10 reasons why.. vanlife makes you happy.
Everything about being home is easy, a loving dog, an awesome family, great parents. Safe surroundings. Work to choose from, kitespots all around, knowing the best conditions for each spot. University around the corner. A walk in the park.
The fridge with cold drinks, the plugs in the wall where you just charge your phone every second of the day without thinking & running out of power. A gym on the attic of the house, the soccer field around the corner. The hot shower after a cold surf session, not even taking off the wetsuit at the beach, driving home just like that. A kitchen you can stand in. A bed that`s always levelled straight, the washing machine….. Everything you need.. or…?
Those easy life aspects go out of the window. Screw this: I wanna go. It will ask a bit of adjusting in the beginning, but vanlife living brings the best out of you:
1. Expect nothing, so everything feels like a win
The best part of vanlife is that you expect nothing and because of that everything that happens feels like a win. It’s an unknown adventure on the long highway to everywhere, you never know what’s around the corner. The factory, the church, the awesome beach or incredible view. But once it gets there you really appreciate it and see the true beauty of it and that makes it all really special. (also when you finally find a public restroom after 2 weeks of bush pooping). Or that hot shower…
2. You Gain an Incredible Sense Of Freedom
Come and go as you please. No deadlines, no schedules, no pressure – from no one, nobody looking over your shoulder if you do “things” the “right” way: what screams more..? Not being strapped anymore to that storm called “stress” and being able to do whatever you want whenever you want. With nothing but unknow destinations, unknow roads and places, just your little home on four wheels and yourself. Vanlife opens you up to this incredible sense of freedom – you can`t even imagine right now.
It might not be completely like that: buy a van and go, never come back. But it’s definitely worth it. Whether it’s a week trip, sleeping by neighbors on the field, a family holiday in a hired camper or a never ending road trip in your own self converted van. Whatever you trickers: the sense of freedom will have you high on life.
3. You Seize Every Opportunity
Living in a van you will seize every opportunity. Not one day is spend logging around, watching tv all day, chilling on the couch or sleeping till noon. Instead you will be up at dawn, to see whatever sound there is on the other side of the door or how the view looks like out there today with the first sun light. Catching the first waves before the wind kicks in and you`ll rig your kite.
You will meet people travelling the opposite of your “intended plan” and you think yourself… fuck it I come along to that waterfall inland. Or you meet fellow kiters chasing the wind on the other side of the island and you turn around to be there before the next sunset session. You see a sign pointing rock formation and think what the hell, let’s check it out. Or another amazing beach, kitespot with other vanlifers, although you were aiming drive another hour… instead you decide – let`s stay here! You chase the wind, catch the next wave, ride off into the sunset, and itch for adventure, what else is there to do..?
You get the point: These decisions are opportunities, the opportunity of freedom.
Slowly you will start to go with the flow, the days will smoothly flooding in each other and you will live in the moment: taking it day by day and loving every moment of it!
4. You learn Things, A lot Of Things
With an unknow adventure ahead, your own little home on four wheels, it will be not a surprise that you learn a lot of things. For instance the car parts, how to fix the car when you break down. From filling up the oil, chancing tires to the electrical parts. Within this journey you learn to trust yourself when you have to figure it out on your own. To be creative and not give up after one time trying. And when it actually works out it is pretty damn cool!
You got to know yourself, how it is to live on 5 square foot, to travel alone, discover the vanlife-vibe. But you will be alright!
Along the way you learn about the country and the culture. You meet inspiring people, you never forget, you have to go through scary moments and challenges, but that all makes you grow. You learn about the big question: Who Am I ..? .. and once you think you know it all… there is always more.. The best life lessons are usually free of charge.
5. You Stop Taking Things For Granted
Soon the further you get in your vanlife journey, you will stop taking things for granted. First the obvious things like when you have a shower for the first time in days and putting on clean clothes you just washed at the gas station, or the random campground you found. After this there is no way back and slowly, but surely (sometimes even without noticing) you will learn to stop taking the little things for granted.
Like the cool breeze that hits you after cracking the door open on a hot night. The water that is finally boiling after being for nearly 20 minutes on the little portable gas stove. Yes, even when you realize you have enough coins for the toll road or the hot monthly shower.
Simple life pleasures that usually are taken so easy for granted, living the vanlife you value every moment of it.
6. You Experience Things You Never Would Have
When living the vanlife, you spend more time exploring the places you want, smaller, more remote and local, than with travelling. With travelling your always off to a certain location (especially when dragging all boardbags behind), and bouncing from the airport to the city to the beach, to the competition area – mostly not really the remote places or the nicest kite spots – beaches. Now there is the time to slow down, time to figure out what is life like 100 km left and 100 km right, without any pressure. Now I had the time to find my own way, places I got to know down the road, unheard places and I like too explorer. Drive the direction of the wind and waves..
Sleeping right on a remote kitespot, pumping the kite next to your little home on wheels. Rolling from your bed straight into the best view ever. Not knowing when to come back, exploring remote places living by the day.
One night I parked at an amazing free parking spot (apparently) in the dark, not knowing this awesome spot, how beautiful it was, turning out in the perfect sunrise surf… but I did know and realized I would have looked right past it, if it weren’t the home on four wheels who brought me there. From random little spots to bigger cities this was one of a hundred unforgettable moments I would missed out in if I wasn’t in a van – Far away from the civilization, the daily stress and expectations, I was and still am feeling blessed and grateful living the kitevanlife some parts of my life!
7. You Focus On Yourself And Your Own Shit
Might be the best part of all. In daily life it’s easy to caught up in every one else `s live, soap series, drama, goals, problems, dreams…. Opinions, stories about you, you never told. People that think they know you… clearly not. That ain`t you. And you need to realize it, you gotta look out after YOU and only you. It`s your life. Follow your passion!
During vanlife you will learn to let go of things, learn what really matters the most, what is important for you – the “things” you can’t live without and the “things” you can live without & focus on that, that what is important for you. Some things you can`t control – it`s what it is – take it how it comes.
And that, the end of the day is what makes you happy.
8. You Turn A Little Wild.. And Going Wild For A While Isn`t A Bad Thing
For the part I wasn`t that wild child of the class already, vanlife made it even better. Just a little moment right before you start the vanlife, tell your mind & body that things are going to get a little wild.. But who said wild is a bad thing..??
Be prepared your life and hygiene standards will drop immediately. A mirror becomes luxury. You will learn to sleep with SO MUCH sand in your bed it seems natural… changing the sheets… hardly. Brushing your tooths with gum and the old water found under the seat, because of running out of toothpaste. Clothes that you usually washed already twice are now perfectly fine, getting used to the new smell of clean.
You learn to pee outside, yes on places you ones thought they were far too pubic. And number too..?? Get used to the old bush poo – with a view.
You start eating food, normally thrown away, or kept in the fridge. You will get creative cooking and eating. Using little dishes as possible because no dishwasher or unlimited water. But you save money on shampoo. You will sleep in random side off the road places and parking lots (in between the truckers or in front of someone doorstep..), not really caring if its safe to do so.
How does this turn out positive..?? Well all these things are going wild for a little, letting go, caring less, living more is seriously the best. Not knowing peoples opinion, doing your own best, being the best version of yourself. You awake a sense of ridiculousness inside of you, one that got lost along the lines of being that snotty nose child and that working class adult. Doing things you never ever thought about doing. Like the times I randomly showered in a hotel, invited myself for breakfast and chilled at the pool for a few days….. Welcome to your wild side!
9. You Get To Know All Sorts Of People … And Learn A Life Lesson Or 10
These one is the one some are scared of, feeling lonely, not bounding. I can say one thing, pretty quick every time again, your easy bound to meet people that are one of their own.
All different sorts of awesome people: Old, Young, chasing the dream, digital nomads, Surfers chasing waves or the wind, your grandparents who never got the chance to travel when they were younger, holiday enjoyers, the ones that have been everywhere already, Students, professional kitesurfers and all somewhere in between.
All with their own unique story. My advice is, take interest, respect the differences and listen. Listen to their experience, advice and stories. You will learn a thing or… what.. I promise.
10. You Live More With Less
This concept will change your life if you let it. Living more with less. With the time you will become 100% happy with the things you have in your little home. The little basket with folded clothes, the few shirts you own, happy that the iron thing doesn’t work here. Happy when the battery of your phone runs flat and you have to wait for charging t until the leisure battery got charged by the solar panel. Happy with the fact that you don`t have a lot, but you have enough!
As simply as that. Happy vanlife! 😊