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9 Stunning Issues nobody tells you!


Contemplating dwelling in a van full time and even for an extended journey? Apprehensive concerning the execs and cons, and questioning what it is REALLY like? I give up my job to journey Europe in a motorhome a number of years in the past. On this publish, I am going to share among the most stunning issues about vanlife, together with issues with dwelling in a van and issues I did not anticipate.

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Residing in a Van full time- the reality

Have you ever ever wished to promote the home, eliminate your ‘stuff’, inform your boss you give up your job, pack some necessities and head off over the horizon in your van?

What’s stopped you?

Frequent sense?

I imply, come on, it’s not like common folks really DO that.

Er… Hello. I’m Kat. 4 years in the past I give up my (very well-paid and safe) job as an air-traffic controller, as a way to tour round Europe in a motorhome long-term with my husband.

This wasn’t a ‘hole 12 months’. We did not say ‘let’s see the way it goes for just a few months.’ We acquired a van, saved like loopy folks till we hit our aim, bought most of our possessions, and headed off over the horizon.

That was in early 2018, and we certain have had some adventures. There have been highs and lows, like our van catching fireplace and a worldwide pandemic, however I nonetheless say quitting my job and dwelling in a van has modified my life for the higher.

I do know dwelling in a van full time and even for a very long time will not be for everybody. But when, deep down, it seems like one thing you’d LOVE to attempt, listed here are 9 issues I want I’d identified to expect- that will help you be extra ready than I used to be!


How you reside in a van is NOT how you reside in a home

We have lived on boats for 15+ years and had a home for a short while too and on each of these, we have been used to having a little bit of house to do completely different actions and spend slightly time aside.

My husband had his workplace, and his storage/ ‘man shed’ for tinkering with the motorbikes.

I had a eating room (which was largely a craft room), our bed room and I used our spare room as a house fitness center/ dumping floor (oh, the posh!)

However when dwelling in a van full time, you don’t have all these further areas. Relying on the structure of the van you purchase (get recommendation on how to decide on and purchase the suitable van for YOU right here), one house should do EVERYTHING. For all of you. On the similar time.

We learnt (in a short time) that the 2 of us battle working in the identical house. It drives me NUTS having to take heed to him on the telephone for hours, and I am certain he feels the identical listening to me attempting to movie a YouTube video (and repeating one half again and again and OVER once more).

(Speaking of Youtube, we’re SO CLOSE to hitting our subscriber aim. Should you aren’t already, you’ll be able to subscribe proper right here without spending a dime. We actually do admire your assist.)

Over time, we realized to adapt how we dwell and work collectively from the highway. I take the canine for lengthy (lengthy!) walks while he will get some work accomplished, and he guarantees to not fully rewire the van or begin messing with the web while I’m attempting to work on this motorhome weblog, movie a youtube video (or watch the F1!)

The purpose is to compromise. We have been so used to doing issues independently, in separate rooms, with out even actually fascinated by it, that it took time to discover a rhythm which labored for us once we solely had one house.

solo female vanlife tips and tips for security and safety
Residing in a van fulltime

You’ll overpack for vanlife. Massively

I promise, you do NOT want as a lot stuff while you’re dwelling in a van as you assume you do.

But all of us overpack once we first begin vanlife. For instance, once we began dwelling in a motorhome, we packed 4 heat, snuggly blankets with us. FOUR.

And yes- these have been only for the two of us!

We additionally packed a juicer, blender, hand whisk and cake tins. None of which we used.

I am not saying YOU should not pack this stuff. Should you juice on daily basis or bake desserts frequently, then they need to completely be on the checklist (and might you please come and journey with me?!) however we did not use them.

So we should not be carrying them. Downsizing is tough, however it’s necessary to not go over your payload and dwelling with muddle has its personal challenges. Be ruthless!

TOP TIP: It could actually assist to place some issues into storage if you are going to be dwelling in a van full time, after which see should you want something. However, truthfully, my guess is you most likely will not!


Full time vanlife won’t make you more healthy

I truthfully thought that after I lived in a van full time, I might rise up earlier, meditate each morning, go for a run every day, eat fruit and carrot sticks for breakfast and inside per week I’d be a stick skinny mannequin.

Oh, and I’d lastly have the time to be taught to surf and be a scorching surfer chick with blonde hair.

Shockingly sufficient, it did not occur.

I do really get up early most days, however that is as a result of we journey with a canine and strolling within the morning is certainly one of my favorite issues.

However we journey in Europe and have spent lots of time motorhoming in France. The place they’ve croissants on each nook. And freshly baked crusty baguettes. And scrumptious desserts. So no, funnily sufficient, I’ve not misplaced 2 stone.

And I’ve tried browsing. A number of occasions. I am RUBBISH at it. Extra beached whale than seaside babe sadly. I am additionally not blonde…

Simply bear in mind, dwelling in a van will not change who YOU are (this is applicable to the folks you journey with too!) You’ll nonetheless be the identical particular person, with the identical likes, dislikes and habits.


You’ll attempt to pack an excessive amount of in

We learnt in a short time that the way you journey whereas on vacation will not be how it is best to journey while you’re dwelling in a van full time.

We had the tendency to plan in an excessive amount of driving – and never sufficient sightseeing or exploring time. Inside just a few weeks, we have been exhausted from travelling nearly on daily basis and in peril of burning out.

Now, we attempt to plan one or possibly two driving days after which one or two exploring days the place we keep put or not less than keep within the native space. My husband prefers to drive, however he is been ailing not too long ago and an excessive amount of driving tires him out. So dwelling on the highway is much more of a balancing act.

We have additionally learnt that issues run smoother between us if we plan particular working days and enjoyable days. And it is important to plan some downtime, the place you’ll be able to learn a guide, do upkeep jobs on the van (get your FREE motorhome upkeep guidelines right here) or simply sunbathe on a seaside.

Additionally, do not forget that it is OK to not transfer wherever for per week. Or two. Or three. Journey slowly, at your individual tempo. Nobody is maintaining rating. Listed below are some suggestions for planning highway journeys should you want them.


Chores should nonetheless be accomplished (and so they take longer!)

I am sorry to say, dwelling in a van doesn’t take away the necessity to do chores, like cleansing or washing garments on the highway. And, much more sadly, some issues take a LOT longer- like when it’s worthwhile to go discover a laundrette.

On the plus aspect, the van is (most likely) a a lot smaller house than your home, so issues get clear in a 3rd of the time!

The van additionally wants common upkeep to maintain it in fine condition. Don’t ignore this- it’s necessary to keep away from breakdowns. You may seize your FREE motorhome upkeep guidelines right here.

Do not forget to seize your FREE motorhome upkeep checklist- simply click on the picture above.


Household and mates could not get your want to dwell in a van and journey

There are two varieties of folks on the earth. Those that can’t fathom the concept of dwelling in a van or a ship… and people of us for whom dwelling alternatively is the last word dream.

To say my household and most of my mates have been shocked by my option to give up my job and journey in a van is an understatement. Most of them tried to speak me out of it.

I spent ages attempting to clarify my feelings- how I wished to discover the world while I used to be younger sufficient to get pleasure from it; how having an enormous home wasn’t that necessary to me and the way trapped I felt by the ‘9-5′ (I used to be an air-traffic controller, and we labored shifts… however you get the concept.

Ultimately, I remembered that this was MY life and it was completely okay for me to have completely different goals and life objectives than they do. They get much more confused after I sometimes make a journey on my own to expertise solo feminine vanlife.

To them, it made no sense to depart a well-paid and safe job searching for freedom and journey. To me, it made no sense to remain. When you’ve got family members like that, anticipate some heated debates for some time!


Residing in a van makes folks inquisitive about your funds

Within the ‘actual’ world, you’re unlikely to ask full strangers about how a lot their way of life prices them. Or their retirement plans. Or how they earn cash. Or what occurs in the event that they get sick.

However, for some cause, dwelling in a van full time or long run, particularly should you’re not working a ‘actual’ job, makes folks inquisitive about how a lot it prices to dwell in a van.

Like most Brits, I used to be purchased up to not speak about cash. Even now, years later, it could possibly really feel odd to have folks ask how a lot we spend every month.

In reality, I attempt to be way more open with anybody contemplating altering their very own life; I bear in mind how daunted I felt by the cash facet of dwelling in a van and leaving my job and being scared we would not be capable of make the financials work.

The opposite factor which stunned me about leaving my job to dwell and journey in a van is the query ‘what do you do?’

Earlier than I left work, I by no means realised how usually we ask that query once we first meet somebody, and the way a lot of our social identification relies on our jobs. This was one of many largest issues for me about dwelling in a van- I struggled for a very long time to seek out a solution which labored for me.

It’s additionally been fascinating to see how folks work together in several social teams and the completely different questions vanlifers ask one another while you meet on the highway. Those that have been dwelling of their vans full time for some time are more likely to ask about the place you’ve been and what modifications you’ve made to your car, as an alternative of what you do for work.

keeping cool in summer in motorhome campervan vanlife
Residing in a motorhome or campervan

Residing in a van full time can really feel overwhelming

One of many largest classes we realized is that an excessive amount of freedom might be daunting. While you’re taking a look at a clean map and might go ANYWHERE… the place do you go?

Since we began fulltime vanlife, I’ve found that ‘wandering and winging it’ doesn’t all the time work for me. As ex-military, I favor having stable objectives and a plan. Issues to tick off a listing. Locations to go to and issues to do.

After all, there are huge benefits to that freedom too.

Having the ability to keep in a spot for so long as we like, or having the ability to detour if we’re invited to an occasion or uncover a competition going down, is among the finest issues about not having to be again at work on Monday morning!

It’s positively a stability between over-planning and permitting time to get pleasure from what life brings us.

Create a life you love- 5 steps to Freedom free guide
Create a life you love- 5 steps to Freedom free information

Wish to create a life you LOVE?

Whether or not it is quitting your job to journey, downsizing, or dwelling in a van full-time, altering your life and dwelling ‘exterior the norm’ might be scary. To assist, obtain our FREE 5 steps to Freedom mini-guide on the way to create a life you LOVE


The folks you meet on the highway will change your life

Speaking of different vanlifers, when you begin dwelling in a van full time or on an extended journey, you’ll uncover an unimaginable neighborhood of people that assume alongside comparable strains to you by way of priorities and searching on the world.

They are going to get your determination to vary your life, or give up your job or take life by each arms and LIVE it.

We’ve had some great nights round campfires, sharing beers and tales with whole strangers. We’ve chatted with folks from everywhere in the world, even when they don’t communicate the identical language.

These are the individuals who encourage us to go to locations we’ve by no means heard of and the folks we love to remain in contact with and comply with their adventures.


Ultimate Ideas about dwelling in a van

Altering your life is hard. There are one million causes NOT to go for it- most of which revolve across the unknown being scary and the numerous (many!) ‘what ifs’.

We did lots of analysis earlier than we lastly took the plunge and resolve to downsize and dwell in our van. We had already spent 15 years dwelling on a ship, and we realized the way to funds and the way to dwell in a small house collectively.

Nonetheless, even with all that, the issues above nonetheless took me without warning. Some are good, some much less so, however all contributed to this unimaginable journey we’re on. I wouldn’t change our determination for something, even with the troubles we confronted in 2020.

I encourage anybody fascinated by altering their life to assume it by however do not let concern maintain you again. In any case, you solely get this one life and van dwelling could possibly be one of the best determination you ever make.

If you would like to get some encouragement or have questions, be happy to seek out me on Instagram or be part of our Fb group– I LOVE listening to from folks courageous sufficient to dwell exterior the norm.

And, in fact, be part of our tribe and get our weekly e-newsletter the place we share loads of recommendations on vanlife and highway tripping. Enroll type is under.

Good luck!

Kat x

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