As a van dweller, life is a bit different to how it was when we were in a flat. It’s awesome in loads of ways: we don’t pay council tax or water rates; we save thousands on rent; and we have the freedom of being where we want or need to be. It’s pretty cool.
But then there’s the other side of #vanlife that doesn’t really get talked about. It’s not all peachy bums and surfboards y’know. Here’s my (current) top 5 woes:
- The stress of finding your spot for the night. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s not. We’ve found some amazing spots around our neck of the woods, but we can’t overstay our welcome (see no.2) so we need to keep finding new spots. At 9:30pm it’s a bit of a drag. Especially if you end up in a truck stop (read: dogging layby).
- Finding a perfect spot but having to move on. This is the worst! And we’ve actually found an amazing spot tucked into some trees, but we’re pretty regular there so I think people are starting to talk. Even one of my yoga students asked me about it the other day. She told me her mum lives down the road and was wondering about the van. At least she’s now safe in the knowledge that we don’t steal kids or smash windscreens. But the woman who drove by super slow peering through the windows this morning, she perhaps needs telling…
- Room for clothes! This is a biggie, and I’m not even much into fashion. But the yoga legging obsession has got a bit out of hand, and I’ve got more jeans than I could shake a stick at. And let’s not talk about the just-in-case bag of clothes I’ve got stashed under the bed. My boyfriend particularly loves that one.
- No home made pizza. One of my favourite foods and, without an oven, one we now have to eat out (or make at my mum’s house). It’s not so bad though – the bigger supermarkets have a make-your-own section and they often cook it for a quid. Who knew!?
- THE PERCEPTION! This is probably my least favourite thing, and one I (probably) make up in my head. Currently sat in a Sainsbury’s carpark with the door open and the sun shining in. But people stare. Just like the lady who drove by super slow this morning, people don’t get it. We actually don’t care about stealing your kids (if anything, just keep them away from us), your house (very nice, but we don’t want to break in), nicking your garden gnomes, or fly-tipping (we often pick up the discarded crap of those reckless knobs who no doubt live in a house). We’re nice people, with proper (sort of) jobs, don’t own flea-ridden horses and have an ecological conscious.
So, if nothing else, please give some benefit of the doubt to that dodgy-piece-of-shit van parked too often in that nice layby near your mother’s house. It’s probably your yoga teacher, just trying to save a bit of cash whilst attempting to stuff her many yoga pants into small spaces. (And wish me luck, cause the MOT is happening today *bites nails*.)