The freedoms of living in a Van provide enough incentive to continue even after six months of the experience; where I’ve been sleeping on a small cozy mattress connected to a sink on one side, and butted up to a mountain bike tire on the other. Under my bed there are two drawers where the one contains my clothing, and the other acts as a storage unit for books and important paperwork. The interior of my Van is under constant construction, being reshaped more than a few times. I recently added a 26in fitness ball to the makeup of Kamala’s interior - providing a desk chair during office hours, a fitness ball to workout, and a wonderful seat for meditation.
Even after mastering many aspects of the Vandwelling lifestyle I struggle with a few things - one constant hinderance comes between the hours of work and sleep, trying to find a place to park and chill, research, write, or relax. It gets dark earlier which means it’s also harder to see in the Van. I love nature and am obsessed with the Ocean so I do my best to find locations where I can work in the Van while enjoying the beauty around me. The problem I have is my indecision in locating a safe place to park Kamala, to then turn her into an office and finally a bedroom. Every successful rubber tramp knows the key to living nomadically is to stay on the move, never staying in one place for more than one night.
I’m committed to creating my life - “building a business out of a backpack,” as my friend Jason freshly puts it. In addition to building businesses, setting my financial life on automaton, and enjoying financial freedom, I’d like to explore the world and test my theories.
The Van has been a liberating experience. During a time of chaos and stress, with a great deal of nationwide unrest, I’ve found solace within my tiny home on wheels. I feel if I hadn't radically left the stronghold of society by moving into a Van and deliberately putting myself in struggles way, I too would be in fear and lost with desperation during this time of political disarray.
I set out to become a fully sustainable man. Buying a Van because I had no mechanical experience and wanted something to learn on - don’t let me fool you I still don’t have much experience, but I’m proud to say I’ve grown immensely. I desire to live in a tree house within the next few years and want to be able to build it with my own hands. I knew claiming residence in the Van was one way I could learn carpentry - you should see the cabinet door on my sink - yikes!
Dealing with a daily accumulation of trash from the lifestyle I’m living can be a challenge - no one wants to acquire trash when bedding in small quarters. Showering at the gym has helped me dive into fitness while becoming much healthier in the process. I feel weird in the morning when I walk in and five minutes later walk out after showering, but these are the strings permitting the freedoms I get to enjoy while taking up this lifestyle. I generally reside in Mill Valley as that’s where I work - a place where the median home value is $1,428,000. On mornings when I wake up atop the Mountain overlooking the valley, the bay, and the skyline of San Francisco I can’t help but chuckle when thinking about the “multi-million dollar view” I’m waking up to in my fully owned $1,600 home.
I refuse to go further into debt as I view the system consisting of chains refraining me from experiencing life to its fullest. Looking back I can see that my decision to move into a Van was in many ways a conscious effort to take back control. I was lost in the matrix of Western society - losing my soul and losing my mind. By living a lifestyle of constant adjustment, in an environment of absolute uncertainty, and mixed with an open mentality I have found myself again - amassing the greatest feeling ever felt and in no way explainable. I may only appear to be “Dan the Van Man” who lives on four-wheels and works as a barista, but thats okay with me - I know who I am, where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.
I’ve found a different path to my resting place. One intended to live a life of abundance, growth, love, and contribution - building a life from the ground up. I believe a life well lived is a life where you’re conscious in the moments - making life-affirming decisions, sharing memories, and creating the freedom to engross yourself within your passions - regardless of its appearance to anyone else.