Humans have a tendency to pursue the familiar and comfortable. We find our way into a life that provides a seemingly reasonable compromise between happiness and security, dig ourselves into a rut, put down roots, and wait a few decades for death to find us. Some of us tend to move around and do it several times, but the pattern is the same. In doing so, we basically throw our hands in the air and declare “Good enough.” While people have the right to pursue happiness, at some point, they just stop doing so. This is an antipattern that demands fixing.
Why do we move from place to place every few years or decades? Because we get bored with that place. We pick a new location, tell ourselves we’re going to explore it and see what it really has to offer. Ultimately, however, we end up right back in the same rut we just came from, and probably with more debt. The cycle itself prevents us from pursuing happiness, let alone finding it.
Yet our tendency to move does indicate a desire to explore. When people take a vacation from work, the first thing on their minds is usually to get as far away from home as possible. For many of us, if we had a way to explore without the expense of a house or apartment holding us down — and anchoring us in one place — One must question whether this desire could be obtained. In fact could it not be obtained at a substantially lower cost than what we are doing?
Enter van life. Turns out there are millions of people just within the US who live in their vehicles, and many of them spend their free time visiting the great wonders the world has to offer.
Many people are forced into it, so they start out with a cheap van or whatever vehicle they already had at the time. Yet despite the huge paradigm shift, many of them end up happier than they were before. Beyond them, there’s a whole realm of people who did the research and chose this lifestyle on purpose.
Bob Wells, who’s been doing this for 15 years, and who’s helped countless vandwellers – “You don’t like where you are, you turn the key, you drive away. That’s freedom!”
Randy Vining, who’s been doing this for 40 years – “The things you really enjoy are really not that expensive […] I have purchased freedom with the savings in my pail”
Eric Jacobs / Nomadic Fanatic – “I’m completely self-reliant”
Becky – “Happier than I’ve ever been”
Jim – “I could stay out for weeks [without resupplying]”
Jude – “I love it”
Christopher and Melissa – “Security takes away your freedom”
Lou – “I knew I would be a slave to my property and my home […] 95% of the people in this country, you hear ‘boy I wish I would’ve done that’… and then you die. So, do it now.”
Allie – “It’s a much, much more rewarding life”
Lee – “I got nothing holding me in one place […] and mobile sounds like a good idea.”
Jen – “I very much enjoy it”
Jo – “I’m not gonna pay one more time to have this furniture moved. In fact, I think I’m done with this furniture.”