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Alternative Life - Van the Man

Feel like you just need a change but don't know what it is? This series focuses on different ways of life that are definitely outside the box or maybe controversial. But if you need a change of pace maybe you'll find what you're looking for here. For today's series we'll look at the super downsizing nature of "Van Life."

What is van life? If you don't know yet, van life is when people downsize enough that they could literally live out of their van. If you remember Saturday Night Live, I promise it's much more sophisticated than it sounds and doesn't require being down and out. Some people actually choose this now. But what does it look like?

You have a lot less stuff---like, a LOT less.

When we say downsize, take a look at the space around you now. imagine that space shrinks to a 6x10 space and then imagine how much of your stuff you can fit into that space. If you're doing this exercise now, you're probably realizing that everything you use most certainly cannot fit in that space right now. So considering how little space you have, what could you do to make it livable? What are your most basic needs? Everyone is different, but most likely your list will consist of: clothing; a way to make food; sleeping space; warmth; a way to cool off; mini-fridge; a place to put your van. Extras? Internet; small generator; a place to keep your money safe--like a safe.

Van life looks different for everyone. Some people might build a kitchen and bedding area in their van, almost entirely renovating the whole vehicle to mimic a regular living space. That's money right there. Some people forgo those major costs and simply adapt to the van with the use of camping gear.

Where do people go in their vans?

Good question. What does van life actually consist of. Well, if you're just on a roadtrip and taking time off, it can look like staying at different campsites. If you're literally going to live this way, then you also have to consider if you are able to do remote employment and model your van life around that. Maybe your hotspot can manage helping you work remotely, or maybe you can find a shared workspace in the closest metropolitan area. The rest of your time not working might be spent doing what you'd normally do at home, just less space. Need to exercise? Get a gym membership (which will also take care of the showering part). Need to do laundry? Find a laundry mat or hand wash all of your clothes and dry them on a clothes line. Need to make dinner? Pop up your cooking gear at your campsite or stopping area and get it going!

Van life is not easy. You have to be okay being a minimalist, doing a lot of things by hand, having less technology, less space, and being creative. But maybe all of that sounds fantastic to you! If so, check out these sources to get started:

And if you're looking for a fancy upgrade:

Tell us what you think! Feel like van life is too crazy for you? Or right up your alley?


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