t mention all happened in one day (because it no doubt will), then maybe vanlife might not be for you.

 
This is one of those moments that all the hardships are totally worth it!

This is one of those moments that all the hardships are totally worth it!

 
Jess Bonde