Living in a van is like an extremely condensed version of your life. Take your bedroom, your kitchen, your office, your bathroom, your garage, your lounge and cram them all into your car. Throw in a handful of sand, a pocketful of dirt, add a sprinkle of chaos and a dash of adventure and shake vigorously like a big van martini. That's what it's like to live in a van.
Imagine your house is freshly cleaned and tidied for the day, you've just folded all your clothes and swept the floor and then suddenly an earthquake strikes, sending all your possessions flying and crashing to the floor, undoing all your hard work. That's what it's like when you drive your house on wheels down a gravel road.
You'd think it would be impossible to lose anything in a 2m x 3m space, but things have a way of bouncing their way into mysterious hidden corners of the room, like a child picking up and shaking their Barbie doll house. Every little problem is amplified in the small space; silence bounces and ricochets off of timber-clad walls. You have everything you need and everything in its place but somehow there's never enough room.
And yet there's something so alluring about throwing off the constraints of material possessions, carrying your few items with you wherever you go like a snail with a shell on its back, seeing the world one dirt track at a time. Slowly, very slowly, but surely. Waking up with a different view outside your window each morning, well- that's not just something they say to get you into vanlife. It's a unique and perpetually mind-blowing experience you can never get bored of. Dusty windows tinted sunset pink and dawn gold. Waves lapping at your feet. An entire pine forest or mountainscape framed between a pair of curtains.
That's what living in a van is like.
The van itself is merely a backdoor onto the garden of the world, an endless maze to be explored. You can park your house on just about any patch of grass or sand and call it home. The van is just an extension of your new life outdoors, with a ceiling so high and filled with stars it makes you wonder how anyone can live between four white-washed walls. Every little thing becomes an adventure- making coffee in the morning becomes warming up after a night of snow in the mountains. Taking a shower becomes bathing in a cool stream with fish swimming around your toes. Cooking dinner turns into building a fire and roasting up some smokey, delicious food.
Waking up never knowing what new adventure awaits outside your door, starting and ending the day on new horizons, never knowing who you'll meet or what patch of starry sky you'll be sleeping under tonight.
So what if you live in a tin can the size of a shoebox? So what if hot showers are a thing of the past?
Every single day is a new adventure to be had.