HASHTAG: #vanlife

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the last few months searching for a home for my family, but lately I’ve been obsessively reading about the interesting and unconventional home choices other people are making in the Western World.

Explore in a blue VW camper van and the #vanlife hashtag on instagram.

During my last couple years of college, I hoarded my coffeehouse tips to purchase a VW Vanagon, my then dream car, in order to convert it to a home on wheels, but pleas from my parents finally put an end to my plan.  Instead, I moved onto a 28′ sail boat docked in the Santa Barbara harbor.  It was the same minimalist lifestyle I was looking for, only, without the wheels.

As it turns out and much to my delight, there are indeed some brave folks who have embraced the mobile lifestyle of living in a van and are sharing their tales with the online community.

Using an Instagram hashtag popularized by Foster Huntington (@fosterhunting), a now published author and experienced aficionado of the #vanlife, these adventurers depend on the unpredictable engines of vintage vans to move their unconventional homes from woods to Walmart parking lot, meeting up with fellow travelers along the way.

The Atlantic published a video showcasing the #vanlife, along with a handful of van dwellers.  It shines a light on the non-romantic romance of searching for bathrooms and fixing broken engines.

“There is something about going somewhere you’ve never been in a vehicle you know is guaranteed to break down at some point.”
-Ryan Sellmyer // @poseidonsbeard

Something about the video by The Atlantic is reminiscent of the camping trips I experienced as a child with our huge extended family, only, some of the people who meet up and share the #vanlife over bacon and eggs have never met each other before.  The #vanlife hashtag creates a family reunion of sorts each time adventurers meet in the wildlands of America – a family of like-minded adventurers.

Thanks to the democratization of expression provided by the internet, you can live vicariously through the feeds of people dedicated to this life on wheels.  Here are some of my favorites:

Read about the #vanlife hashtag on Different Drum blog.

Foster Huntington of @fosterhunting // The creator of the #vanlife hashtag and published author of Home Is Where You Park It, amongst other books.  He has now put down roots in a self-built treehouse.

Explore the #vanlife hashtag on Different Drum blog.

Ryan Sellmyer of @poseidonsbeard // This resourceful fellow shows us what it’s like for he and his wife to travel with their two young and adventurous children.  How amazing would that childhood be?

Explore the #vanlife hashtag on Different Drum blog.

Liss of @lifeintheslowlane // This gal’s motto is “You don’t have to be rich to travel well,” and she shows us what #vanlife looks like in Australia.

And lest you think the #vanlife lifestyle is relegated to the worlds of rugged types, hippies, or completely unconventional human-beings, be inspired by the way these folks fit this fringe way of life into their own lives:

Explore the #vanlife hashtag on Different Drum blog.

Daniel Norris of @danielnorris18 // This pitcher for the Detroit Tigers spends his time off season traveling in the Volkswagen van he calls home.  The van’s name is Shaggy, after the beloved Scooby Doo character.

Brandon of Frominsidethebox.com // This employee at Google in California’s Bay Area decided to dodge high rent prices by living in a roomy box truck in the company parking lot.  Read about it on his blog.

So, are you ready for the #vanlife?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this nomadic lifestyle.

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