Kayley and I have now been living on the road for about 6 weeks, which feels both accurate and inaccurate, if that makes any sense.
Long drives through Canada along with getting used to the routines of living on the road made it difficult to feel like the van was home since the days were filled with driving, not providing much time for cooking, and hanging out. Once the trek through the country was over and we started to spend more time in one place every couple days or so, it all started to feel like home.
To some living in a van must seem like an insane concept and to be honest it is! Who would want to give up the comforts of a stationary home, their 9-5 job, endless belongings, and normalized routines. These were some of the things that Kay and myself were constantly asked before embarking on this lifestyle: “How are you possibility going to give up ……..? And usually answering that questions with: “It won’t be that difficult”, to only then get an odd look as a response. That’s not to say everyone reacted as such, we had many friends and family members who showed acceptance to the idea (maybe they were just being nice haha). But yes, it is an insane concept, except my version of insane is more positive than negative.
After spending years of attending academia, working, then feeling the pressures of “What’s next?” or “Go find a real job?” (Whatever that is?), or “I wish I did that when I was younger” and witnessing the overall grind of ‘Standard Life’, I needed an out before I got myself caught in a cycle I didn’t want to participate in. That’s not to say I’m judgemental of anyone who finds comfort in living that standardized way of life, whatever makes you happy is what is most important, I mean some days I wish I could feel that same comfort. I can’t directly speak for Kayley but for myself, the pressures of trying to become part of the normal routine has always given me a sense of anxiety. Living in a van with my best friend has subdued that internal anxiety for the time being.
Life is simple in a complicated way: complicated because each day is filled with finding a place to park for the night, fill our water jug, empty our portable toilet, get wifi, shower, etc…. Yet, simple since those our the only stresses we typically face, which are minuscule. Of course along the way worse things may arise (Van issues, or unforeseen circumstances) but overall, when you have ability to wake up in a rad new place every morning, it’s hard to not feel lucky. Kayley and myself had worked our butts off for the last 2 years trying to provide ourselves with the ability to live a life we wanted to live. We understand that this way of life could end at anytime but that won’t deter us from collecting as many experiences as possible.
For me, my hobbies and work go hand in hand and I hope for it to always be that way. I want my future jobs to be part of the hobbies I enjoy so much or at least allow me to enjoy my hobbies as much as physically possible. Whether it’s strapping into my snowboard, casting my fly rod, pushing around on a skateboard or simply hiking through a forest, these are the times that everything feels like the way it should be and it’s a feelings that you are constantly trying to chase. So far, living in a van has provided me the freedom to enjoy these hobbies to the fullest and giving me the direction I was looking for.
Another big thing for me is trying to learn how to become a better human, not only for myself but for others and the earth we live on. When you fill your life with unnecessary stress, learning takes a seat on the back burner and some of us get lost along the way on what is important in life, and that is something I’m continually trying to avoid. Living in a mobile box brings learning back to the forefront, whether it’s testing your patience when the van is heating up on a cold night or realizing how much water can be consumed on just drinking, cooking and cleaning, you start to understand how easy most of us have it and how we can take it for granted. It takes work to cook healthy meals, manage water use, be active, minimize our overall footprint and use technology only when truly needed, but that’s work I’m happy to put in, and get routinized with. The more I live without useless shit, the more I value the essentials and pay less attention to buying crappy stuff I never needed in the first place. When you surround yourself with the outdoors, you begin to understand the importance of buying local food, products that were made well and will last you years of use and to not take what you don’t need.
The last 6 weeks have been an all around adventure, and as you can tell, it has given me lots of time to think about weird shit haha.
I can’t thank Kayley enough for putting up with me day in and day out! She is a trooper and an awesome adventure partner! You’re the best babe!
Thanks so much to all the friends who have given us a place to enjoy a great meal, to warm our cold limbs, shown us rad places to visit and a safe spot to park at night. It doesn’t go unnoticed, it makes life a lot easier for us!
Get out there!
PS: Check out our pre-Van living thoughts on Vince Interviews Girls Podcast