The #vanlife movement has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity over the past few years. Instagram in particular has helped facilitate said growth. People are flooding to their phones for a quick fix of escapism, away from their busy lives through their smart phone screens. However, one thing that struck me about the vast majority of these accounts is how tantalisingly out of reach the lives of these van dwellers seem. The whole process looks expensive and as a result, exclusive.
Like many people who had just finished university we were drained, ecstatic and completely broke! We were at a crossroads in life about wether to dive straight into a career or put all that on hold and explore the world. Given that neither of us really knew what we wanted to do, exploring seemed to be the best option. We became obsessed with the idea of converting a van and jumping ship for as long as our wallets would allow us to. Luckily, I had developed skills in certain trades that allowed me to get a fairly decent wage labouring whilst my partner, Hatti got a job in a upmarket restaurant with substantial tips.
Finishing university in April, we set ourselves the goal of being on the road by the 1st of September. This gave us 4 months to work, buy a van, kit it out and save enough money to live on our trip. We thought that by setting a 4 month timeline the impulses of our university lifestyle would still be intact and if we waited any longer then we might never go! The total cost of buying the van and kitting out the interior was £1600 which is completely feasible if you're sensible with your spending.
I wanted to write this blog post to encourage anyone who is dreaming of the 'vanlife' while looking at their smartphone screen that it can be done. While it may take a bit more elbow grease than conventional travelling, it is by far the best way you will ever travel and unbelievably rewarding. So hopefully the images below give you some creative ideas and inspire you to get out there and DO IT!
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