It has been two years since we bought the empty van that has since become our home.
It is also two years since we left our home in the Fens behind and quit both of our full time jobs in a leap that was bigger than any we had taken before!
A few months back I wrote a post about running our small business from the van and I wanted to follow that up with some reflections on our experience of living in the van full time. I would stress here that this is very much our experience. Just like any lifestyle, it can vary massively depending on individual preference, budget, motivations, previous life experience and so on.
I thought I would start by sharing a list of reasons why we decided to take the leap we did. We wrote this a few months into the van build as a reminder to ourselves during those really challenging days, (and there were many) why we were doing it.
As I read back over this list, it is quite uplifting to recognise a lot of the motivating factors behind making the change are now our reality. We have an even closer connection to nature, have lived in some wonderful places, met lovely people, and have more freedom and flexibility about how we spend our days, which for us was really important. Living in our van also allowed us to lower our outgoings in order to work solely on creating our business which was just not possible for us in a rented home.
Whilst there are many positives, such a change in lifestyle has required a fair amount of patience, hard work and compromise too. The point on the list that really made me stop and ponder was ‘simplicity’. I know exactly what we had envisioned when we wrote this point. We wanted a life with less pressure and more time to enjoy the things we loved which has been achieved. BUT what van life often isn’t is ‘convenient’, which I guess at times can be confused with simplicity. Whilst getting our power from the sun and waking up without an alarm feels simple, it isn’t ever so convenient to not be able to charge your phone and laptop at the same time during the Winter months. It also isn’t that convenient to have to heat your water on the stove to wash up, or take 3 boxes out from under the bed each day to get to your clothes. The list of inconvenient things is long and still requires adjustment and patience a year in and yet life does feel more simple often too.
I recently asked whether anyone had any questions about our van life experience over on Instagram that I had planned to incorporate into this post. We received lots of great ones so I’ve decided to give them a whole post to themselves which you can read here.