I decided to put separate pages for different kinds of alternative living because they are all so different and I have a different understanding, statement, and feelings about each lifestyle. They all deserve their own special place, and they have all contributed to who I am in such unique ways!
Here is to vanlife. Quite the popular topic in the last few years. A lifestyle that seems to glorify living in a van due to a sense of freedom that many out there claim to gain. It depends on how you live vanlife and also, things add up financially way more than ya think!
I converted a van with professional help from a van conversion company located in San Jose, CA, I was working a couple of jobs as a school counselor as well as supervising interns at a homeless shelter. ALL while living in my van.
I designed my build very selfishly… and well, because it is a tiny space (more on this in the blogs) I lived all around the Bay Area of CA in my converted Ford 2018 Transit High Top. It was not very typical of most vanlifers you see online promoting their vanlife story. I was moving around A LOT, however always based in the Bay, Area. I learned so much about what is it to live in a van and all the underground things to know. It is 2 years later, and I am still not used to feeling like there are no wheels underneath me and I am still integrating that time every day and the sleep deprivation (she really is my baby) and understanding that way of life more and more.
I love my van. I named her first Lily. And, then she was a he and he was Sonny and I go between those two names and ¨My True North¨ because she is My True North. She was my statement to myself that I would keep following my dreams… but really, did I need to live in a van to do that? Probably not. But, the choice deepened into an existential whirlpool whether or not I liked it. And, most of the time, I had to try to like it, sometimes fight to like it. I entered the whirlpool, and I´m still down in there examining big questions of life and mostly… homelessness and how I can become more resilient for moving back into my van again one day, or at least part-time vanlife. I miss it only because I hit the ground (driving) hard that year of full-time vanlife and I know how to sustain the lifestyle now and I also know better how I want to live it more nomadically than my Bay Area/Shasta van roots.
I hope to share the old and the new here about this fascinating adventure of my van who still give me butterflies every time I look at her. You most likely will not see me posting a van tour video… sorry! She is my home, and that just seems weird to me (still) both that she is my home and showing publicly my home is a weird thing. I would like to share about gear, adventures, people, and insights…. Yeahhhh and maybe I will cave and do the van tour. Things get pretty philosophical, sometimes political but rarely, and most of the time supermundane.
Keeping it real is magic.
Rachel Nova, Vanlifer