For a couple of years now, I have been obsessed with tiny homes. I’d watch all the shows on TV, look up videos on YouTube, and find stuff on Pinterest. My favorite ones to look at were those that could be towed and moved wherever you felt like living.
I liked the idea that I wouldn’t have to live in any given place for an extended amount of time. I mean, how am I supposed to decide where I want to live for the rest of my life when I haven’t seen even a quarter of the possibilities? The more I looked into tiny home living, the more options I saw. One day, I stumbled upon van life. The thought of having a van with my whole life in it, giving me the freedom to pull off into some parking lot to sleep before moving on to my next great destination gets me so excited for this next stage of my life.
I think maybe subconsciously I knew I wanted a more nomadic lifestyle a long time ago. It just took recent events in my life to give me the push and courage to really go for it. I am fully aware that this will be a year or two long process and I’m pretty sure my mom thinks I’m just kidding or going through a quarter life crisis kind of thing. This very well may be a quarter life crisis but I can’t think of a better way to focus my motivation than working towards my dream lifestyle. Better for me to do it now than when I’m 50 and consumed by regret.
I’m 25 now and already carry regret. But while there are aspects of my life I regret, out of every bad situation, there’s come something good. Whether it be in finding new close friends that I’ll have for life or adopting a cat, I’ve always managed to find something positive.
Moving on back to living in a van…
Most of the people I’ve told about this plan think I’m crazy. Maybe I am, but I’ll be a crazy cat lady on the road. Most of them, I’m sure, think it’s a random idea that will work its way out of my system after a bit. But I have never felt so sure of something before in my life. I’ve done a lot of research into what it means and takes to live on the road in such a small space. I currently have a lot of shit, so downsizing is definitely necessary. I also know that van life will not be all sunshine and pretty views.
One thing that I am like 93% sure of is that I want to self-build my own van. In doing that, I want to try to use as much as I already have in the build. For instance, I have a chest of drawers with a top that lifts open. In that top section, I can fit my makeup and there is a mirror on the underside of the lid. I THINK that I can dwindle my clothing down to fit in that piece (not including sweaters/wintery items). I also have a nightstand that I Harry Potter-ized that I would really like to keep as well because of how cool it turned out. In addition to those, I already have a nice mini fridge.
I have a very particular layout and design in mind when I picture my dream van and the only way I can get that is if I do it myself. I would obviously need some help with the harder stuff like electrical and water hook-ups. I want my van to be able to go completely off-grid. I’m talking solar panels, back up batteries, maybe even a water filter system if the price is right, that way I can take water from any source if need be.
Money is a crucial topic to this project, especially since I am firm on aspects I want in my van. It is going to take a lot of saving between now and the next year or two. A huge part going towards a van. I don’t mind if I have some sort of payment on the van because I don’t want a super old one with a ton of miles on it. But that would just add onto my need to have a job on the road, which is definitely necessary thanks to my college education. What I would ideally like to do is find a remote job doing work such as transcribing or freelance/content writing. Now would probably be a good time to mention that I’ve been working on a fantasy fiction trilogy with a co-author/one of my best friends. So if that takes off, it could prove helpful. Also, even though this blog is more of a therapeutic outlet, I know it can prove to be profitable if done well. Even if I only make a small amount from it, every little bit helps.
I am 100% positive that I want to have in my van is some sort of shower. Not an outdoor one, either and it doesn’t have to be your stereotypical shower. I have found a bunch of different and unique options for a shower in a camper van. I also want a toilet. I would take advantage of public bathrooms when possible, but if I’m camped out somewhere, I’m not a fan of getting out in the middle of the night to do my business in nature.
Another aspect that will play a huge part in the layout is Albus. I want to catify the shit out of the van. My biggest fear with this life shift is Albus. He currently does not enjoy the car. However, the main place he’s ever gone in a car is the vet and no pet likes that. So currently he nervous drools a lot when he goes in the car. However, on the 7 hour drive from Massachusetts, he did very well. He only drooled for about ten minutes then curled up either in my lap or in the back seat. His vet prescribed him some kitty sized Prozac and said that would help him relax in the car. I’ve also found this pheromone travel spray for cats that is supposed to help reduce stress while traveling. I’ve only tried it once so it’s hard to give it a review. While I worry about Albus adjusting to van life, I also think of how much he loves being outside and what an adventurous personality he has. I had him outside yesterday on his harness and I pictured taking him all over the country exploring. I also have a vision of having a ‘catio’ attached to the side of the van so he can get some fresh air even when I have to stay in the van to work.
This is just the beginning of what I hope will be an amazing journey. If you have ever or currently or dream to have a van life journey, I would love to hear from you! Drop a comment below! Until next time!