Why would someone give up their house and move into a car? This is a question many van dwellers are asked. I don't know about most people, but in my case, I was SICK of the monotony of house dwelling.
With all of the rent, bills, chores, and lack of freedom due to the rent, and bills (I still have chores, you just can't get away from those suckers), I was just done. I was working 12 hours a day and too tired to spend any of the money I was working so hard to make.
I started to hate life and ended up searching for something better.
Along came homesteading. I was ready to pack it all up, move to an undeveloped plot of land, build a house out of sandbags and barbed wire and leave bills and normalcy behind. I started learning skills that would later prove valuable for both homesteading and van dwelling, like innovative ways to preserve food as well as skills that would prove lucrative enough to keep me from having to work for other people much as my lifestyle would require otherwise.
After wondering where the best place to settle down would be, days turned into weeks of research trying to find the best land and eventually I realized that all of the current states with laws friendly to my lifestyle suck! I finally decided to head for Arizona. It has semi-lax laws and it was warm enough in the area that I did not have to hide in a burrow during the winter. My animals would thank me. While I had decided ( at least I thought I had) on a state, which area I was going to settle in was indeed a mystery. I refused to pay rent while I looked, and the prospect of getting a room was just... No! I slowly stumbled upon the fact that, I would need a way to get around with my stuff. I would also need a place to sleep while I built the house, and that's when it hit me "I know! I'll live in a van while I check out the areas I'm looking into!"
Thus the Van life of Hawkwing was born.
I started saving for my rig and getting ready to move on. I was so excited, that's when I hit the internet looking for resources, and boy did I find them. I learned this crazy idea that I had was not only a thing but people had been sharing their knowledge for years. This was a huge stepping stone toward my goal of living in a van. After scouring page after page, video after video I was thrust into Van life way before I was ready.
Hit & Run
I was run over by a car and lost my job. That day was an alarm bell, although I ended up hitting snooze a few times, it took me three more months and a new job I hated to finally wake up.
I ended up moving into my Ciera Oldsmobile and saying no more, to dealing with situations I was unhappy with. I had no van, no job, and not much money, but I was off.
I packed everything in November of 2016 into the smallest Uhaul I could find, packed my tiny car with everything I would need and there I was off, wondering.
Pedal to the floor, I wanted more!
I ended up in New Mexico, still, the idea of being full time was but a daydream. I stayed with friends and hated it there. Off I went to Arizona, I landed in Phoenix, the water there gave me a rash. All the while my hope of becoming a vandweller off in the distance. Finally, I end up in San Diego, got a job (still living in my car) and decide that the mini road trips were so amazing, I had to have more. So I started traveling back and forth to Arizona and back, (bringing California water with me for baths). I ended up in Nevada, where my friend Bob found me my dream home.
My Pos ford Econoline
I dubbed my next van "Bad Wolf". Boy was she a hot mess, it died on me often, and was in the shop twice as much. despite this, to this day, buying that van was the happiest moment of my life. It was the day I decided that Van life WAS for me! Not only that, I was finally able to stand up inside my house again. After my injury, it hurts to sit for too long. That meant being in my car was a pain in the butt, literally. I kept her for about 4 months before i couldn't take it anymore and ended up getting the van I have today!
Do I regret leaving sooner than I had hoped?
No, quite the opposite! I learned as I went and proved to myself that this was the life I wanted. Plus, the traveling made up for it.
Do I wish I had started in a van instead of my car?
To be quite honest, yes! It would have been nice to have a fully built rig from day one.
Would I do it again?
Under different circumstances, no. I would have waited built out and left in a rig that I choose and was in good condition.
Wait, you just said you don't regret it! How is that if you wouldn't do it again?
Well, my car sucked and over a year later I'm still building my new van to completion due to physical restrictions and lack of a place to build. I had help and a driveway before the move. If I could have, I would have waited! I still don't regret the decision I made in the situation I was in.
Do you see yourself going back to a stick and brick?
That is not the end goal in my life. I plan on going all over the world, possibly twice. Only then will I get land and live in a van while I build my sandbag home. Where I will raise animals and do the homesteading chapter of my life, until then, the world is my oyster, I'm going to eat it up!
Thanks for reading, until next time,
Peace, Love, Vanlife!