Sunday, August 22, 2010

How and Why Do You Live In a Van?

During our trip back to the USA we encountered a lot of great questions about what we're doing and what our plans are for the future.  I love having friends who will ask all the questions that everyone else wants to ask.  The common themes were: how could we really be retired? and what is it like to travel/live in a van?  Reactions from friends ranged from enthusiastic to dismissive to disgusted when we described our life and our nebulous plans for the future.

After our final year of work in Sydney (that ended in March 2009), we gradually got rid of everything we owned except for what we could fit in or on our current van.  Stripping our life down to the bare minimum, has helped us learn what is really important to us.  There are very few things we miss about our old money-making/money-spending life.  I definitely miss friends and family. We used to like going out for dinner and drinks, but really, we just like being around friends and family, so the venue doesn't matter. Scott misses his instruments and the unique music scene in Portland.  I also really miss having a washer, dryer, and vacuum cleaner at my finger tips -- yes, I am an obsessive cleaner, and it seems to be getting worse the older I get.  Both of us really miss electricity and fast, cheap internet access.  We are surprised to have learned that we don't miss having a house (a garden would be nice though), nor do we miss going out to dinner.  Since we have so much free time, we would rather cook for ourselves.  I notice that the things that used to seem annoying or troublesome in our old life, are a non-issue now that we have time.  For instance, in the warm climate of OZ, I usually hand-washed all of our clothes (including our sheets!).  Like my mom says (who is recently retired), the things that you could never find the time to do, are now what you spend your time doing.

Do we get bored?  No way.  Van-living and traveling requires a lot of ingenuity and planning.  When we aren't working on logistics, we are outdoors as much as possible.  The things that keep us un-bored are endless and usually involve rigorous activity.  I wonder how many years our bodies will tolerate it?  We assume our priorities will change. As long as we have something that engages and challenges us, we will never be bored.


Danno said...

Wow. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Guys, was awesome to meet you today! You ave me so much inspiration and I wish you the best adventures and meet the mot warm and welcming people, here in Panama and in the future (who said Africa?)!

forgot to tell youvthat there is a party in El Sitio on Saturday night, we will be leaving by thwn but youould go as it prett cool.

peace and love :)