Alright, here’s a more personal article for you to read. I’ve written in the past why Alex and I have decided to choose the #Vanlife route. But as of more recently, we’ve also become super passionate about helping our real home (Planet Earth) and thereby living a sustainable lifestyle. This goes in tandem with our “alternative living” goal.
In case I didn’t make it clear enough, I don’t agree with what society’s normal and standard lifestyle looks like. The unsaid, yet implied, motto of modern day living is “convenience, comfort, easy access”. This is A-ok – there’s nothing wrong in thinking this way.
But less is always better
The corporate world is not yet structured to meet the needs of consumers and the planet in a way that’ll sustain a healthy, quality of life for all. Right now, how fast things can be produced and sold to consumer hands is the main goal of most worldwide companies. Money is the sole occupant in the corporate world (obviously) which means that an economical, more earth-friendly solution is not financially viable – yet.
As society members, this is a problem for us. We enjoy the luxuries of being able to purchase things easily, without much effort put into it, and to feel like we can trust that these big brands are taking care of us. In other words, we rely on what they tell us.
So to sum it up, there are three main reasons why we’re embarking on this new lifestyle of van living.
First: Downsizing on everything = a cleaner life
This materialistic mindset that Western society is currently immersed in is something that’s been given a significant amount of attention towards. Most likely you’ve seen and heard the surging trend of minimalism. It’s become a sought-after lifestyle that many of us look up to for inspiration. Less things, more meaning, simple colors, a clean look. Simple appears like the better alternative for living a quality life.
I’m not all for the branding of this new trend. But I do think ditching the excess items we once thought we needed and purging our outer life is essential for building a better one. Which is one of the reasons Alex and I have chosen van living.
Secondly: Traveling & Exploring Makes It Worthwhile
Let me just warn you: van living is not a luxury. It can be physically uncomfortable and even psychologically straining (think less space can be claustrophobic.) You can often feel like you’re so divergent from society and a social weirdo. Living in one place in a van is certainly nothing like having a house or an apartment. This is why our plan to travel in the van is our primary goal. But not just any traveling.
Why are we traveling?
Because there’s nothing like experiencing different people, cultures and natural settings in this world. But also because our main purpose behind all this leads to our last reason. . .
Thirdly: To Spread Environmental Awareness
As an independent journalist and a sustainability advocate, I want to see what kind of alternatives there are out there to create a more sustainable, environmentally-focused future.
As for Alex, he shoots the photos and supports our brand to help spread further awareness.
We haven’t started living full time in our van yet
That happens later in the spring. But as we continue building out our new little home and customizing it to fit our lifestyle, I’m taking the time to assess what my and Alex’s needs are and how we can live in alignment with the planet.
Lifestyle is an essential part of our evolved Homo sapient lives. Each lifestyle decision we make has environmental consequences. There will always be sacrifices on both ends. For example, Alex and I are environmental advocates and traveling in a van is part of our new lifestyle for now. But: it’s a carbon-emitting vehicle.
Perhaps we can’t be perfect and live 100% in tandem with the planet. But we can try our best.
This is why I’m advocating for our conscientiousness as consumers.
It is also why I like calling this way of living a “conscious lifestyle”. Because the power lies in being aware of what we do and how we do it, and understanding that whatever kind of lifestyle we lead daily will have either a positive or negative effect on everything around us.
And once we become more conscious, it naturally becomes automatic habit. And guess what? This ultimately benefits the planet and everything on it.
My goal is to completely transform a lifestyle that has been proven as unhealthy for both myself and the environment. And while I often get discouraged by how overridden the corporate world is with things and products that do far more harm than good, I also feel motivated to do even better.
Van living is our way of seeing how we can create a fully sustainable lifestyle for ourselves and inspire as many others as we can to do the same.