What I learned My First 30 days of Van Life:
I left on this epic adVANture hoping to find greater clarity, connection, balance, and peace. I’ve learned more than I could have hoped for and connected with some wonderfully like minded people along the way. Below are some of the highlights and universal truths that I have been blessed enough to have resonate with me during our first 30 days on the road:
Simplicity is a skillset - Life in the conventional sense is way too complicated. I used to complain about the fact that we had only one toilet in our house. Now we have a bucket in the back of the van for nighttime potty emergencies. I lived in an amazingly walkable community and during my breaks (I work from home) I would just move to a new room in my house to relax. Now I get my work done and enjoy the beauty and scenery of each neighborhood we visit. Why was I getting stressed out about losing spoons and having a mountain of laundry each week. Now our entire wardrobe could fit inside of a laundry mountain, and we only have 3 spoons, total, yet I’m happier than ever. Simplicity is a beautiful thing. We are taught to want, and to buy through our current social setup. We should be teaching our children, and ourselves how to live with one another. To work together. To share. If everyone did their share we’d all be well provided for. Instead everyone wants it all for themselves. Having just enough and not wanting or needing for more is a skillset. I have learned this lesson once before in life, but was too young to appreciate it. I think it will stick this time.
Freedom is happiness - As we drove away from San Diego County limits, and drove away from the house we created for our family I felt the tension release between my shoulders. A heavy tension that had been there for about four years. (I know the time frame because that’s about the time I got pregnant and my life changed forever). I felt a calm euphoria as my anchor was pulled from the ground and I sailed away into the world. I have never in my life not worried about the future, and in that magical moment, as we drove away from the city, I turned to my husband, asked him where we should go. He replied “I don’t know.” I said “I don’t know either.” And I was perfectly content. For the first time in my life I was living in the moment. No worry, no stress, no nagging feeling like I could be working harder. Just a quiet calmness that was new to me. I smiled, drove on without direction, and for the first time in my life felt completely free.
Not All Love Grows the Same - Me and my husband are free spirited musicians. Our romance began in a fun way, but somehow we ended up living the average American marriage reality. You know, work, marriage, house, baby, work, work, work, try to fit in a date, work some more, etc… Through music we were able to free ourselves from traditional 9-5’s but our marriage was still suffering. Up until the time we left for van life we were at each other’s throats. I was over him and he was over me, but deep down we really loved each other and were hanging on for Bishop (our son). We just had to find a new existence for our relationship to continue growing. Think of it as transplanting a plant to a bigger pot, or better yet directly into the ground. Was there an initial shock period? Yes. Was it totally worth it? Yes! On the road we’ve been able to find clarity and peace within ourselves. This has opened up new channels of communication, allowing us to grow in our love for one another once again. To find a path that works for us and our family.
I Love Van Life - Everyone should pack it all up and throw caution to the wind at least once in their life. Comfort doesn’t promote growth, it breeds restlessness and idle energy. Van life is a chance to experience life through new eyes, at your own pace, with your own rules. We left for this trip with plans for it to be a three month thing. Now….who knows….
I’ve heard over and over again it takes like 60 days for something to become a lifestyle. (I’m not totally sure of the amount of time it takes. Just misquoting LOL) I’ve learned so much along the road so far. I look forward to what the next 30 days have in store for not just me, but for my family as well. I encourage and fully accept the growth and changes that are happening within me. I hope to share my lessons with others, and encourage exploration and courage for everyone that reads this post. Stop thinking and start living.