Van Life Week 1

Part of my journey right now is living in this Van. I’ve had the van for a number of years and spent up to about 18 days in the van before, but this feels like a different test. I will be living in the van with a dog for several months. In the past I have pushed around pieces and found ways to sort of live by myself in the van. The day consists of moving items around each time I want to do something new. The goal now is different.

Here’s the task. Find a livable way in the van that doesn’t mean moving everything all day long. I’m working on it. I need to learn to cook in the van. The additional challenge of the trip is work on losing weight. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. It is time to change that. This means cooking and not eating out every night.

I’ve spent weeks in the Van before. Several of them. They are usually spent touring around from place to place and using the van as a more of a permanent structure tent. This approach leads to a lot of moving things around in the van and organizing for each individual activity, leaving stuff out on the counters and just general in van chaos. While I may have been calling this Van Life. It’s not really like living. It’s like Van-cationing (or vacationing in a van).

The goal with this trip is different. I am spending about 8 weeks living out the van as my primary residence. I won’t turn down a free place to stay, and I’m currently staying in one those, but the van is my home. This means organizing the van in a way to LIVE out of it. Organizing in a way that doesn’t require moving everything from day to day to find clean clothes or brush my teeth. If I catch covid, I’m going to quarantine in the van. The additional challenge, I’m bringing my puppy. Coco is getting used to this as well. So I need to be happy and I need to keep my puppy friend happy as well.

Here are some observations from week 1:

  • Organize my stuff based on what I need daily, weekly, or on special occasion. The special occasion stuff can be much harder to get to.
  • Find a good place to sleep that is flat. Flatness is worth it.
  • I always know where the closest available restroom is.
  • Luckily, my dog can survive in the van without creating chaos for several hours if needed.
  • I am watching much less sports and TV. I’m still happy.
  • I can be happy with much less stuff than I thought I needed.
  • Better items are better than more items.
  • CLEAN everyday. The van will never be fully clean, but do a little every day to keep it clean. It’s a war, don’t give up.

I’m sure there are many more lessons to learn. I still haven’t achieved what I consider ultimate van living: do through meals and coffee out of the van for an entire day without anything purchased externally. Don’t know if I’ll get there this week, but the time is coming when I will achieve this goal.

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