Living the Van Life

I often get asked how long I plan to continue living in a van. The answer: I have no idea.

I often get asked how long I plan to continue living in a van. The answer: I have no idea.

My perspectives have drastically shifted since I’ve been on the road. I’ve done a lot of internal work, processed thoughts, emotions, and memories I’d long deeply buried and forgotten. I’ve heard so many stories of lives cut short by death or drastic accidents. I’ve watched the shadow of regret pass over people’s eyes as they confide they’d always dreamed of doing something similar, but now they feel “stuck” in a life they can’t leave. I’ve met retirees who are finally out traveling after 50+ years in the same job, but now their bodies don’t allow them to go on long hikes or adventures.

Many have commented, “Good for you. You’ve got the rest of your life to work, so enjoy it now while you have your youth.” I have to agree with them. At 42, I don’t feel as youthful as some other van dwellers I’ve met, but I am still able-bodied enough to get out there and explore. Life presented me with this opportunity, and I wasn’t about to let it pass me by.

I’d initially given myself a year, and I think that was probably more of a fear-based projection. An escape hatch in case I failed, or things didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. Turns out, things haven’t turned out how I expected at all. Every single day far surpasses anything I could have imagined. We’ve traveled to places whose beauty I have no words to describe, and I’m often deeply moved by majestic landscapes and the reverent solitude of nature.

While it’s not all sunshine and rainbows every day, I wouldn’t trade one moment and have zero regrets about having made this leap.

Here’s a map to show which states we’ve visited so far, and a small collection from the 12,000+ photos I’ve taken along the way.

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