Vans: we see them everywhere on social media lately. People are taking old vans and converting them into stunning mobile homes, which they use to drive off into the sunset. The trend mainly started in 2020, when social distancing became a rule and people started feeling cramped by their limited living quarters.
With that in mind, even as things are slowly going back to normal, the trend is nowhere near backing down. Americans are still buying and converting vans more than ever. What made them leave the comfort of an actual home, only to live in a van much smaller than the average house? Well, here are a couple of reasons for that.
1. It Saves Money
Sure, living in a van might still require you to pay a couple of taxes, but not the kind of property taxes that you will have to pay for your home.
Compared to the average home, the taxes are quite low. Plus, mortgages are higher than ever, and rent is also not so cheap – especially when you have other expenses to deal with.
Vans, in comparison, are much cheaper. Sure, you have to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 to fully renovate a van, whereas the cost of renting a small apartment is around $1,300 per month. The difference, however, is that the big investment in the van is only made once. When you pay rent, you’ll need to do it every month.
2. It Offers More Freedom
Most people choose the van life simply because of the freedom that it provides. A house keeps you rooted in the same spot. A van, on the other hand, allows you to go places. If you want to sleep with a view of the Grand Canyon or next to a beach in Monterey, you have the liberty to do so. Many people actually find it very liberating.
Many people in California end up selling their homes to commit fully to the van life. However, many Monterey car accident lawyers recommend that you still keep some living quarters available. You will be on the road more than usual, which puts you at a much higher risk of a car accident.
3. It Helps Personal Growth
There are some people that would have no qualms about spending the rest of their lives in a camper van. However, for the majority, it is a 1-2-year commitment where they can focus on their personal growth.
While living the van life, you learn how to keep yourself content with very little. You get a crash course in mechanics, outdoor cooking, and many more. Plus, as you are traveling with a camper van, you will come across multiple cultural differences. By seeing the world, you are going to help yourself grow.
4. It’s a Challenge
Van life is far from being a blissful experience – not unless you live in a fancy bus-sized van with all the luxury accommodations. The average van has a bed, a table, and may or may not have a makeshift bathroom. You can’t just park anywhere either, which is why you might find the whole trip rather challenging. Sometimes, even going to the toilet can be troublesome, as you’ll likely have to use public restrooms.
However, this is exactly why so many people go for the van life: they want the challenge. They want to prove to themselves that they can do it – that they don’t need all those fancy pieces of equipment you have in your day-to-day home. For them, van life is as much an adventure as rock climbing, and each day brings them more confidence in their own abilities.
5. It Allows Flexible Working Conditions
As someone working remotely, you spend your working days in your home office, your garden, a café, etc. If you are part of a remote-based team, you’ll rarely even have to show up. However, for some people, this is not enough. By never changing their scenery, they fall into a routine that feels dull, not allowing them to be productive.
Van life allows you to choose where you want to work. If you want to work in a forest clearing, surrounded by chirping birds, you may do that. Or perhaps you can pick up some temporary jobs along the way. Today, you may be working at a small town café and tomorrow you may be picking fruit in the next city. The world is yours.
The Bottom Line
Van life can be a challenge, but it can also be an exciting adventure. Getting the van in tiptop shape might need an initial investment, but once you get it going, you can start living your American dream – now on wheels.
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