Why did we choose vanlife?

When we first started telling people that we were planning to take off in a van, the most common reactions were, “you’re doing what?”, “what do you mean you’ll be living in a van?”, and “how is that going to work?”. We’re still working a lot of that last piece out, but I can definitely pick out a few experiences that led to our decision.

The idea for a road trip first came up as we were planning our wedding last year. We briefly threw around the idea of having a small wedding and using what was left of the budget to take a trip, but that was quickly shot down by everyone we know who loves a good party and wanted to be part of our day.

Since then, we had put the idea of hitting the road on the back burner. Both of us had great jobs, we had a new house, and life was good.

For my birthday in December, Dan got me a trip to Vermont in March, which we decided to turn into a mini road trip. We went snowboarding for two days, then drove up to Canada through Montreal, over to Niagara Falls, and down into Buffalo for our flight home. At this point, we had recently found out that our lease was ending, so we had some choices to make and some things to talk about. I was loving the trip, and Vanlife had been a whisper in the back of my mind since we drove out of Baltimore. As we sat at a bar in Buffalo waiting to head to the airport to go home, I said, “do you think we can do this for real?”. We loved the road trip and had an amazing time, why not figure out a way to make this permanent? While we sat there, we promised each other that even through the tough questions and difficult conversations we knew we would face, we would stick to the plan and get ready to hit the road.

Personally, I have always wanted this freedom. And for the two of us, it seemed like everything was falling into place to make this happen. Since our lease was ending, we needed a new place to live; I absolutely loved my job, but have different career goals, and we don’t have kids yet (despite Dan’s intense baby fever). If there was any time that made sense, it was now.

As we begin this journey, I truly am grateful for this privilege and freedom, and for me, this is what it’s all about. We don’t have a set destination, and I think that’s really beautiful. We can create our own destination as we go. I think that this experience will open our eyes to how other people live within our own country, and will allow us to tap into a community of people who have decided that grabbing opportunity is worth more than watching life pass by. There is so much more out there than we know, and much more outside of our comfort zone that we can access if we reach for it. We are creating our own home on the road with each other (and with our pup), and this is only the beginning! Cheers to a brand new life and a brand new journey. Thanks for checking us out!

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