Ever considered living in a van? Here are 30 reasons why you should. We're Ilia and Azra, and in this blog we discuss the many benefits of mobility, health, environment, social, minimalism, finanace, and content (which are the categories we ended up with), through the prism of vanlife. Or if you want, check out this video:
In the fast-paced world we live in, it's easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of what truly makes us happy. For us, our lifestyle became very ad hoc, as we spent most of our time on mountain tours, traveling with bands and choirs, and being away from home for six to eight months a year. It got us thinking: is it really cost-efficient to have a house or an apartment if we're hardly ever there? That's when we stumbled upon van life and started researching it. The more we learned about it, the more we fell in love with the concept. However, despite all the amazing aspects, it would be the biggest change and investment of our life, so it's important to consider all the factors before making the switch. That's why we've compiled this list which we'll share with you below. But before we dive in, I want to give a huge shoutout to Chris and Aubry aka The Matneys for letting us use their footage since we don't have any van videos of our own just yet. Thank you, Chris and Aubry! These reasons are divided into seven main categories, although they're not strictly defined and often blend into each other.
Mobility is not just about moving around; it's about being able to take your home with you wherever you go, and that opens up a world of possibilities. Here are just a few of the reasons why mobility is such an important aspect of van life:
1. Travel - With a van, you can travel and discover all kinds of cool destinations, go on adventures, see new things, and learn new things. The world is your oyster!
2. Nature - Being away from the cities and spending more time in nature is well known to be good for your health, both physically and mentally. Plus, it's a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
3. Climate chasing - With a van, you can easily move from one climate to another, depending on your preferences. You can spend your winters in the south where it's warm and your summers in the north where it's cooler.
4. Emergency relocation - In the case of a natural or man-made catastrophe, having a van allows you to quickly and easily pack up and leave, taking all of your belongings with you, including the people you love. It's a form of insurance that gives you peace of mind.
One of the most significant benefits is improved health, both physical and mental. Let's explore the various health benefits of living in a van and why it can lead to a more wholesome life.
5. Connection with nature - one of the primary aspects of being healthy is being more connected with nature. When you live in a van, you have the opportunity to be surrounded by nature constantly. You can park your van near a forest, a beach, or a mountain range and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. This connection with nature affects your biophysical patterns, such as your sleep cycle. When you wake up and go to sleep in sync with the sun's schedule, you get better quality rest, which makes you more efficient during the day and happier overall.
6. Better Food - When you travel, you have access to better, organic food. You can choose to eat the food that you want, and you know where it comes from. The food that is grown outside of the city is often better quality and healthier. You can also choose to cook your meals, which can lead to a healthier lifestyle overall.
7. Less Internet - Living in a van means you have less access to the internet. This is a good thing because it's better for your health. There are fewer waves floating around the air, which can be harmful to your health. You also have more time to spend communicating with real people, being outside, and taking walks. It's also better financially because you don't have to pay for all that mobile networks, Wi-Fi, and other forms of connection.
8. Learning Construction Skills - Building your own van can be a challenging but rewarding experience. When you build your own van, you learn all kinds of home maintenance skills, which can help you in the long run. If you don't have a lot of contact with construction and handyman things in your life, this can be a perfect opportunity to learn something new.
9. Freelance Jobs - Living in a van requires freelance jobs. These jobs are essential because you're not going to be in the same place every day. Freelance jobs give you more free time, less stress, and allow you to escape the daily routine of going to work and doing the same things over and over again. You can work flexible hours, which can help you have more time to explore the outdoors and stay healthy.
Now let's focus on the environmental benefits of living in a van.
10. Consciousness - One of the main environmental benefits of van life is that it makes you more conscious of your consumption and waste. Living in a van means you don't always have access to clean water, electricity, or gas, which forces you to think twice before using any of your devices or turning on the water. This mindfulness is a valuable skill to have in a world that's slowly dying, where sustainability and consciousness are becoming increasingly important.\
11. Sustainability - living in a van means you're using less water, power, and space than you would in a traditional home. We believe this can actually compensate for the increased fuel consumption from traveling, resulting in a more sustainable lifestyle overall. While you might be spending more on fuel, you're also living much more sustainably, which balances things out.
12. Carbon footprint - Another advantage of van life is that you're not driving every day throughout cities, reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, many families have two cars, whereas van life often involves only one vehicle. This further reduces emissions and pollution.
Let's discuss the various social benefits.
13. Learning - van life is an excellent opportunity to learn new things. Living on the road and constantly being on the move means that every day brings new experiences, challenges, and learning opportunities. Whether it is learning how to fix a mechanical issue on your van or learning about the history of a new city you are visiting, living in a van exposes you to new things and broadens your horizons.
14. Proximity - living in a van often involves close proximity with your travel companion or companions. This close proximity can be challenging at times, but it also brings people together. Spending all your time with someone teaches you how to spend time together better and build stronger relationships. Living in a van allows you to learn more about yourself and others in ways that traditional living arrangements might not provide.
15. Inspire Health - another social benefit of van life is the opportunity to inspire others to lead a healthier lifestyle. As social media becomes increasingly popular, many van lifers use their platform to share their healthy habits and encourage others to do the same. This advocacy can motivate people to make small changes in their lives, leading to a healthier and happier life.
16. Inspire sustainability - living in a van makes you more aware of your consumption and waste as you do not always have access to clean water or electricity. This mindset can encourage others to make small changes in their daily lives to reduce their environmental impact.
17. Education - living in a van can be an opportunity to educate people about alternative lifestyles. Many people are unaware of the various alternative living arrangements such as tiny houses or earth ships. Van life can inspire young people to explore new career paths, discover themselves, and lead a different lifestyle.
18. Entertainment - many van lifers document their travels and share them on social media, providing a glimpse into their adventures. This content can be enjoyable and inspiring for people who may not be able to live the van life themselves.
When you live in a van, you don't have the luxury of having a lot of space, so you have to be mindful of everything you bring with you. This mindset can help you simplify your life and let go of all the things that are not necessary. You're trading all the things that are not needed, which are causing you extra stress and working time, in exchange for the happiness you get from not having all that baggage.
19. Using less water - being more mindful of how much water you use for showering, cooking, and washing dishes. You start to appreciate the value of conservation, and you learn to use only what you need. You become creative in finding ways to use less water, such as taking quick showers or reusing gray water for other purposes.
20. Using less power - similarly, you become more conscious of how much power you're using in your van, and you start to find ways to conserve energy. How long you're using your computer, and whether it's necessary to use your gadgets for that long. You start to explore alternative energy sources such as solar panels or generators, and you learn to prioritize which appliances are most important to you.
21. Using less space - you become more aware of all the space you waste by living in a house, having a bathroom that is empty for 95% of the day, or having a kitchen that is empty 70% of the day. You start to understand what's essential, what's necessary, and how much of your life and your time is required to be maintaining all that. You learn to live with less and appreciate the value of every square meter.
22. Spend less - when you live in a house, you have to work more to afford all the luxuries that come with it. But when you live in a van, you don't need a lot of money to sustain yourself, and you have more free time to do things you love, like spending time with your family, traveling, learning new things, and, of course, eating.
Let's explore the financial and personal benefits of creating content due to vanlife.
23. Economic lifestyle - in the West, life can be pretty expensive, and it can be challenging to save money. However, converting a van can be a more cost-effective solution, as one year of living expenses could be equivalent to the cost of converting a van. Moreover, living in a van means you don't have to pay rent or utility bills, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, vanlife offers the opportunity to travel on a budget, as you don't have to spend money on accommodation, and you can cook your meals instead of eating out.
24. Ownership - owning a van means you have something that is entirely yours, and you can customize it to your liking. It's a feeling of independence and self-sufficiency that many people find fulfilling. Additionally, vanlife offers a chance to connect with nature and explore new places. Living in a van allows you to experience the beauty of the outdoors and appreciate the simple things in life.
25. Business opportunities - van conversions are becoming increasingly popular. This trend presents an opportunity for vanlifers to start their own van conversion business, which can be a lucrative venture. Furthermore, for freelancers like photographers and videographers, vanlife offers the chance to expand their business by being available to travel anywhere at any time without extra travel or accommodation costs.
Living in a van provides a unique opportunity to create and share content with others. Whether it’s through photography, videography, blogging, or social media, creating content while living in a van can be a rewarding experience.
28. Creative outlet - living in a van can be an incredibly liberating experience, but it can also be isolating at times. Creating content gives van lifers an outlet to express themselves and share their experiences with others. Whether it’s through photography, writing, or videography, creating content allows van lifers to connect with others and share their unique perspectives.
27. Van life has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with that popularity comes new business opportunities. As the demand for van conversions and other van-related products and services grows, van lifers who create content can position themselves as experts in the field. This can lead to new business opportunities, including partnerships with companies and sponsorships.
Living in a van can offer many benefits such as mobility, improved health, environmental consciousness, and social opportunities. Being able to travel, live in nature, and eat better food are just a few of the health benefits that come with van life. It may also make you more conscious of your consumption and waste, leading to a more sustainable lifestyle. However, access to the internet can be limited and van life requires freelance jobs which may not suit everyone. Overall, living in a van is a case-by-case decision that depends on the individual's lifestyle, preferences, and circumstances.
If you're feeling inspired by the many benefits of van life, why not take the first step towards exploring this lifestyle? Start by researching and planning, and consider renting or buying a van to get started. Follow our blog and social media channels for more tips and inspiration on how to live a fulfilling and sustainable life on the road. And remember, living in a van is not for everyone, but it's worth considering if you're looking for more freedom, adventure, and connection with nature. So, go out there and explore!
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