Can you believe it’s already been 312 days of living on the road? I have been reflecting on what a crazy year it´s been so it made me think about what I thought van life was going to be like before hitting the road versus the reality now. Just like many of you, I thought of van life as a carefree, minimalistic lifestyle filled with beautiful sunsets and endless adventures. A lot of this was a reality for me last year but there are a few things that nobody tells you about before you hit the road. It was a surprise and a little bit of a shock to me too so I am here to talk about not-so-glamorous things of van life.
Privacy – what´s that? I have moved from a large 3-bedroom house to this tiny space with my husband and 2 large, hyperactive dogs. Privacy quickly became a luxury and whilst I got used to it, it´s an important consideration especially if you are planning to travel with someone else.
Online shopping – never heard of it! I remember the days I could order whatever I wanted on prime and have it delivered the next day. Yep, none of that is in a van and you need elaborate planning to get something ordered online!
Friendships – you get a chance to meet so many other amazing, like-minded people on the road but the downside is having to constantly say goodbye once you travel to a new place.
Space or the lack of it – we are pretty minimalistic and after selling most of our unnecessary belongings we managed to fit everything ok. Actually, we got rid of a lot more stuff along the way as you realise how little you need to enjoy life. It really isn´t that hard if you are not a hoarder!
Long showers – I don´t remember what it´s like! I am so grateful that we can still have a shower in the van but they are more military-style- in and out in a few minutes.
Dealing with the unexpected – you have to prepare that at some point things will go sideways no matter how well you planned everything. Things breaking in the van, bad weather, not finding a good spot to park, narrow roads and so many other situations can be character-building, to say the least. By the way, everything takes so much longer too so prepare to never be on time!
Laundry days – few and far between! Park4night is a lifesaver when it comes to finding a launder mat nearby.
Small kitchen space – I have become an expert in getting away with making meals with minimal washing but that´s another blog post on its own! Forget batch cooking for the week and most certainly forget to use multiple pans for your fancy dinner party meals.
Remote work – one thing that my husband and I wanted to commit to is to continue to grow our freelance careers. I didn´t want to run out of money a year later and have to start from zero again. Having good internet consistently was the biggest challenge but I think we finally cracked that one with our favourite data provider Tiekom.
Chore days – there is no running from them whether you live in a van or a house! Our chores look a little different though- filling up water, emptying the toilet, topping up LPG gas and groceries trips.
So, there you have it. A little glimpse into the less bright side of van life. But, let me tell you, it’s all worth it and I wouldn´t have it any other way!