You see all the incredible parts of vanlife as you scroll through your Instagram or watch endless hours of Youtube clips. You long for a life too, of travel and adventures and find yourself day dreaming of a new life. Well reality check for you all, this isn’t the ‘real’ vanlife! I’m not saying that these parts of vanlife don’t exist, because believe me they do, but what I am saying is that not everything is as it is made out to be. You see breathtaking photos of vanlifers parked up in the most incredible locations, watching the sunset or rise, looking like absolute supermodels and expressing in their captions, how amazing life truly is. Well life might look or be amazing right there and then, but what they don’t show you is that they actually stayed in a parking lot two nights ago to get here, or that they haven’t properly showered in two days or the 1000 photos they took previously to get the most ‘instaworthy’ shot!
Vanlife is a mix of the good, the bad and the truly incredible days. The bad days are those that you find yourself stressing over where to park up for the night, having not made the travel distance you had hoped for that day. The rainy days stuck in the van, praying hard that the sun will miraculously appear out of know where or the days when you worry over your finances and question your motives and if you are making smart choices. One thing is for sure, on the incredible days, when your life actually is the social media portrayed fantasy, you forget the bad days and remember why you chose this life. You feel unstoppable and completely content with the amazing life you have created for yourselves.
On the bad days, when you feel defeated, I think back to those incredible days, the days I felt so alive, and remind myself that it’s all worth it. No matter how you choose to live your life, it will take you on the same rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. The important thing is, that despite the crappy emotions, you keep going, you push through those days and know that better days are coming. A bad day is a bad mindset. You choose how you let your emotions affect you that day, so with a quick change of mindset, you can change the entire tone of your day. It’s all about having a positive mindset and tough mental strength.
Vanlife is a life of constant changes and the unknown. Travelling to places you have not yet been before and taking risks left, right and centre. It’s exciting but it can also be daunting. Some people thrive off this type of rapid pace, whilst others simply dislike the uncertainty of it all. You can definitely change your rhythm and become accustomed to a different way of life, but this requires you to be completely open and carefree. In life prior to vanlife, I lived a very structured life. I had daily and weekly routines that I chose to partake in and really when I couldn’t manage to fit them in, I was unsettled and even upset. When I ditched my old lifestyle for this new and adventurous one, I had to teach myself to let go. Let go of the pressures that I had constantly put on myself, the million jobs I tried to do daily and the repetitiveness of my own habits. Once I managed to do this, I felt free. I felt like everything was as it should be and I had found my true self. A feeling of complete contentment and happiness from within.
The best thing vanlife has taught me, is that life is for living. We, as a society, especially Australians, work too much. We spend the majority of our time working and earning a living (or some trying to make millions), while having no time to enjoy the money they are making. We dig ourselves deeper and deeper into debt, trying to keep up “with the jones’ and forget the most important things in life. We forget how important it is to spend time with one another, to switch off from technology and just sit and enjoy each others company without any distractions. We forget to spend time outside, in nature enjoying all that this beautiful world has to offer. You forget that you don’t actually need that massive home that you will spend your entire life paying off. You forget to make memories that last forever and focus on material items that don’t. I’m not telling you to quit your job and sell your home, what I am trying to say is open your eyes and really appreciate the smaller and more simple things in life. These things are free. Shop Now
I hope I haven’t detoured you from vanlife because that is not my intention, I purely wanted to be real with you all, open up about some of the things other people living this wanderlust life don’t want you to see or don’t talk about. This is the ‘real’ vanlife story.