If you type #vanlife in your Instagram feed, it will be immediately flooded with thousands of pictures of breathtaking landscapes, tricked out RVs and happy-go-lucky couples climbing, surfing or soaking up the sun. Trends come and go but if the amount of social media traction #vanlife has been receiving is any indication, than living in a van while traveling coast to coast and pursuing one’s passion—creative or nature-related—is definitely here to stay. We found 4 blogs that explore the #vanlife–its ups and downs–and fuel our wanderlust.
Emily, Sierra, Adam and Colette
Emily and Colette
Proving that van life isn’t just for the child-free, Adam and Emily—a couple with 2 young children—have been living on the road since 2012. Their vehicle of choice is a pimped out 1990 Volkswagen Westfalia T3 that has had its share of engine and motor woes. Emily got pregnant on the road and gave birth to the youngest addition to the family—their daughter Sierra—in Brazil. “Blissfully enjoying life on the slow road, with no end in sight”, they document their journey in a blog that serves “as a modern family portrait, as they shed their robes of comfort to re-examine the American Dream”.
1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia aka Boscha
Emily and Corey—and their mutt Penny Rose— have been traveling in their 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia since 2013. They created the website “Where’s my office now” as a social experiment to see whether adventurous nomadic lifestyle and remote work could coexist. Emily and Corey make a living through freelance web development work. Recently, they embarked on a 2 000 mile journey and completed a web series about modern nomads in collaboration with…
James and Rachel inside their 1976 VW Bus aka Sunshine
James and Rachel from Idle Theory Bus. “We left to escape a modern lifestyle, which seemed, to us, destructive and unfulfilling,” writes the couple on their blog. Financing their journey through various jobs such as “fruit harvests, to milking goats and digging ditches, we’ve pieced together temporary physical labor jobs, traveling with agricultural seasons and seeking above all, balance between the mind, body and spirit.” James and Rachel’s lifestyle is more than a mere adventure, they strongly believe that if mankind shakes its work – and stuff – addiction, major problems of modern life will disappear. Idyllic? Perhaps. Regardless, their journey is one you’ll love to follow. They are currently working on a novel/photobook entitled Orange is optimism, an ode to their 1976 VW Bus nicknamed Sunshine, purchased in 2007.
Johnny and Jess, inside their beloved van Rainbow
Johnny and Jess hail from Australia and have been living a nomadic existence for the last 13 years. When they explore their home country, they travel in their beloved van Rainbow. “It’s the best feeling to wake up in a forest or at the beach, next to the ocean or a stream and listen to the wildlife or take a swim.” They are active members—and own a third of—the vanlife website where fellow #vanlifers can read about product reviews, learn of gatherings and stay connected through the van life diaries, a collection of stories from vagabonds around the world.
Van life, as portrayed through the lenses of social media, appears to be the realm of the twenty-something year old millennial who loves to quote Henry Thoreau. More than a simple fad, it is a reflection of how a significant segment of a generation perceives life, success and the meaning of home.
The desire for a simpler, minimalist and curated experience is a response to spiraling school loans, debt and job insecurity and a rejection of the traditional—and outdated— American dream. Although #vanlife isn’t a viable—or desired—solution for most of us, the #vanlife movement is a vibrant and unique community of like-minded #vanlifers who still believe they can change the world, one mile at a time.
Photos, all courtesy of featured bloggers.