Camper Van Life: The Good The Bad and The Ugly
So you crave adventure, you want to travel to the country’s most famous spots, or you want to discover mysterious places from all over the world.
The problem is: you have bills to tackle.
The concept of work-life balance has been taken to a whole new perspective as many people are choosing to leave the stresses of the corporate world.
More people are breaking free from the traditional 9 to 5 jobs, and now taking more freelance roles that will give them more flexibility, and therefore more time to travel.
If you are craving for travel, it’s no chance you did not consider or aren’t considering the digital nomad and the camper van life.
A digital nomad is the type of person who earns by working remotely, which allows them to live life in a nomadic way.
A lot of digital nomads are working away from home, mostly living in a camper van, as opposed to paying for rent and living in just one place.
Camper van life is nothing new. If you search camper vans on Youtube, you will get overflowing results of people, a lot of them are couples, who chose to live as a digital nomad adopting a camper van living.
But at the rise of the overnight Youtube star Jenelle Elliana, many more people are intrigued in this lifestyle.
Some say Jenelle Elliana is an industry plant—for having come out of nowhere but still able to gain 1.3 million subscribers from just 1 youtube video in only 3 weeks.
Many say she was just at the right timing or got the algorithm right.
Whether she’s an industry plant or not, there is only one takeaway.
That is, camper van living is so prevalent and projected to even become more widespread in the coming years.
If you’re considering to adopt a camper van lifestyle, here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly that you should know.
More flexible hours
Having more flexible hours is one of the reasons why people become a digital nomad or adopt a camper van life.
Camper van lifers veered away from the traditional 9 to 5 jobs to break free from the corporate world and work more flexibly.
They may have high-paying jobs already but some chose to have a lower pay in exchange for this freedom.
Most freelance jobs don’t require you to log hours as longs as you can provide your deliverables.
In living in a van, you will save a lot of money from rent.
A lot of van lifers are adopting the earning in dollars but living in peso business mindset.
It’s one of the popular mindsets in digital nomad life where people work for US companies and earn in dollars, but their cost of living is a lot cheaper as they are living in Asia.
When you’re living in a camper van, you will have to learn to live with less.
As you have a small space to fit your whole life into, you will have to sacrifice a lot of material things.
Many people who have lived in a van for years tend to live cheaper and they don’t find it necessary to buy two things of the same kind.
Always Being On The Move
When you’re always on the move, you will get to see as many places as you can.
You won’t need to wait for the weekends to meet your travel goals.
This is why a lot of couples travel and live together in a van. One can drive to reach a new destination while the other works and vice versa.
Before spending all your savings on a camper van to convert into a home, try limiting your space first. If you have a big room, try using only have of it.
This is just to see whether living in a tiny space is possible for you.
In living life in a camper van, you will only have limited space—possible even a multi-purpose space e.g. living room and dining room.
The thing with camper van living is, you don’t need to go all the way. You can try experimenting first to help you decide to move forward with living in an actual small space.
NPA or the no permanent address is something you will relate to.
In the US, no law requires a citizen to have a physical address.
But as you go living life in a van, it will be tricky on cases where you have to indicate your address.
Some camper van lifers still have one physical address that they go to 3 or 4 times a year.
Social relationships are different to many people. Being away all the time, and traveling to different places, you will come across different faces.
While this could be a good thing as will meet a lot of new friends, you will have a hard time connecting with old ones.
Also, your new friends will be as temporary as your address as you move from one place to another.
Showering probably will be your worst problem.
When living in a van, you will have to find a water filling station regularly.
Some camper van lifers join a gym membership which comes with a free shower while others refill their water containers and take showers near their vans.
If you can’t imagine doing this at a regular rate, you might want to rethink the whole camper van living dream.
Always Being On the Move
Moving can be fun at first but once you get the hang of it, you will already find it repetitive and tiring.
Also, there’s some security about knowing there is one place that you can go to, a big space you can watch TV and cook a big meal for a big family.
The good, the bad, and the ugly of camper van living tend to overlap in some cases.
But if you are thinking of adopting this lifestyle, be sure to experiment and test out if its really for you before selling everything you have for this dream.