Van Life: The Ups and Downs

A lot of niche lifestyles became mainstream in the strange year of 2020. It seemed everyone was becoming a banana bread baker, an avid cyclist, or a plant parent.

Some people took it to the next level and changed their entire way of life by packing up and living on the road. Living in a van was once something you rarely heard of, but 2020 changed a lot for us. Suddenly, a nomadic lifestyle appealed to more people than ever before.

“Van life” videos were becoming some of the most watched content on social media for so many different reasons. Getting to see the process of stripping an old school bus or Volkswagen van and converting it into a tiny home was like HGTV taken to new heights.

The Ups

A huge trend within van-lifers is the joy of being able to telework from wherever you choose to go in your home on wheels. It’s as easy as parking in a McDonald’s parking lot for the day to get your work done with their free Wi-Fi.

Many content creators living the van life focus on the glamorous parts like parking by the beach at sunset, hiking with your dog in a different state every day, and not being tied down by rent or mortgage. However, a lot of van-lifers are transparent about the harsh realities of life on the road.

The Downs

Gas prices have spiked this summer, as we are all very aware of, making fueling a van a heavy expense. Dealing with repairs and vehicle maintenance can also make a home on wheels extremely inconvenient. Imagine having to drop your house off at the shop for a couple days!

Is it Sustainable?

While the lifestyle isn’t without its carbon footprint, the majority of people living in vehicles utilize solar energy, produce less waste, and become conscious consumers with their limited space.

One solo van-lifer, Cori Geiger, works fully remotely for a marketing organization. She installed solar panels on the roof of her van with the knowledge she acquired from YouTube.

All in all, van-lifers chose a nonconventional and exciting way to live. So, what do you say; are you ready to pack up and hit the road?

by Isabelle Brown  | 

Road Tripping Responsibly

Did you know that this Friday is National Road Trip Day? To the adventurers who want to see it all, but also reduce their carbon footprint while doing so, this one’s for you. Here’s 3 ways to make your summer road trip more eco-friendly!

Travel Together with Friends

You know how we love our carpools. Road tripping with friends is like a carpool and vacation in one! Instead of driving separate cars and meeting at locations, driving together can make a big impact when it comes to the number of vehicles on the road. Being on a road trip with a group makes it way more fun, too! You can take turns driving, split the cost of gas, and enjoy the open road together in the process.

Leave Nothing Behind but Tire Tracks

It goes without saying, but litterbugs are a no-go on road trips. As you stop at rest areas, scenic overlooks, and destinations along the way, be sure to pick up after yourself. Did you know that in a two-year period, the Washington State Department of Transportation disposed of 6,075 tons of litter from roadsides across the state? While traveling, we like to follow this mantra: Be kind. Leave nothing behind!

Bring Your Bike!

A road trip is equal parts about the journey and the destination. Stopping at local parks, historical markers, national forests, and beaches brings a great opportunity to soak in the world around you. Bringing your bicycle can be the perfect way to get some physical activity in between long stretches of driving. If you don’t have a bike, a trusty pair of hiking boots or walking shoes will get you moving, too.

Let's Hit the Road

Above all, road trips are a lot less impactful than taking a plane ride and, in many circumstances, will save you a ton of money. Just be sure to be mindful on your trip, plan ahead, and drive safely!

by Isabelle Brown  |