Embracing the Freedom to Live Life on the Road
If you ask us, our friends that live in a van or just any random person that also lives in a van, what living in van means to us, you will most likely get the answer “freedom”. The vanlife philosophy is all about exploring the world and embracing a nomadic lifestyle. It’s about living life on your own terms, without being tied down to a 9-to-5 job or a specific location. Living in a van provides an incomparable level of freedom and flexibility. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want and make your home wherever you end up. This lifestyle is incredibly freeing and has been adopted by those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, like us. It is a lifestyle which encourages personal growth, exploration and adventure, since most of the time we don’t know where we end up and every other day we find ourselves on places we have never been before and see people we have never seen before.
We don’t have to worry about the daily grind, or the stresses of everyday life. We can focus on what matters to us, and be free to explore the world. Vanlife encourages people to take their time, explore, and make memories, rather than rushing through life. It also encourages us to live a minimalistic lifestyle and to embrace the simple things that life has to offer, since a van like ours only has limited space available and you only can take with you what you really need. For example before vanlife, we never expected a washing machine and freshly laundered clothes to make us so happy!
The experience of living in a van is different for everyone. No two people will have the same experience, but one thing that is universal is the emotion that comes with being on the open road. Many vanlifers find that they build strong connections with the places they visit, the people they meet, and the nature they encounter. They often seek out places where they can feel a connection to the environment, and to the people that inhabit it, and so do we.
The vanlife philosophy also involves a lot of DIY. Building your own van is an integral part of the lifestyle. This is a great way to save money, as well as giving you the freedom to design and customise your own home. Building your own van can involve anything from interior design, to customising the exterior, to installing your own power and water systems. And so did we! We bought our T5 as an empty panel van and created our own little home on four wheels. We have everything we need, running water, electricity, a bed and storage space. With a fixed ladder we can even climb on our roof, on which we have installed another water tank, boxes for storage space and a solar panel for self-production of electricity. We designed the interior to have a generous seating area during the day that converts to a bed at night in a few easy steps. It was additionally important to us that the design be photogenic, since we are in here every day and it is our home. Small details like garlands and fairy lights make our van look even more homey.
When arriving at a holiday destination like a village, those on the vanlife will need to consider how they will be able to park up, as well as how they will access amenities such as power, water and sewage. It is important to research these things before we arrive so that we can ensure our stay is as comfortable and hassle-free as possible. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any local laws or regulations that may apply to us. Life in a van becomes much easier when we choose a pitch on a vacation camp. For example, since we don't have a bathroom in our little van, we are grateful for every toilet and shower, which are of course available at holiday camp. Also cooking, or much more the washing up afterwards is more fun when you have hot running water available. Also, you do not have to worry about safety and often there is a wide range of recreational activities. In Villagio San Francesco, for example, there are five pools and much more.
Now, we are off to explore the beautiful Villagio San Francisco, with all the fun they will provide for us!