4 tempting reasons why i chose van life
Vanlife is a thriving movement that magnifies and takes the nomadic lifestyle to the tenth power. Although I’m sure van dwelling began prior to 2018 when the hashtag reached 4-million tags, I recently became hip to the game and have been tempted to embrace van life ever since I laid my eyes on it.
Originally, I declared I would start van life at the age of 50 but as you can see, that plan went to shreds. COVID-19 happened and the spring self-isolating pushed me to consider van dwelling much sooner. September would have been the month I moved back to Spain. I guess that’s when God put on His comedic hat and laughed out loud because He had plans of His own. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d own a van, let alone be living in one. Welp! Cheers to discernment, faith, and doing it unapologetically. Here are 4 tempting reasons why I chose van life.
Table of Contents
01. Rich in Experience
Thanks to my old friend @ArletaCraig, I’m a strong believer in the phrase “rich-in-experience.” Travel for me provides a greater education far beyond the classroom and an investment that is priceless. The travel bug bit me at the young age of six when my mother took my brother and me on our first trip, to Disney. Florida is some ways from Indiana and back then, black folk just didn’t travel. She would then go on to marry my father (technically my step-father), a white man who broadened our adventure scale. My favorite and where I really acquired my sense of exploration, was backcountry camping through Glacier National Park, Montana.
As an adult, I began to realize quickly that travel enriches you personally, professionally, and educationally – mind, body, and soul. Which is why I Founded, Globally Abroad – a study and travel abroad company committed to providing international opportunities for minority youth. So you see, #vanlife for me is another meaningful experience to learn more about the world around me, my purpose in it, and follow through with how I can contribute to it.
02. Promoting Change
The world around us, as you know it to be, is changing. Things are happening in today’s society that I just can’t believe is happening or still happening. ( *cough * COVID-19 * #BlackLivesMatter * cough *#GeorgeFloyd). Are you picking up what I’m putting down? The list goes on. And although van dwelling is not new on the scene, there are a gazillion and one people who aren’t aware that they can live alternatively. Heck, I didn’t know until this past spring. I mean – to be honest, I use to think that, if someone is living in a big white van then they are either a serial killer or homeless.
Quiet as it’s kept, the latter is actually true for me. I haven’t lived in a home that I called “mine” since 2017 when I quit my corporate job to become a flight attendant. But that’s a different story. The point that I’m trying to make here is that this new way of living, breaking away from the norms, brings about change. Especially for the black community. What black girl you know lives in a van? I’ll wait! (there are actually are a few but I just wanted to add dramatics to that statement. LOL).
I also chose van life because it promotes change within myself. I know myself. I know that whenever I’m in one place for far too long, I tend to feel stagnant, confined, or limited. And ain’t nobody got time for that. I THRIVE on change! That has been proven time and time again and I am 100 percent here for it!
03. To Be Challenged
Now, I’m not the brightest star in the sky, but the fact that I challenged myself to figure. it. out. and jump this far off the deep end deserves a pat on the back. I’m quite impressed with myself honestly. After two-weeks of obsessing over this lifestyle, I found myself flying to Georgia to pick up my newly purchased, big white van. I’ll say that again for those in the back – after only TWO WEEKS, I took that leap of faith! I love a good challenge. However, it wasn’t all about seeing “if I could or would actually go through it.”
I wanted to challenge myself to live more simplistic, shift out of my comfort zone, and challenge the “van life is for non-melanated couples” stereotype. I call bull, and I’ll show you that anyone can do it if I can. Catch me outside, how bout dat?
My very fine eye doctor (he knows he foooiiinne!!!) said that I’m a free spirit and I would have to agree … to an extent. If you tell me that I have to be confined to an office setting 8-hours a day then I’ll quit! My time as an EXPAT helped me realize that I never want to be restricted to one location. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing, nomadic people abroad and it revealed to me what I was truly missing out on. So, I’ve dreamt of this moment, and although I’ve tried to make it happen for several years now, my time is now!
“For I know the plans I have for you – declared the Lord.” Timing is EVERYTHING because this lifestyle move is far greater than what I could have ever wanted for myself. This van life freedom allows me to travel with “my home,” extend my opportunities and live out my passions ultimately to fulfilling my purpose.
Whether van dwelling is something that interests you or not, these 4 reasons why I chose van life can be applied to anything you are passionate about yet hesitant to take that leap. Fear is a destructive spirit that will paralyze you and keep you. But, you, my friend won’t let it, will you? Nah! You got this. If you haven’t done so already, create your bucket list. If you need a little inspiration, feel free to check out mine and let me know if I’m missing anything. Then take action! Don’t wait until it’s too late to sing your “shoulda, coulda, wouldas.”