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I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

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I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

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I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

A simple instagram search of #VanLife will leave you with a serious case of wanderlust as you are taken on a journey of renovated vans of all types parked in front of drool-worthy backdrops of beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests.

There are growing numbers of people choosing travel and adventure over routine as they embark on the Van Life journey. And thus, “Van Life” is more of a movement than just a trending hashtag.

Simply put, Van Life is about exploring an alternative way of living. This lifestyle of literally living out of a van embodies a shift in the way people think and live. Those who join the movement see it more as a culture than a trend.

We are a generation of young adults who are looking for a way to get out of 9-5 jobs and enjoy the freedom of living out of a van. Thousands of people in this demographic are drawn to this nomadic hippie lifestyle where they can live cheaply while being able to focus on what they truly love – travel, adventure, and exploration.

What Sort of Vans Are We Talking?

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

Van Lifers make their home on four wheels from of all types of vehicles, from DIY refurbished vintage VW Kombis to good old American school buses that have been beautifully remodeled into luxe homes on wheels.

But don’t get too sucked into the type of van. The beauty of Van Life is more about the journey and the lifestyle rather than the van itself. It’s the idea of living simply and focusing on life’s experiences.

Who is Chasing After This Van Life?

It’s not just millennials ditching the concept of working day-in and day-out in an office job that doesn’t satisfy them and opting to live a life of adventure on the road. Retirees have been embracing campervan life for many years.

It’s not uncommon to see young parents embarking on van journeys with their children, or even middle-aged adults looking to get out of the cookie cutter mold. That’s the beauty of the movement – there is no specific age group or demographic.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

It is a lifestyle that appeals to many people who want to live a more simplistic life, a life where they can be closer to nature and better able to explore and discover the world.

Where Are These Van Lifers Going?

The Van Life movement has literally crept into every corner of the world. You will typically see higher concentrations of people living the Van Life in beautiful and remote places with plenty of nature, scenic beaches, and forests.

It’s not so easy to find spots to park and live out of a van in a city! Places like Western Australia, New Zealand and America’s Midwest are a playground for the Van Life demographic.

A First-Hand Account of a Van Life Newbie

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

I’ll admit, I’ve been one of those people who have found myself endlessly scrolling through the thousands of Van Life photos on Instagram, dreaming about embarking on my own van adventure.

But did I really have what it took to live out of a van? Or did I just like the idea of the freedom that came along with it? There was only one way to find out, so recently I decided to test out this Van Life movement first hand.

The Location: New Zealand, North Island

The Van: 2 Berth Nissan Campervan )

Recommended Read:9 Lust-Worthy Off the Grid Airbnb Rentals For the Perfect Wellness Getaway

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

Rather than investing in my own van, I found my van, Petal, on Airbnb. She came with everything I thought I could possibly need for a one-week adventure through New Zealand . . . including heaps of space for my paddleboard under the bed. As I arrived, my only real concern was where I would park the van to sleep.

The first night I found a great little park in a beach town just north of Auckland where I could back my van up practically to the beach. There was a bathroom with a cold shower and toilet – I was set! I was feeling very proud of my ability to find this spot and set myself up for my first sunset dinner in the van.

I had no WiFi, and was loving the feeling of being completely disconnected and self-sufficient . . . until it got dark. Once the sun disappeared those fears of being in a carpark all alone in this van with all my belongings began to sink in.

I had two other Van Lifers staying just a few parking spots away, but I will admit that first night was a bit tougher than I had imagined. Luckily, waking up to the sun rising over the ocean the next morning made all those fears disappear.

After an amazing breakfast sitting in bed and watching the sun rise and the beach become alive with people, I decided to drive north and see where I ended up. With no map and no plan I spent the day following the coastline and discovering dozens of beautiful beaches and scenic locations to hike and picnic.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

I discovered that sharp turns and vans don’t go well together – I tipped the contents of the van’s kitchen all across the back of the van with silverware, pots, and storage containers flying in every direction.

That night I opted to park in a campsite right on the beach. After paying my $13 entrance fee I pulled into a campervan haven filled with vans of all shapes and sizes. I slept better knowing I was in a gated campsite with dozens of other vans all around.

Embarking on this adventure solo meant that I wasn’t too adventurous when it came to cooking. My meals were basic: salads, sandwiches, and cereal for most of the week. Washing the dishes was hard enough using my one fork, knife, and bowl so I didn’t want to complicate the process with more cooking utensils.

The rest of the week unfolded in the same manner – waking up at sunrise, eating every meal overlooking the ocean, getting lost as I traveled to off-the-beaten-path beaches and forests, exploring the landscape, doing lots of journaling, and sleeping in sync with the sun.

The week tested my ability to be self-reliant, disconnect from my phone, and live without the comforts that I had grown used to at home.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

By living out of a van you learn to live with discomfort – something you may not see in the beautiful Van Life Instagram photos. The reality is it’s hard to wash your dishes in a van, things move and shift while driving, you get lonely , the van can get extremely hot , and it can be scary sleeping alone on the side of the road.

However, connecting with nature, enjoying the simple pleasures in life, and the freedom to focus your life on the things that are most important to you make it 100% worth it.

The biggest thing I learned over my week of living the Van Life was how little I need to be truly happy. I didn’t need a house, WiFi, a big closet filled with clothes, or any other materialist belongings. I had all that I needed – the freedom to wake up whenever and wherever I wanted, the ability to reconnect with nature and to be completely self-reliant.

As a 31-year-old homeowner, I would have never imagined myself aspiring to live out of a van. But, through my one-week Van Life experience, I have decided to embrace minimalism to its fullest and embark on a journey to reassess and embrace the things that are truly important for me to live a happy, balanced, and free life.

0------13608---------------May 12, 2018

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

This article has been read 10K+ times. Bada bing!

If you have a long road trip coming up, these poses are perfect to give you a much-needed boost of energy and refresh your body. No mat required!

Jessie Benson is the founder and creator of FloYo®. Jessie combines her passion for yoga with her love of the outdoors, experience competing in triathlons and intensity of teaching spin classes to create a challenging core workout on a standup paddleboard with her FloYo fitness classes. Jessie is a sponsored SUP racer with Yolo Board and a master trainer for the Academy of Surfing Instructors and leads FloYo Teacher Trainings around the globe.

Travel is a transformational, but sometimes stressful, activity. Try these tips for traveling yogis to maintain your yogic lifestyle on the road.

We Review the Stingray Cork Yoga Mat From 2nd Wind

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

7 Quick Bodyweight Workout Moves You Can Practice Anywhere, Anytime

Okay Buddha, Let’s Talk About the Second Noble Truth and the Causes of Suffering

Here’s Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Menstrual Cups

Dhyana Explained: The Seventh Limb of the Yoga Sutras and the Final Step Toward Meditation

5 Resistance Band Workouts for Booty and Core You Can Do Anywhere

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

Practice with top instructors in the

Download our FREE YA Classes App

JOIN US ON THE GRAM LET’S HANG

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I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

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I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

Our members have planted 35,426 trees!

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Our members have planted 35,426 trees!

Explore our premium on-demand yoga + fitness classes

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

A simple instagram search of #VanLife will leave you with a serious case of wanderlust as you are taken on a journey of renovated vans of all types parked in front of drool-worthy backdrops of beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests.

There are growing numbers of people choosing travel and adventure over routine as they embark on the Van Life journey. And thus, “Van Life” is more of a movement than just a trending hashtag.

Simply put, Van Life is about exploring an alternative way of living. This lifestyle of literally living out of a van embodies a shift in the way people think and live. Those who join the movement see it more as a culture than a trend.

We are a generation of young adults who are looking for a way to get out of 9-5 jobs and enjoy the freedom of living out of a van. Thousands of people in this demographic are drawn to this nomadic hippie lifestyle where they can live cheaply while being able to focus on what they truly love – travel, adventure, and exploration.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

What Sort of Vans Are We Talking?

Van Lifers make their home on four wheels from of all types of vehicles, from DIY refurbished vintage VW Kombis to good old American school buses that have been beautifully remodeled into luxe homes on wheels.

But don’t get too sucked into the type of van. The beauty of Van Life is more about the journey and the lifestyle rather than the van itself. It’s the idea of living simply and focusing on life’s experiences.

Who is Chasing After This Van Life?

It’s not just millennials ditching the concept of working day-in and day-out in an office job that doesn’t satisfy them and opting to live a life of adventure on the road. Retirees have been embracing campervan life for many years.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

It’s not uncommon to see young parents embarking on van journeys with their children, or even middle-aged adults looking to get out of the cookie cutter mold. That’s the beauty of the movement – there is no specific age group or demographic.

It is a lifestyle that appeals to many people who want to live a more simplistic life, a life where they can be closer to nature and better able to explore and discover the world.

Where Are These Van Lifers Going?

The Van Life movement has literally crept into every corner of the world. You will typically see higher concentrations of people living the Van Life in beautiful and remote places with plenty of nature, scenic beaches, and forests.

It’s not so easy to find spots to park and live out of a van in a city! Places like Western Australia, New Zealand and America’s Midwest are a playground for the Van Life demographic.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

A First-Hand Account of a Van Life Newbie

I’ll admit, I’ve been one of those people who have found myself endlessly scrolling through the thousands of Van Life photos on Instagram, dreaming about embarking on my own van adventure.

But did I really have what it took to live out of a van? Or did I just like the idea of the freedom that came along with it? There was only one way to find out, so recently I decided to test out this Van Life movement first hand.

The Location: New Zealand, North Island

The Van: 2 Berth Nissan Campervan )

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

Recommended Read:9 Lust-Worthy Off the Grid Airbnb Rentals For the Perfect Wellness Getaway

Rather than investing in my own van, I found my van, Petal, on Airbnb. She came with everything I thought I could possibly need for a one-week adventure through New Zealand . . . including heaps of space for my paddleboard under the bed. As I arrived, my only real concern was where I would park the van to sleep.

The first night I found a great little park in a beach town just north of Auckland where I could back my van up practically to the beach. There was a bathroom with a cold shower and toilet – I was set! I was feeling very proud of my ability to find this spot and set myself up for my first sunset dinner in the van.

I had no WiFi, and was loving the feeling of being completely disconnected and self-sufficient . . . until it got dark. Once the sun disappeared those fears of being in a carpark all alone in this van with all my belongings began to sink in.

I had two other Van Lifers staying just a few parking spots away, but I will admit that first night was a bit tougher than I had imagined. Luckily, waking up to the sun rising over the ocean the next morning made all those fears disappear.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

After an amazing breakfast sitting in bed and watching the sun rise and the beach become alive with people, I decided to drive north and see where I ended up. With no map and no plan I spent the day following the coastline and discovering dozens of beautiful beaches and scenic locations to hike and picnic.

I discovered that sharp turns and vans don’t go well together – I tipped the contents of the van’s kitchen all across the back of the van with silverware, pots, and storage containers flying in every direction.

That night I opted to park in a campsite right on the beach. After paying my $13 entrance fee I pulled into a campervan haven filled with vans of all shapes and sizes. I slept better knowing I was in a gated campsite with dozens of other vans all around.

Embarking on this adventure solo meant that I wasn’t too adventurous when it came to cooking. My meals were basic: salads, sandwiches, and cereal for most of the week. Washing the dishes was hard enough using my one fork, knife, and bowl so I didn’t want to complicate the process with more cooking utensils.

The rest of the week unfolded in the same manner – waking up at sunrise, eating every meal overlooking the ocean, getting lost as I traveled to off-the-beaten-path beaches and forests, exploring the landscape, doing lots of journaling, and sleeping in sync with the sun.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

The week tested my ability to be self-reliant, disconnect from my phone, and live without the comforts that I had grown used to at home.

By living out of a van you learn to live with discomfort – something you may not see in the beautiful Van Life Instagram photos. The reality is it’s hard to wash your dishes in a van, things move and shift while driving, you get lonely , the van can get extremely hot , and it can be scary sleeping alone on the side of the road.

However, connecting with nature, enjoying the simple pleasures in life, and the freedom to focus your life on the things that are most important to you make it 100% worth it.

The biggest thing I learned over my week of living the Van Life was how little I need to be truly happy. I didn’t need a house, WiFi, a big closet filled with clothes, or any other materialist belongings. I had all that I needed – the freedom to wake up whenever and wherever I wanted, the ability to reconnect with nature and to be completely self-reliant.

As a 31-year-old homeowner, I would have never imagined myself aspiring to live out of a van. But, through my one-week Van Life experience, I have decided to embrace minimalism to its fullest and embark on a journey to reassess and embrace the things that are truly important for me to live a happy, balanced, and free life.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

0------13608---------------May 12, 2018

This article has been read 10K+ times. Bada bing!

If you have a long road trip coming up, these poses are perfect to give you a much-needed boost of energy and refresh your body. No mat required!

Jessie Benson is the founder and creator of FloYo®. Jessie combines her passion for yoga with her love of the outdoors, experience competing in triathlons and intensity of teaching spin classes to create a challenging core workout on a standup paddleboard with her FloYo fitness classes. Jessie is a sponsored SUP racer with Yolo Board and a master trainer for the Academy of Surfing Instructors and leads FloYo Teacher Trainings around the globe.

Travel is a transformational, but sometimes stressful, activity. Try these tips for traveling yogis to maintain your yogic lifestyle on the road.

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

We Review the Stingray Cork Yoga Mat From 2nd Wind

7 Quick Bodyweight Workout Moves You Can Practice Anywhere, Anytime

Okay Buddha, Let’s Talk About the Second Noble Truth and the Causes of Suffering

Here’s Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Menstrual Cups

Dhyana Explained: The Seventh Limb of the Yoga Sutras and the Final Step Toward Meditation

I Tried Living Out Of a Van For a Week – Here’s What I Learned

5 Resistance Band Workouts for Booty and Core You Can Do Anywhere

Practice with top instructors in the

Download our FREE YA Classes App

JOIN US ON THE GRAM LET’S HANG

---------------------------------------------------------------

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