It will be a year until we set out on our van to live a whole new lifestyle
For me, I couldn’t be more anxious. There’s a feeling of insecurity in abandoning a secure life. We’re creatures of habit, as it’s been shown and experienced by everyone. But aren’t we also creatures of change, which eventually leads us to our own evolutionary growth?
For most people, there comes a point when you feel sluggish in daily life. The job feels sordid, and you hunger for an iconoclastic scenario that shatters your stable life. Alex and I could both very easily decide to buy a van now. We could renovate it quickly and set out for our desirable life later this summer. But financially, that wouldn’t be feasible.
As we spend the time compiling our finances, enjoying the last year of our stable, “normal” lives, it has me contemplate deeply on the topic of what it means to live the way we’re living. What compels people to stay where they are in the name of security? Why do we often risk happiness and a sense of fulfillment for the promise made to us for stability and safety? If you really take a look at our modern-day species, you’ll see that most of us are not even happy.
Too many of us are falling into illness, and depression spikes higher every year. In American polls, the majority of people vote that not feeling a sense of purpose and devotion in their lives prompts further negative feelings. On the contrary, feeling a part of something larger than themselves, people feel inclusion and an uptick in mental health is observed. All in all, the life we’ve committed ourselves to is betraying our true nature.
Submitting ourselves to “the norm” is something of the past
And this is why Alex and I have decided to venture out to unconventional standards. Oddly enough, “the norm” seems to be entering a state of confusion. These days, nobody really knows what it even is anymore. It pleases me to see this because it shows that, for once, a clarity is forming. People are understanding what works for them and what they really need. And then they take action from here. Normal living is dismounting from it’s high and mighty position. Here and now, a rupture is happening from within the system that prods a whole new, “alternative” way of living.
So what is alternative lifestyle?
In theory, the definition projects a lifestyle of the “minority”, deviating from cultural norms. Vegetarianism and veganism are both considered alternative lifestyle. But I almost feel like it’s a little more confusing than that, because people are confused. Alternative lifestyle is the kind of living that people are beginning to understand suits them better. In addition, it suits the world at large just as well. I prefer using the term “conscious living”.
Then there’s “sustainable living”, the kind of living that aims to promote one’s own personal resources and reduce usage of society’s resources. All in all, they fall into my kind of category – conscious living.
Living in a van
By living in a van, Alex and I have an optimistic vision. In the first place, we’d like to see how we could fully and honorably commit to this kind of lifestyle that benefits everyone. And everything. Of course, then there’s the issue of adding to carbon footprint by driving around on our four-wheel. Would we really, however, reduce such footprint if we were living in an apartment? Not to mention handing over our money to greedy hands that don’t even give a damn about the environment.
Our attention is now transfixed on living consciously, and testing out how we can do so. At the same time, our travels will show us the flaw in every other person’s ability to preserve, conserve and care for their surroundings, other people, – and themselves.
Conscious living conundrum
So, is conscious living the right kind of lifestyle? I’d sound biased by saying yes. But I am going to be extremely predictable by confirming just that. However, it’s not my place to tell anyone what is right. And I would never advise anyone to join the VanLife movement because it is not for everyone. It’s up to the person to gauge what is best for their own selves. In fact, they can transform their current position to a better one. Because – let’s face it – we all need this relief.
I personally believe that the right kind of life is the kind that fills your being with relief. That being said, becoming aware of what feels tense and constricted versus alleviating is vital to understanding what your kind of life is. What we call alternative lifestyle might as well be compared to “better living”. It challenges concepts and previously held models for how we should live.
So when we decided to dedicate a year to living and traveling around in an extremely unconventional lifestyle – it wasn’t easy. And it is still not easy – to express to others our thoughts and philosophies on the matter. I wouldn’t want the assumption floating around people’s heads that we’re transcendental hippies. Unfortunately, this image is not terribly appealing to most people. And we’re not planning to live the kind of life free of showers and soap.
Bottom line is, our commitment is to promote the conscious way of living. In future articles, I will provide more depth and specificity into these topics in the hopes that it may drop a bit of influence into your own lifestyle patterns. Perhaps it’ll spark curiosity into incorporating more self-fulfilling habits in your routines. Or perhaps if you’re already on the path of conscious living, you’ll decide to completely bulldoze the old to make way for the new.