So, I’m about two months into van life, with the past two weeks actually being spent on the road, traveling. I realise that as far as van life goes, I’m coming into the game far too late to pioneer the movement, nor am I consciously doing anything to revolutionize; I’m just living in a van, drifting.
When you tell your family and friends that you plan on getting rid of all your stuff, buying a van, and hitting a road in which you’re not too certain where it might lead, they’ll probably think you’re nuts! I’m fortunate enough to have an overwhelming amount of support from my chosen family, but I know that’s not always the case.
When someone in our lives that we care about moves on to see what else is out there, it’s often second nature for our first thoughts to be focused on the fact that this person won’t be in our lives anymore. Strangers are a little more regularly optimistic for you. Strangers view your need for adventure and disregard to traditional structure to be whimsical and inspiring. Me living my life comes at no loss to them, so they can live vicariously through my dirth of responsibility.
Regardless if you’re pro, or against van lifestyle, the questions most everyone shares in common is, “But why, though?”
“What about all of your stuff?”
“What could possibly make you want to pick up and leave everything, and everyone you know, to live in a van?!?”
For me, my first bite from the travel bug came 7 years ago. I spend 4 months on the road with my then-girlfriend. We were both in our mid 20’s, living in the town we grew up in, so we wanted to see what the rest of the country had to offer. basically, we were on the run from small town life.
Duluth, MN, my home town, is one of the biggest little towns you’ll ever run across. residing on the north shore of lake Superior, it’s a city filled with beautiful parks, awesome local live music, and 85,000 people connected by 3 degrees of separation or less! sometimes as your personal evolution progresses, the folks around you struggle to see anything but the “you” they knew before.
Flashing forward, the ex and I came back to duluth, broke-up over the next couple months. I spent the next 7 years thinking about taking a trip like that again, only this time, I’d take it alone. To be able to drift with the wind, stay anywhere for as little or as long as I wanted, picking stones and bird watching to my hearts content sounded like a dream. for the next 7 years, all it ever was, was just a dream.
From family life, to my career, to romantic and plotonic relationships, I’ve spent my entire adult life chasing someone else’s idea of who I should be. Through all but fully committing to a life i hadn’t designed for myself, I realized I didn’t have to “grow-up” and be someone else’s something, I was finally happy in the moment, just where I was standing. With 14+ years experience on all rungs of the service/hospitality industry, I could literally find a job anywhere I wanted to go, so why not?
Instead of stressing about what I would do after bartending, I started thinking about what I would do if I didn’t need the money; an author. I should rephrase that, I started thinking about what I loved, instead how much money i can make doing it, and that’s writing!
Now, both of my dreams are in my conciousness again and I have no reason not to chase them! My novel, “Pete and Gwendoline Grew Up”, is a novel about the perception of success and the reality of what it means to grow up. I’ve started and stopped this premise several times over the years, but it didn’t all come together until I was accused of having Peter Pan Syndrome, only I didn’t take offence to it, I embraced it! (Pete & Gwendoline/ Peter and Wendy??)
So here I am, with just my van Tinkerbell and a pocket full of happy thoughts; hanging out at the second star, on our way to neverland! Idealy, I hope to take the J.K Rowling route and make millions off of my imagination. In the mean time, I’ll take just getting something on the shelf. I’d also like for writing to be a full time job, so the more you share and subscribe, the less I have to work!
I hope to see you on my next adventure!
Leader of the lost boys.