This is one of the questions we get asked most often, right after being asked if we are from Texas… (see FAQs
). And from the beginning, we have emphatically answered, “YES!” “LOVE IT!” Which is true… NOW. But if I am honest, for the first few months, I wasn’t sure, and even though I told
people I loved it, I felt insincere saying so, like I was trying to convince myself it was true.
“Let me essplain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up…”
I am not sure what I thought vanlife would be like, because just like everyone else out there, I had looked on Instagram ad nauseum, read travel blogs, watched YouTube, read, watched, read, watched, read…. And of course there were the few who talked about how it’s not all peeing rainbows and unicorn encounters… and yet. And yet. (Do we really believe someone who says this when their prior post was a tropical paradise unicorn infested sunset to end all sunsets? Maybe.
)Perhaps my nervous system was just so shot from the build. Perhaps I was having a hard time adjusting to having Stephen just, so, THERE.
Perhaps I was having a hard time having my undistracted self just, so, THERE.
Regardless, for the first three months or so, despite giving a chipper and resounding, “Yep. Love it. Love it like there’s no tomorrow. Yessir. No second thoughts here. Nope. LOVE. IT.”….I, in fact, was having many doubts. And wishing my answer would magically become my truth. But internally, I remember having thoughts like, “I can fake this. I’ve faked other things in my life. I can fake this. And then it will be over and we can settle down again and I can have a tiny house. With hot running water. And my own space. And a car. Which I can use to DRIVE AWAY WHENEVER I WANT. I can get a job. I’m hireable. I got skills.” Then I would remember how exhausted I was from said jobs. And then I would just. Feel. Stuck. I think a large part of this was all the years I spent placing value in what I did
rather than who I was —
(something I have totally overcome and never struggle with anymore thanks for asking…)
A lovely thing started to happen over time… I started to have less nervous ticks when I told people how much I loved van life. I figured some stuff out. And I met many other badass women who are traveling ON THEIR OWN who inspired the shit out of me. And I thought…. “Huh. If they can do this, maybe so can I!” Then I started not feeling so alone. And more capable. I didn’t mind so much having Stephen always THERE. Or me for that matter. And I noticed myself seeing Ubu when we’d come back from a walk. Or a movie. Or the grocery. And I noticed I was smiling when I saw home. Home with me. And then I noticed that when people asked us if we liked it… my yes really became my yes.Genuinely
. Huh… . Maybe tomorrow I will pee rainbows…now wouldn’t that be something?