Last year, I’ve been on holiday in Portugal and I’d decided before departure already that I’d love to explore the country as much as possible. So, I rented a car to trudge round all the beautiful places. It was amazing, but starting the day with a long car trip and ending it by driving back to the hotel was really annoying. That’s when I started to catch up a little bit on the so-called Van Life Movement.
The Van Life Movement refers to living not in a fixed home, but – surprise! – inside a van. Some van lifers, as they like to call themselves, convert old school buses or ambulance cars into a mobile home, while others pour into an actual camper van. A considerable number of Millennials chooses the van life as an alternative to a 9-to-5 job and a mortgage, though about 87 percent of them still work while on the road.
The Van Life Movement does not only allow people with a low income to cut costs by living a nomadic life – if done right, this lifestyle can save a lot of resources. The van life is very minimalistic and the people living it usually make use of solar panels and lamps. Due to the limited supply of clean water, they are forced to economize the amount they have. Even the amount of food going to waste is reduced to a minimum, as there’s not enough storage room to buy excessive amounts of food.
For a sustainable (van) lifestyle, less is usually more!
The Perfect Match: Vans & Cans
Living a van life is not always fun and games. Most van lifers spend between $100 and $500 a month in gas and less than $30 a month on campsites, which is a bargain in comparison to the rent in some cities, but you definitely have to adapt your behaviour to the new surroundings.
Canned food, for example, will become your best friend while on the road. It’s incredibly versatile, doesn’t need to be cooled and is ready-to-eat, whenever the hunger kicks in (and the next supermarket is still miles away). Check out this recipe which doesn’t even require actual cooking:
If you then collect your empty cans, you have the perfect protagonists for a variety of DIYs that could even posh up your van interior (and help you pass a tedious afternoon on the road). A selfmade storage would solve a number of struggles of van life:
What’s best about the Van Life Movement for can lovers like us? Chances are that your vehicle (at least in parts) consists of recycled metal packaging. Isn’t that cool? It’s time we start the #CanLifeMovement!
Did you ever consider abandoning your fixed apartment and travelling the world with a mobile home? Tell us about your van life dreams in the comment section!