The struggles and joys of van life
What is it like to live as a couple in a space no bigger than a wardrobe? My boyfriend and I take our Multivan on a lot of trips. We have driven it to Hungary, to England – where we lived in it for three months – and now to Norway. So what is it really like? There are many struggles and joys with traveling and living in a van.
Your eating habits may suffer
As you can’t really cook anything inside the car (unless you want everything to get greasy from the oily and dirty splashes of different sauces), you will have to cook outside. But the weather is not always permitting. So you will have to think twice if you want to cook a meal holding an umbrella in one hand, or you will just survive on the crackers from the previous morning. However, you stop being picky and suddenly you are willing to eat almost anything that can keep you full for at least a few hours.
As well as your hygiene habits
It is said that after a certain amount of time you stop smelling, even to yourself. Luckily, there are quite a lot of opportunities where you can take a shower and brush your teeth along the road. A lot of gas stations and rest stops have showers for lorry drivers, and therefore, for you too. You just have to be prepared for the occasions when there are no such luxuries. On the other hand, you will find out how much you can actually endure.
There’s not much space
As time passes, the lack of space can become quite nauseating. But then again, it’s very easy to just open the door and go outside. It might also be quite hard to fit in the things you are fond of, as there is no place to put them.
There’s all the space you really need
You learn how to live on a minimalistic level. You will find out what things are really es - sential to you and there is just no space for the rest. You will also learn how to keep the space around you clean, because you know you essentially only litter in your own bed, which is where you will have to sleep for quite some time.
You can take your home with you anywhere you go
Personally, I see this as one of the main advantages of living in a car. You can park almost anywhere you want and in the morning you hit the road again. You can be off in a matter of minutes and you don’t have to worry about what to pack for the trip as you already have everything you know you need with you.
You get to know the other person much better
This is one thing I would recommend to people in a relationship who are considering taking the next step forward. If you are thinking about moving in together, but you are not sure about the other person’s habits, it is a good idea to live with them for at least a few weeks in a tiny space where you can’t run away from each other. It is an eye-opening experience and you will realise that if you can do this together and not drive each other crazy, then the relationship can only grow stronger.
An experience worth having
There are times when you would like to just turn the car around and go back home because you’ve just had enough of all of this. Nevertheless, it’s an experience that makes you more aware of what you really need in life, with all of its struggles and joys.