A year ago I wasn’t like this: wanting to go out every weekend, every chance I get, and sleeping in our van- it’s still pretty new to me. But Van Life has become my newest love, and I yearn to get out constantly, for that excitement it brings.
Starting this year, I told myself I would go somewhere new every week, and that’s where the beginning of my blog started (go-somewhere-new.com).
Around the same time I started my blog, my fiancé Ian decided to buy a 88’ Toyota van, and name him Hansel (yes, like Hansel from Zoolander). After he bought the van, our rock climbing adventures, and the van, kinda’ just melded together perfectly, into this mutual love for Van Life. We still work full time, so going out for longer periods of time is sometimes a challenge; but we still manage to make it a priority in our lives- because of the happiness it brings. One good thing about traveling in a van, is the accessibility it brings. Because our van is 4WD, it is easier for us to get to more remote destinations, which is both exciting and scary at the same time. But the end result, like parking on the edge of a mountain, overlooking the ocean- is so worth it.
Hansel is like the great old aunt that just keeps hanging around- there’s always a lurking fear of breaking down, but he always seems to pull through. Hansel is still a work in progress; and there has been a lot of putting together and taking apart when it comes to making the bed, and fitting out the drawers that go inside. But Ian is determined to fit the bed, drawers for storage, and eventually a pull out kitchen unit in the back. Learning to drive Hansel is still a struggle for me, but I’m determined to learn stick shift, and hopefully, someday soon, I will be behind the wheel, driving with confidence.
Being a weekend warrior is difficult; so next year, after our wedding, we plan to take a bit of time off to drive to Alaska, and take more time to enjoy van life. Like I said before, this whole wilderness/van life/roughing it situation is still new to me; but the reason I love it so much is because it challenges me. It challenges my urge to automatically feel anxious about everything, and it has brought me the ability to be okay with situations that are out of my control. It’s funny that one little thing, a van, and the movement of Van Life, has changed my life so drastically. And I’m thankful everyday, for our silly little Toyota van- Hansel, that just keeps on trekking.
To see more about our future adventures, follow us on instagram @ go_somewhere_new
The thought of owning a van as a young teenager consumed my thoughts…. At times it was all I could think about. Whenever I expressed my interests of owning a van, though, my dreams were almost always shot down. I was told that, "owning a van just wasn’t practical…vans have too many problems and they’re unsafe". At times I gave into the ‘practical idea’ of owning a generic vehicle, but it didn’t take long before my dreams of owning a van overcame the mounds of uncertainties. A 1976 Volkswagen Kombi made its way into my driveway, and the work to begin building and maintaining the ultimate adventure machine commenced!
Over time I familiarized myself with the temperamental, air cooled engine of the 76’ Kombi, and maintaining the vehicle eventually came a little easier. With the help of many mechanics, we got the Kombi running well and ready for beach trips! When you use a machine like the VW Kombi for what it’s made to do, the more practical the car/van seems to become. I could sleep in it, cook food in it, and load up the surfboards without having to slave over strapping them to the roof! The most practical aspect of living in a van, though, is having to slow down, take things easy, and enjoy everything.
If you’re considering buying a van and are eager to get into a new adventure vehicle (even for just weekend trips), I highly recommend it. You'll learn so much about yourself, you'll meet amazing people, and you’ll make some of the most unforgettable memories.