Saturday, September 15, 2018

I've Decided Full-Time Van Dwelling Is Not For me

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted, but I've been taking the time to really think about what I want and how I want to live.

When I first heard about van dwelling, it seemed so romantic, so freeing, and it would afford me the chance to see and do things I could never otherwise see or do.

Then I read more. It's a very, very hard way to live. Your van is pretty much a metal tent, and you're pretty much just camping. You get really hot and really cold, both of which I hate. You are at the mercy of venomous snakes, coyotes, wolves, bears and bad people who want to hurt you. You can't eat or cook what you want, or take a daily shower, or even get WiFi a lot of the time.

The more I read, the more I decided that isn't freedom. That's torturing yourself to be part of the "in" crowd that is trying to convince you it's amazing when it isn't.

Now, I'm not speaking against people who have no choice -- who have lost their homes, or simply cannot afford to live any other way. I've been so close to being homeless a couple of times, and I've lived in some much less-than-desirable situations just to have a roof over my head. But I've never slept on the streets or lived in a tent, and a van is really just a metal tent with wheels, isn't it?

I simply cannot live that way 24/7/365. I promised myself long ago I'd never live without heat and air, and still, I've lived in places where I was trapped in one room because that's the one that was cool or warm enough to be in. I can't imagine not having even that small a haven away from the heat and cold.

Then there is the fear of breakdowns. I'm old and I don't want to break down somewhere with no cell signal and no money to get huge repairs done. I'm also afraid of being robbed or attacked. Yes, I could stay in cities mostly, but that doesn't eliminate any of those things.

So I've decided not to be a permanent van dweller. I'm going to get a van and fix it up so I can put it into camping mode so I can take a few trips here and there, but I'm not going to live in it. I do want to get out of here in the summer sometimes, so I may go visit my son in Washington State for awhile when it's hot.

I've always loved doing trash-to-treasure, getting curbside finds and fixing them up to sell or use, so the rest of the time, I'll be doing that with the van, plus of course, regular stuff like grocery shopping, etc. I'm planning also to get back into the gardening community, since I'll have a way to get around to events and meetings.

So that's that. I'll get the van, build it out so that I can easily convert it from a personal vehicle to a camper, and use it accordingly. Yes, I'll still have all those problems when I'm traveling in it, but you can put up with things temporarily that you could never endure forever.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's probably for the best. I agree with all of the above, except that we own a house and I've been here for over 30 years. I'm ready to hit the road, but at my age a VAN is out of the question. Here's hoping I'll be able to obtain a motor home!


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