In 2017 Kevin and I made the decision to get an RV, renovate it, sell our house, and travel the United States, and possibly overseas. However, at the beginning of 2019 we decided to embark into van life instead.
But I’m jumping ahead, let’s go back to 2017 first. 😉
We bought a 34-foot class A in the fall of 2017 and hunkered down for the winter with plans to renovate it during the summer of 2018.
We did . . .
. . . well, almost.
Last summer was hot and humid with tons of mosquitos, which hampered us from completely renovating the RV.
During that time, even though I loved what we’d done with the RV (Aesop) and had put a lot of work and money into it, traveling in a camper van instead kept floating in the back of my mind.
I ignored it.
Like I said, we’d put a lot of money into this RV, it looked awesome inside, it was homey, and totally our style . . .
. . . But the camper van idea kept poking at me like a persistent child who wanted my attention.
-Then logic took center stage:
A van is much more practical.
I didn’t want to listen to logic and in an internal display of childish behavior, I stuck my fingers in my ears and said, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m not listening. Go away. Stop pestering me with your logic. I love Aesop. We did a fantastic job renovating him. It’s fate that we have this RV.”
Sometimes fate can be tricky.
I didn’t know this until now, but more on that in a few.
-So, for a while I was able to ward off the constant prodding to get a van, but eventually I couldn’t ignore what was in my heart.
I sat in a quiet spot by myself and gave into reason.
“Why is traveling in a camper van more practical than a class A RV?”
A 34-foot RV, plus towing a car behind, which we planned on doing, would be difficult to turn corners, get off the highway, find a suitable parking space, and get to places we wanted to go. With a camper van we wouldn’t have those problems.
We would have two insurance policies to pay for if we were to have an RV and a car. With a van only one. Gas for the RV and car would be a lot more costly than with one vehicle. Maintenance on an RV and car, not to mention tires, would suck more money out of our bank account than a camper van.
“Also, since you were a little girl, you wanted to travel in a van,” my inner voice reminded me.
At this point, I had to be honest with myself.
I’d been following and watching #vanlife people for over a year now, along with people who also travel in an RV.
I knew what type of van I wanted.
I wanted something like a Ford E-250 Falcon or Coachmen high top camper class B or a 1990s Pleasure Way.
I love those vans! 😍
. . . Now, to talk to Kevin about it.
I was nervous as hell to talk to him about how I felt. He did a lot of work on the RV, and now I was going to tell him I wanted a van instead. 🤦
Being open and honest is key to having a healthy relationship, even if you know there’s a possibility you might piss off your significant other.
Being true to yourself and happiness, despite what others may think, is paramount to living a good life.
I had to keep those things in mind as I prepared myself to talk to him.
That night I spoke to Kevin about how I felt and listed the reasons why we should consider getting a van instead.
He was totally cool with it. He said it was my deal and to go find a van.
I showed him what I wanted and started searching for one.
. . . Well, I couldn’t find the one I wanted because we were in the middle of a bad winter and as Kevin pointed out, the ones that were for sale had high mileage, rust, and needed to be renovated.
We discovered last summer that we never wanted to renovate another camper or home again.
Kevin brought up the idea to buy a cargo van and build it ourselves, that way we could get one with low miles and design it to suit our needs.
However, I wanted to be able to stand up in it.
The next week, Kevin found and bought a really good van—2003 Ford E-250 cargo van with 80,000 miles. It was a garage queen with no rust and only had one owner, which was a stationary company.
. . . But, no high top, and I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around how everything was going to fit inside this van (bed, toilet room, sink, stove, refrigerator, etc.).
I’m a visual person, and I’m sure the measurements in my head are screwy. Kevin assured me it’ll all fit, and we’re going to get a high top.
I’m completely fine with small spaces, as long as I have the basic amenities and a comfy place to sleep and chill, I’m golden.😎
I’m not a high maintenance person or materialistic.
Simple things please me.
I’m not going to lie, though . . . I am scared but at the same time, I want to do this.
I want to experience and live a life of self-discovery, share it with the world, live deliberately and mindfully, instead of just existing.
We’re going to do this for a year and see where we want to live or continue to travel.
Fate is a tricky little shit.
Just when I thought I had fate figured out, it threw me a curve ball with this van . . .
. . . It reminded me that ever since I was a child I wanted to travel and explore the world in a van. As a young adult, I was too fucked up in the head to do it at that time.
I had to get my shit out of the water.
What I mean by that is when we’re born, we’re like a clear glass of water until our parents, relatives, other people, start throwing their shit into it (beliefs, fears, ideas, politics, abuse, etc.), then it totally changes us—mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Once I was able to gain the self-confidence I was never given and got things straight in my head—the shit out of my water—a new world unfolded in front of me.
One thing led to another until it brought me full circle to the innocent child I once was—the child who is still alive inside of me.
This child at the age of four would lie in her bottom bunk bed and question why she was here and what was life like after death.
Who the fuck does that?
Yes, I’m an anomaly.
This same child went with her dad to a car lot at the age of five and saw a camper van with a galley and a couch.
She was in total awe and begged her dad to buy it so they could travel in it.
Subconsciously she knew there was more to life than being part of the herd. Her path was to discover self and to live life instead of staying in the feed lot.
I truly believe we weren’t designed to live this textbook life most of us live, but I also know everyone’s path is different and that’s okay.
My path is different.
I lived the textbook life and so did Kevin and . . .
. . . We were fucking miserable.
We spent more time at our jobs than our house, but that’s another post I might write about later. The point is, even though I’m scared to totally flip my whole life, I must follow my heart.
That my friends takes a lot of guts and is a healthy step towards a more meaningful life—following your heart, facing your fears, and growing as you do so.
Right when we thought we had fate figured out, it turned our world inside out, and taught us deep shit that stung, but yet pushed us to levels we’d never considered facing.
It’s during those times we need to realize that if we didn’t matter, we wouldn’t be tested or challenged.
Something to think about.😉
Bottom Line: Follow your heart, even if you’re scared to do so.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.✌️
Van life here we come! 😜