Two Years of #Vanlife

vanlife

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” ~Albert Einstien

In the two years that I have been living in my van, one of the things that have happened was I gave up blogging. I just stopped and didn’t miss it at all until the past few days. I work on my book nearly every day, but for some reason, I have had a desire to write a blog post. This website continues to get traffic every day, but I don’t know how it falls in line with me being a writer, except for the fact that blog posts have to be written by me. Anyway, here is my first post in 8 months.

Some observations from two years on the road.

Cooking
I love to cook. If you have followed me since before I started this trip; you know this. My online persona was based on my diet. If you followed me on Instagram, you were inundated with daily pics of my meals. Though I have given all of that up, it’s still how I like to eat. I continue to feel that eating paleo is the best way for the humans to eat, especially this human.

The problem is when I am not camping but just sleeping in the van. The difference is location. Behind a gym in a city? Sleeping. In the national forest or a campsite? Camping. Camping means a fire, getting out your stove, and possibly a picnic table to enjoy your meal. When I am sleeping in my van behind the gym, none of this is possible. This leaves me with hitting up Whole Food’s hot bar or a Five Guys or a lettuce wrap.

I need a kitchen. I won’t only eat healthier; I’ll save a ton of money.

Bigger Van
I realized that I need a bigger van. I love my compact, all-wheel-drive Safari but it has its downfall. It’s too small for a kitchen. This is obviously a biggie but even more important; I would like to be able to sit up. Currently, there is no place in my van for me to sit up straight, not even the driver’s seat. I have to drive in a gangster lean, in order to sit behind the wheel. Ultimately, I would like to be able to sit up and read, and maybe meditate. (Oh and room to have sex would be cool.)

Traveling
I have noticed I am not the traveler I thought I was. The only new state I have traveled to is Wyoming. I drove in one day on my way to North Dakota and turned around the next morning when I woke up in a blizzard. After a long day of driving in whiteout conditions, I pulled into F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne and spent my coldest night in the van to date.

In the two years that I have been traveling, I have found that I like to know where I am sleeping and feel more comfortable when I know I’m not breaking the law. I just sleep better. So I like to stay in familiar places. I feel at home at the RV park on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona and the rock climbing gym in Boulder, Colorado.

Loneliness
Who likes to be lonely, right? I don’t, that’s for sure. It has been kind of rough, but I got to tell you, it has been an amazing experience. When the noise of life is quite, there is nothing else to listen to except the voice in your head.

You ever notice (or maybe you are one of them) how people have to stay busy? They can’t just sit still in the quiet. I believe the reason for this is because when it is quiet, they hear the voice in their head and don’t like what it has to say.
When you are in the middle of the forest and have no one to talk to, no phone reception, and no internet, you have no choice but to listen to yourself—the most important person you can listen to.

Boredom
I can write, fish, train, rock climb, and read—all the things I love to do. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, even if I get all of these activities in a single day, it does not take all of my waking hours. This leads to a lot of downtime. Naps help but ultimately, I find myself wondering, what do I now?

The answer is a job. So I got one and got hired in a management position. This ended up taking a lot more of my time than I wanted, like half of my 24 hour day. It sucked. I didn’t get any time to do those things I love so much, like write. Which is important if you are an author. So now I’m back to being bored. I don’t like to admit this cause of the saying “If you are bored, you are boring.” I guess I am boring.

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