“We’ve 5m2 official living space, but a balcony as wide as the world”
Is van life all it’s hyped up to be? Is hashtag vanlife as romantic as Instagram makes out? Is there a dark side of van life that no-one is sharing?
Yes and no. There’s much idealising of van life around, something we were very aware of before embarking on our trip. But everyone’s experience is their own, right? And our experience so far has been awesome. In an attempt to give balanced insight, we’ve pulled together some pros and cons for you.
The pros of van life:
– You’ve a little house on wheels, which you can move to a new location any time
– You learn how little you need to be happy: food, water, a place to sleep. Anything beyond that is luxury!
– Life is simple in a van: embrace this simplicity
– You can wake up to views not even the best hotel could afford and cook outside any time, anywhere
– Life in a van is cheap: money is needed for petrol, food and the occasional van repair. Overall expenses amount to far less than you’d pay for rent in Switzerland
The cons of van life:
– Space is limited and it can get cramped. Be patient with one another.
– Ensuring you have enough clean water can be cumbersome… watch out for mould in your water pipes in hot countries!
– Brace yourselves for cold showers up north when it’s stormy outside (unless you’ve hot water in your van, in which case: respect!)
– You’re not allowed to park anywhere, understandably… Choose your spots carefully and respectfully but still be prepared the odd knock on the van door in the middle of the night (NB: after five months on the road, we’ve only had one knock in the Peak District, UK).
– You have to refrain from shopping too much food – there is just not space for more than you”ll need for the next days. You cannot “stock up” the fridge like in a flat
So our advice to you: give van life a go. There’s so much to explore in this world and a van is one of the best way to do so… so go out and start exploring!