Van Life Reality – What You need to Know

Van Life Reality – What You need to Know

There is a pandemic going on right now and I’m not talking about Coronavirus (but seriously…WTH?!?).  I’m talking about #VanLife or #BoatLife or any other form of traveling home that might have taken over your Instagram feed and possibly become your new need-to-accomplish #Dream lifestyle.

In case you’re new around here or missed our previous post, we’ve been full-time travelers for almost ten years now and Jason’s mom Mary, just became a full-time Van Lifer.  See that story here:

Some say there isn’t enough transparency when it comes to the realities of these alternative lifestyles.  I sort-of disagree.  Sure, there are a few accounts out there that only share the perfect-filter-applied version.  But there are loads of my fellow camera-toting full-time travelers doing a solid job of documenting both the good and bad of their home on (fill in the blank) traveling lifestyle.

I think the bigger issue is just how easily we (the viewer) can gloss over those challenging moments and by the end, only remember that epic drone shot.

The reality is, any lifestyle comes with its challenges and sacrifices.

The big question is, which sacrifices are you willing to make, and which problems are you willing to deal with?  What truly makes you happy at the end of the day?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

Big life questions…but ones you should ask yourself.  And, if you don’t know the answers, go searching for them!

One thing our decade of vagabonding, and all of the inspirational nomads we’ve met along the way, has taught us is: We must place what we love at the center of our lives.

The what will be different for all of us.  Surfing, climbing, cycling, paddling, freediving, writing, photographing…you name it.

For us, and for Mary, our love is nature.  Our happy place is out exploring the world and all it has to offer.  We’re selfish like that.  We want to gobble up as much life as we can, while we can.

Which is what inevitably led us to Boat Life and Mary to Van Life.

It sounds like a fairytale I know.  Ruler of our castle with the freedom to live anywhere or any way we please.  In reality, van life or boat life, is still life, with ups and downs.

Downsizing and turning our entire life upside down (or right side up) and embarking on an alternative lifestyle isn’t as easy as the romanticized dream in our heads.

Watching Mary go through all of these changes, challenges and reaping the rewards of a new lifestyle is exciting…and frustrating.  This is why we wanted to share some of the what-to-expect-realities of jumping into this alternative lifestyle.

So, if moving into a van, boat, tiny house or any other nomadic dwelling is your future, this one is for you.




Ups, downs and all around, we share it all.  We’re able to do so because people like you show up each week, read, watch, comment, share, shop our gear store and put tips in our production jar.  If you like what you see, there are lots of FREE ways you can show your support.  Thank you for being a part of the journey!