5 Reasons to Move Into Van Life
Have you thought about downsizing, buying a van, and becoming a van lifer? Chances are that when you entertain these ideas your rational brain takes over and makes it abundantly clear why you simply can’t do such a crazy thing!
Well living full time on the road might seem daunting at first, but for many experienced van lifers, moving back into a traditional house is not on the radar. For them, there are just too many reasons why a nomadic existence is the way to live!
And while some have motives that are pretty wild, there are also very logical and compelling reasons to become a van lifer.
So if you’re looking for inspiration to start living your dream in a tiny home on wheels, then read on as we give you 5 reasons to move into van life.
1. Vanlife costs less than living in a house
The financial obligations you have to meet when living in an actual house can be quite a burden. Rent, mortgage, home insurance, water, gas and electricity bills quickly add up! And in Australia, the cost of living is among the most expensive in the world. In cities like Sydney and Melbourne you could easily pay rent of $600 per week for a one bedder, or $800k if you were looking to buy!
So if you’re not ready to fork out a big chunk of your weekly pay for rent, or don’t yet have a couple of hundred grand saved for a house deposit, then van life could be a legit option.
Moving into a van still requires an investment, both in time and money! First, you’ll need to buy a suitable vehicle if you don’t already have one. And then you’ll have to make it ready to actually live in! Now this could mean simply getting a new mattress and curtains, or it might mean a full tilt conversion. Either way, be prepared to invest some blood, sweat and tears (and dollars of course) getting your tiny home on wheels liveable, but it’s nothing compared to buying a house!
And remember when you do get it liveable, you’ll have your very own home that you can take anywhere your heart desires.
2. Vanlife gives the freedom to explore
Does the 40 hour work week hang around your neck like a heavy weight? Are your office walls closing in on you more and more everyday? Are your holidays limited to a quick weekend getaway?
If so, then maybe vanlife can help you break out of the cubicle!
When you become a van lifer, to get rolling down the road to another epic adventure all you have to do is crank on the motor and let the brakes off!
Then you have the freedom to visit historical towns, beautiful waterfalls, excellent hiking tracks any time of the year. You won’t be confined to that one holiday a year which seems to shimmer off in the distance like an oasis in the desert.
And if you become a bit tired of moving around so much, there’s heaps of paid and free places for you and your van or bus to pull up for a few weeks or months. The possibilities are out there, it’s all your choice and you have your comfy bed with you! Of course you still have to earn money, so make sure you set up a way to earn some coin while you’re on the road and you’ll be sorted!
So if you crave freedom, vanlife could be a great option for you to do your own thing like spending more time in nature or exploring the country.
3. Show off your creativity by converting your own van
Living in a house might leave you with limited creative opportunities – especially if you’re renting! Painting, putting up pictures and renovating are probably not allowed if you’re renting, and if you own your own home, the costs can be pretty high.
In general, vanlifers are a creative mob and it’s amazing to see some of the impressive conversions that have been made. Transforming an empty van into a tiny home on wheels gets the creative juices flowing and for many who choose van life can be a way to express themselves.
Whether you start from scratch or find a gem that’s already converted, there’s plenty of scope for you to be creative when arranging everything. Finding a place for a bed, a kitchen, your working space and your stuff is a fun and sometimes frustrating challenge. No matter if you splurge on jazzy details or design a van on a budget, you can set your creative mind free when you build and move into your tiny mobile dwelling.
It’s interesting to see how some van lifers design their van. Beach style, minimalistic and bright, and rustic timber are some of the perfect interior themes for vanlife. And while there’s still a lot of work needed to create the van of your dreams, it is ultimately much less work than crafting the interior of an entire house.
4. Vanlife allows flexible working conditions
For many, full time van life might seem like a vague and distant dream or something that’ll be done in retirement. But you don’t have to wait for the grey hair and long service leave to live a fulfilling life on the road.
The nomadic movement is alive and well, and remote working is becoming more and more common. Also, as the owner of a house on wheels, you can choose to go to places where there is work. That is, do an old fashioned physical job like fruit picking, hotel receptionist, labourer, etc… in a place where you can park up and stay for a while.
If you don’t already have tech skills, vanlife is a great way to develop a new skillset where you could start earning money from online jobs.
There’s heaps of platforms like Upwork, Guru and Freelancer.com where you can connect with potential client from all around the world. Finding a gig like this gives you the freedom to do something you’re interested in and set your own working terms. Graphic design, content writing, accounting, and social media manager are some of the common online jobs you might find. Although this might be touch to begin with, you might be able to build a loyal client base and build a sustainable income while living in a van in Australia.
Now this sounds like the dream…
… getting your client work done by lunch time, a cracking surfing session in the afternoon and a barbie right next to your van at sunset!
5. To meet other vanlifers and make new friends
While talking about the perks and perils of vanlife at a party is always fun, it’s much cooler to share a coldie with a fellow vanlifer among the serenity of a National Park, somewhere high with amazing views, or by a secluded beach at sunset. Meeting like minded people on the road is one of the best things about vanlife.
With a growing community in Australia, it’s easy to meet others who have traded their house for a home on wheels. And the best thing is most van lifers are down to earth, have a passion for life and adventure and are very welcoming.
What’s more is that the van life movement is growing all over the world and not just Australia. This means that when you’re done exploring and meeting the great people living nomadically in Aussieland, you’ll be experienced and brave enough to take up van life somewhere else on the little ball we call Earth!!
So there you have it, five reasons to move into vanlife!
And if these reasons don’t get you keen enough to start downsizing and planning your future of living in a tiny home on wheels, then check out some of our interviews on Nomads Around Australia. We have interviewed and filmed a bunch of van and bus lifers who live all across Australia.
Check out John and River who live in a Poptop Toyota Hiace, The Trippin’ Gypsies who live in a bus, and Marie who lives near the beach in the Magic Carpet as we get their take on van life!
But if you just want to do some van tours, then binge our episodes of the Pit Stop where we tour some very cool van setups!
I hope this helps in your quest to live the fullest life you can and if you decide to get into vanlife, let us know!!