This is an interesting question because I think the actual transition was easy, however the decision to fully commit and the lead up to the transition was difficult. When I first started entertaining the idea of abandoning everything I had built in my life and move into a van it was scary. Change can be scary and I think that modern humans, as a product of society and its comforts, are innately averse to change. Once I had sold my company and started rolling the ball of selling everything else it was scary but there was a point of no return where the fear turned into excitement. With each sale of something I owned I felt a wave of relief wash over me as if a layer that had been weighing me down had been lifted.
Building the actual van was a laborious and stressful endeavor. Building a van is not like building a house. Everything must be precise and there are all kinds of angles where everything needs to be custom made. Once everything was sold and the van was built it was time to hit the road.
I think being passionate about minimalism and nature provided me with a smooth transition into actually living the vanlife. Sure there were growing pains after moving into the van. Logistical problems, learning new things, inconveniences and bad luck are always things you have to deal with when starting something new. Simple things like where to park at night or where to shower; Nightmares like running out of gas or malfunctioning auto parts; Inconveniences like broken cabinets or getting mail on time. You can look at these things and get upset or get stressed but in the end these are the things that you don’t see in the pictures on instagram. The way you learn to deal with these annoyances are how you grow and become a better person. You learn to appreciate what you have and don’t sweat the small stuff. I realized that dealing with these things are the price you pay for freedom. That’s what vanlife is to me. It’s sacrificing the comforts that most people have come to take for granted in exchange for freedom.
I don’t shower every day, I don’t have a nice 1,200 sf condo full of comfy furniture, I don’t eat at restaurants, I don’t have a daily routine, I don’t have 300 channels of cable, I don’t have UberEats bringing me my dinner. What I do have is freedom to go where I want, when I want. I can do pretty much whatever I want and I don’t have to work if I don’t want to for most of the year. To me, this exchange of comfort for freedom is acceptable and downright necessary. In the end, you need to ask yourself if the comforts of society and the cost associated with living in that bubble is worth all the headaches, hard work, discipline and frugalily sacrifices associated with vanlife. Comfort for freedom is a trade that you need to be open to making and (will probably be the hardest part) if you want to transition into vanlife.
If you have any more questions related to this post don’t hesitate to reach out.