One of my opening posts is likely to cause conflict and I apologise. I type and speak as I think, and after 50 odd years on this planet, I am trying to build an internal filter.
The #vanlife that we see plastered all over social media can’t be that much fun. For us UK based van wannabes, we may never just open our back doors to a glorious sunset over the Grand Canyon. Pictures of us real people eating sandwiches with the van conveniently parked bang close to Skegness pier might be closer to my reality.
I’m not saying that #vanlife isn’t real – many of the people I will go on to praise in separate posts are influencers in these areas. I mean them no disrespect – I think I am aligned with many of the principles of #vanlife.
Just to make it clear however I will not, now, ever or at any point contemplate factoring in yoga or overnight soaked oats into my van dreams.
I’m rough around the edges and suspect my van will be.
I also think there are too many significant variants between the original #vanlife movement that eminated from North America and her European offspring.
Let me quantify that. Despite the utter fuckwittery that comes from Trump* and his gang of goons, the United States appears to have significant investment in the national parks and open spaces that people can camp at? Here in the UK, I suspect there will be a high level of NIMBY’ism and general resistance to people parking up where they will?
*I have a very open opinion on Trump – he is an utter spunkpuffin that should not ever be trusted with more than managing his own arse.
So having slated vanlife, why am I thinking of converting a Sprinter van? It keeps me busy, I need a project and one day I will launch into vanlife but a moderated, watered down version of that utopic lifestyle. One of my favourite van conversion channels is Liam The Terrible, a Yorkshire lad with no filter and the ability to portray what vanlife means to a growing population – it is an alternative lifestyle. The choice for that alternative lifestyle is still more often than not a choice but, with growing housing shortages (not just in the UK but globally), more and more people turn to vanlife as their best means of financial and emotional survival.
Maybe we should start #vansurvival.