When Collin and I decided to share our journey via the internet, we decided to share both the good and the bad stuff and be as transparent as possible. Before we had the van, we did A LOT of research into the lifestyle and lots of homework on which kind of van would be best for our family. It seemed like everyone already doing it, like many things you see posted on the internet, was living easy and effortless lives and stoked-happy 24/7. The first thing we agreed not to do after getting the van was live through Instagram. We didn't want to turn our exciting family van trip into a scheme to acquire the most likes on the gram- so we deleted it. And yeah, we are still doing Hashtag Vanlife, just without the hashtag. We share photos and videos on our Youtube channel for those who enjoy following the journey and pics on our Facebook for friends, family, and new friends we meet along the way.
So, here's the truth.
It's not all glamour and sunsets everyday. Some days, we are too tired from driving and the set up/ tear down to even make it to sunset. I had a pretty selfish expectation going into this lifestyle assuming my family and I would be trekking huge new mountain peaks everyday just in time to settle into a camp spot by crystal glacial waters by 5pm and get delicious new recipe dinners cooked on the propane stove in time to have our daughter in bed by 8:30 pm. While we have went on some pretty awesome hikes, kayaked beautiful mountain-fed lakes, and scored some pretty sweet sunsets at mountainside camp spots (And okay, we had some pretty bitchin' van-style fajitas the other night), just because you're living in a van doesn't make you any less human. You still get tired. You still do laundry and dishes. Sometimes, the van feels like it needs to be rearranged just like the old living room at our condo. I guess what I am trying to get at here is, there still needs to be a balance whether you're living in a van, a mansion, or a teepee. And, living in a van doesn't necessarily mean an easier or more glamorous life. It just means sacrificing a few extra bills and substituting them with gas receipts and changing up the view more. Which, works for us. As with everything in life, it has been and continues to be a learning experience.
So, currently we are broken down in Victor, Idaho.
As the mom in the family, I feel amidst a 27-year old life crisis, again. There are days I question everything, wondering if I am making poor decisions for my family. We entered this lifestyle as a means to "get back west" and with a very hopeful and open mindset to seek new opportunities in the career realm. We have this crazy, near insane, urge to follow our dreams and our hearts. But there are mornings that we wake up with an uneasy feeling in our stomachs wondering what in the hell we are doing. And I have to remind myself that we woke up with even bigger, nastier pits in our stomachs when we were trapped in jobs we were not passionate about or had no room to grow with along with living in an HOA unit that micromanaged our daily existence. We entered this lifestyle with ambition and a pretty low budget. We have a couple jobs lined up for backup income if we hit our agreed upon $900.00 in the bank. At times, nerves get us and leave me thinking that I am not doing the right thing for my daughter. But then we pass a herd of wild buffalo grazing in front of the mountains where we first met, and I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather share that with than my family.
The truth about Vanlife?
We still bicker like people who love each other do that live in ordinary homes. We still struggle to find time to ourselves and together, as a family seeking balance with a new addition does. And damn it, our dogs still act like dogs when they get in a tight space around other animals. The thing is, we are vulnerable right now and shamelessly exposed to our very own destiny. Yet, we still don't know exactly what's around the corner.
Dogs & Diapers