Every day is an adventure when you live in a van and every day brings something new for you to learn. On the road, in the van, we came across people and had experiences that changed our perception about life. This statement sounds clichéd but it really was true for us. And we are talking about experiences that you tell your grandkids about, that good!
The portion below is set of lessons, couple of our friends who lived in a van and traveled around Europe learnt during their one month journey.
You become a Problem Solver
Once you start living in the van, you will be faced with one problem after another. Even small tasks that you never gave so much thought become a puzzle. Of course in a good and exciting way, not in an annoying way. We always had our creative juices running in our heads and trying to take things as a challenge, like drying clothes from the windows of the van or making toasts on a pan.
Weather is unpredictable
Often times we were faced with sudden rains, weird winds and rapidly dropping temperatures as we moved from one place to another. You cannot really be sure about the weather when on the road and that is yet another challenge in its own. But whatever the weather, our van was equipped with everything we needed to sleep the night. Every time we would go on higher altitudes we had to turn on heating because it would get that cold.
Musical instruments can be great companions
Although, van life is full of excitement but at times you do get bored and for such times, a musical instrument can prove great. We had a guitar with us that we played often around serene and calm places. The euphoria from playing music in such picturesque places changes you as a person and that is exactly what happened with us. You cannot go on a van journey without your guitar, if you own and play one.
Never underestimate the power of a map
Maps are so useful when you are on the road, we cannot emphasize enough. There also detailed maps with marked camping spots that can be very useful when you want to find a parking place and stay for a while. Especially, if you are in a foreign land, you can never get lost if you have a map unless you want to get lost deliberately. Yes we tried that too!
Going wild camping is exhilarating
Yes, we were always told it was not the safest option but we did that nevertheless and loved every bit of it. If you are not going to go off beaten paths and explore wild landscapes, then you are doing the van life wrong. There is nothing more beautiful than waking up to a beautiful sunrise between the cliffs or catching fresh fish from the lake and cooking it by the lake. It is surely a key to tons of fun and honestly we would love to do it all over again.
Getting off the Internet is not that bad
In the beginning, it was a bit hard for us to live without internet for days but gradually we started appreciating such gaps. Now many of us are glued to screens and do not even know much about ourselves. Getting off the internet allowed us to learn more about our own selves and find ways to kill time in a healthy way.
Water is a blessing
We really started to value H2O when we started living in a van. Finding water can be a difficult task and you should definitely keep hosepipe adapters. That will help you in getting water from any type of tap. We also learned to use water responsibly because at times we were left with little water and knew that it would take some time to fill the tank again. It was surprising how we took water for granted and wasted so much of it all the time before living in a van.
Cooking skills are very important
We are not talking skills like slicing a salmon or making risotto but basic cooking skills like frying an egg or boiling rice. If you know these simple cooking tasks, you will go a long way when you are on the road in your van. At times, you have to make do with whatever you have in your van and at that time basic cooking skills really help. And since utensils are limited, you will also get creative with cooking. Ever heard of skillet lasagna?
It is the journey that counts
We verify that the saying it is the journey that matters, not the destination is 100% on point. In our case, we did not even think about what our destination was because our journey was so mesmerizing. Through living in van we learnt that the same is true for life as well. It is the experiences and the little moments you gather on your way that really matter. When you get to the destination, you realize that your journey was your real reward and the sooner you realize that, the better.
There is a little child hidden in all of us
On our way we did things that perhaps only a kid would do. We jumped into water with our clothes on and got chased by dogs. We realized in between the stress and complexity of life, we had completely forgotten what it is like to live without a care. When you start moving around in a van and feel the burden leave your chest, the child in you gets a rebirth. It is so refreshing that you can only understand it if you try it.
Van life and traveling in general can be a life changing journey that lets you in on many of the secrets of life itself. If you are surrounded by too many problems, maybe it is time to loosen up, get a van and hit the road. There is not even a tiny bit that we would not do again from our days on road.