Adventure VanDwelling – What Is It?

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Adventure VanDwelling is a little different than just camping or living in your van. Those who choose to Adventure VanDwell usually have a nomadic spirit. If the word ‘nomadic’ doesn’t intrigue or jump off the page at you, then there is a good chance you are not the nomadic type. A nomad is generally defined by Wikipedia and most dictionaries as one who moves from place to place to work or make their living, or, a person with no fixed residence who roams about; a wanderer. Adventure of course is what you decide it is. For me adventuring is traveling across the USA, particularly to scenic and unique picturesque areas, and the silver lining I enjoy greatly, is in documenting my travels via photos and journaling. I love sharing the journey as much as (possibly even more than) personally enjoying the new discoveries and exploration. For others, adventure may mean kayaking or hiking or fishing or visiting all our National Parks or Historic areas. What adventuring is to different people is as diverse as people themselves. For example, if you LOVE to fish and the thought of fishing on various waters across the USA or in specific regions makes your heart skip a beat and puts a big smile on your face, then you most likely have the core adventuring spirit!

As far as Van Dwelling (aka vandwelling), it is generally considered to be utilizing one’s van to camp and/or live in for extended periods. The term vandwelling has become popular in the last few years by those of us who do it, as well as those who dream of doing it at some point in their lives. Vandwelling also refers to a lifestyle choice to enjoy the freedom of using one’s vehicle as their home (or hotel). Vandwelling is similar to what RVers refer to as ‘full-timing’ (living and traveling full time in one’s recreational vehicle). Although there are those with beautiful RV type Roadtreks and Pleasure Way Class B type Camper Vans, the majority of those that vandwell, do so in self set-up vans and can do so without a great deal of cost. Additionally a van is most often a vandweller’s mode of transportation as well as their home and far less conspicuous and far easier to drive and park than more traditional RVs. Cost savings also come into consideration (in most states) of reduced requirements and cost in registering and insuring vans versus traditional RVs.

One can make a van quite comfortable if they set up their vans considering their personal needs. For some it is important to have a high-top van to be able to stand and walk around in. But many other vandwellers are happy and well in standard height vans. Just as in a fixed brick and mortar home, the van we choose and how we set it up depends much on personal preferences. Considerations should also include the length of time we intend to camp or live in our vans, our individual needs and choices, and… yep… monies available! The freedom the vandwelling lifestyle allows in escaping the confines and costs of hotels, rent or mortgages, can be downright intoxicating! Vandwellers most often highly value the amount of space they have and use it wisely and efficiently. Having everything you need set up per your preferences and in close proximity without having to carry clothes and other essentials in and out of hotels while traveling, is a huge convenience to many as well. Many find there is an additional freedom in not having so much stuff around to weigh one down. Generally the larger space one has, the more stuff they stuff it with. Vandwellers rarely buy many things they don’t need as they don’t want to fill up their valuable space with things that don’t matter!

When you combine adventuring with vandwelling… it’s pretty awesome! The challenges of (in most cases) not having an on-board full bathroom (I highly recommend a porta-potty for most of us) and some of the other amenities that a brick and mortar home provides, are worth learning to deal with to enjoy it’s many other attributes. It is a great way to explore and enjoy our passions while traveling, and is an option available to those who are far more budget challenged than many traditional full-time RVers. For us nomadic, adventure loving types, adventure vandwelling is a wonderful option for vacations, a season of life, or a long-term lifestyle!

Read More by Brenda Curtiss

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