We’re not giving up Vanlife - not in the slightest. We’re taking a side step, a small transition.
We’ve always been good at listening to our gut. We took a year off of school to travel, regardless of the pressure we felt from all the adults telling us to wait until after graduation. We chose to forgo the natural career path of marketing majors like ourselves to follow our passion of travel and creating a self-sustaining life of our own. We’ve always been able to dig deep and make decisions based on what makes us happy and what feels right.
Now it’s time for us to listen to our gut again, and this time it’s telling us, “Let’s slow down for a sec. Let’s take a side-step from the hustle and grind of this self-sustained life we’ve created. Let’s focus on projects we’ve been putting off and grow skill sets we haven’t had the time to fully nurture. Let’s indulge in a little consistency — we’ve earned it.”
Also, to be completely honest, Pete and I have never lived a stationary life together. We’ve been together for 6 years and have either been full-time students (living separately) or traveling full-time. So, that’s what we’re going to do for the time being. We’ve put down some roots in our home state of Wisconsin and much to our surprise, we’re absolutely loving it.
But we’ve felt guilty about enjoying “normalcy” in this time in our lives and can’t even begin to explain the dread and straight-up fear we’ve felt in anticipation of announcing our lifestyle change.
We’re supposed to be free-spirited, non-conforming, endlessly exploring, self-employed nomads, right? Who are we if we’re not the free-wheeling, wayfaring dirt bags we’ve been for the past two and a half years?
We’ve felt so fortunate to be a part of this community (both offline and online). We’ve cultivated a following of fellow dreamers and adventurers that we’ve feared will disappear, even though we still have so much positivity, creativity and inspiration to share on this silly little social media platform that has remarkably given us a voice. We’ve even felt shame about taking a break from this seemingly unattainable lifestyle that so many people can only dream of living.
“But life isn’t a black-and-white or an all-or-nothing thing — life is what happens in the gray areas”
Vanlife has become a part of our identities, and for a while we thought that temporarily trading in our wheels for plumbing and a back yard meant trading in a part of ourselves as well. But as time has gone on in our new, more stationary lifestyle, we’ve learned that just isn’t the case at all — because we have and will always be “vanlifers.” Not only in the sense that we’re not selling our van so we can go on adventures and take trips every single chance we get, but also because…
“vanlife” is more than just living on the road — it’s a way of life, a state of mind.
Vanlife is a mindset that has been so engrained in us from our two and a half years of living and working out of our van that it’s become a major part of who we are; it’s a mindset that values simplicity, minimalism, adventure, spontaneity, hard work and dedication, community, contribution to society and the environment, constant learning and growth, freedom, happiness, and so much more. So you’ll still find us cruising the open roads of the U.S. and at Vanlife Meetups in the home on wheels we built from scratch — we just won’t be doing it 24/7.
So to every Vanlifer, Instagram follower, adventurer, and anyone in-between that has been a part of or supported our crazy, amazing, unpredictable, beautiful life on the road for the past two and a half years, we’ll still be seeing you on the road. But, in the meantime, if you ever find yourself making your way through the Midwest, please make a point to stop in Madison and pay us a visit! We plan on being a part of this community for a long, long time… you can’t get rid of us that easy.
How long do you think you could live the Vanlife full-time? Comment below and let us know!