By: Emily King, WheresMyOfficeNow.com
Today marks my 572nd day living in a van with my partner and dog. In January 2013, we left New England to run our website development company out of our 1987 VW Vanagon. Our life over the past year and a half has consisted of 80 square feet of living space, 30,000+ miles, 32 states, and 1,433 hours of logged website development work. You may ask, why would anyone choose to trade the comfort of a house for the unknown of the open road? Here are what I believe to be the top 6 reasons to live in a van.
The cost of living in a van is dependent on variables such as the type and condition of the van, your mechanical expertise, van maintenance, fuel prices, how far and often you drive, and additional expenses like food and personal expenses. However, living in a van means living without paying rent or a mortgage. In many states, there’s free public land to camp on. Many people choose to live in a van to simply get ahead in their finances.
According to a study by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, the number of people telecommuting to work has increased 80% since 2005, with 3.3 million Americans calling home their place of work. The technology of today has made it possible, for many people, to work from anywhere.
3. Personal growth
Living in a van cultivates new perspectives. Van life has taken me into the unknown, from sleeping in the woods and Walmart parking lots, to not sleeping, unexpected breakdowns, and severe weather. Consistently facing my fears has gifted me a greater sense of inner peace amidst the ups and downs.
Van life affords the freedom of location and time. Essentially, a van is a home on wheels and can be parked almost anywhere. Wherever your heart desires, you can most likely be. Given that van life is relatively inexpensive, we can work less, and thus have more time to do activities that we find intrinsically rewarding. This is freedom, or at least it feels like it.
People and nature inspire us beyond imagination on the road with compassion, ideas, innovation and natural beauty. This country, this world, isn’t what the media portrays. There is far more good than bad. Far more magic than fear.
Let’s be real, there’s not a lot of living space in a van. 80 square feet to be exact. Between us and our dog Penny, we each get 26.7 square feet to claim our own. We consume less, simply because of limited storage space. Purchases such as clothing, accessories, and home furnishings are rare to nonexistent. Less consumption means less wasted resources and ultimately less pollution ending up on the land we walk on, ocean that provides for us, and air we breathe. Although van life isn’t perfect (fuel consumption!), it is a step in the right direction.
About Emily King
Life is a journey. One thing leads to another, ups & downs abound, & defining moments shape the trip. My journey was defined after college, and after my 3 year marketing career. I said no to the 9-5 and started acting in film, commercials and theater. Next, on a trip to Central America I discovered simplicity, adventure and my desire to live outside of my comfort zone. So here I am… traveling America living and working out of my 1987 VW Vanagon, and sharing my journey with you. Learn more about life on the road atwww.wheresmyofficenow.comand on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Expanded Consciousness is happy to have Emily as a contributing writer for our website!
All Photos Courtesy of Where’s My Office Now