90,000 Miles to Me

Why I Live in a Van

I remember the conversation in my head, not long after I decided that I needed some major changes in my life, and that they would somehow involve traveling. It basically went like this:

“I want to travel.”

“But you don’t do well with change. How are you going to deal with the constant changes of traveling?”

“I don’t know, I’ll figure it out. I’m ready for a big change and I want to travel.”

“But I want to stay in my house. My house is safe and comfy and I like it here.”

“If only I could take my house traveling…”

“Uh, pick it up by the foundation and stick it on the bed of a semi. What are you talking about, take the house? You mean, like a trailer home?”

“Nah, not practical, have you seen those clunkers going down the road? And it’s not a trailer home, the foundation is concrete. Hey, what about a mobile home? Those move more easily.”

Many hours of online research later…

“Okay, mobile homes and travel trailers are out, they’re terribly unreliable, leaky, and just plain bad use of interior space.”

“What about gutting one and redesigning the inside?”

“But they’re still leaky, poorly insulated, get awful gas mileage and have an across the board terrible reliability and maintenance history. Even the expensive ones, which we can’t afford, anyway.”

“What about those tiny home things we saw that one time. Are those mobile?”

Another bout of online research later…

“Ooh, tiny homes are awesome.

“Yeah, we like tiny homes.”

“Not really practical for being driven constantly, though. They’re drivable, but it puts a lot of wear and tear on the wooden frame, and we would basically need to become a truck driver to have the skills to handle driving them safely. Not a legal requirement, but practically it would be a good idea.”

“We could go to truck driving school for a couple months.”

“But the wear and tear thing. It’s just not good for the house. Call this a someday plan.”

“Fine. You want something as easy to drive as a car? Just live in a car, why don’t you?”

“Hold on, that’s not a terrible idea. People do that, right?”

“Generally not by choice. And it would be cramped.”

“Bigger, then, where we could lay down stretched out all the way. A van. Would that work? Has anyone ever done that?”

Yet another round of online research…

“Wow, this is, like, a thing. People do this. It even has a name; van dwelling. Hunh.”

“So…we could move our stuff into a van so it looks and feels like our house and take our home on the road…? Cool!”

“Cool!”

“We need to do more research…”

“Yeah, research is fun…”

And so it was decided, our intrepid explorer would live in a van. Not forever, probably two to three years, maybe more or less depending on how it goes, if I like it as much as I’m imagining or hate it after a couple months. After a few years, though, I’ll probably be sick of traveling and want to settle down somewhere, maybe in a tiny home.

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