What do you imagine when you think of living the Vanlife?
Just you, your hair blowing in the desert winds as you overlook the horizons in a state of zen? Or your van camped up overnight next to several others – a fire pit shared between new friends as campfire stories are traded, and laughs are welcome.
The beautiful thing about traveling on the road is it allows you to be the architect of your life, but with so much diversity in options. You can be a solo road tripper on a personal mission to get to know yourself better, or you can be a social butterfly fluttering through the landscapes of your choosing.
However you prefer to travel, Vanlife is a beautiful way to explore aspects of yourself you haven’t given much attention to in a while.
We’ll say this – meeting other like-minded people who are living life on the road less traveled will be one of the most exciting things you’ll do. Building relationships while traveling is an adventure in itself. The shared adventures you’ll be a part of will expand your horizons and remind you why you started Vanlife in the first place!
Here are some of our favorite ways of growing (and keeping) community while you’re on the road!
Van gatherings are one of our favorite ways to meet like minds, especially when you’re traveling solo! The awesome thing about gatherings and events is you’ll have already broken the ice because you’re all there for the same reason, and you can see how others adopted a lifestyle on the road.
We’ve gotten many tips and tricks just from having conversations at the Adventure Van Expo, and we can’t recommend checking out these kinds of gatherings enough. We just had our grand debut at the expo this year, and you can read more about it, here!
Like them or leave them, there’s no denying the power of community Social Media apps like Facebook and Instagram are capable of. Especially Facebook where you can join groups catered to your Vanlife niche, or location-specific groups. There are Facebook groups for Solo Female Vanlife, Colorado Vanlifers, and Vanlife Pets – you name it!
They’re great ways to stay in the know about specific Van Gatherings coming up as well.
We’re very excited to announce that in the coming weeks we’ll be launching our first Bemyvan Community Facebook group where you can connect with other
Be-Van lovers, too! Stay tuned!
Maybe you’re a digital nomad or even an analog nomad – you’ve been working remotely for a while and feeling the lack of comradery when you stare at a screen all day or you’re on the move often. Look no further!
Check out your local town and city for Coworking spaces (they’re popping up everywhere these days) and they’re a brilliant way to connect with others, flex your social muscles, and meet some interesting people along the way.
If you prefer working with your hands and living off the land, Work Aways are available worldwide and you can meet eccentric communities and hosts as you learn valuable skills in gardening, laboring, community building and even teaching languages. Work Aways are an exciting way to switch things up and many will offer accommodation and food as part of your work exchange.
Events & Classes
Before you hit up a new destination, see if you can research what’s happening locally in the coming days of your arrival. Check with the local town magazine or chamber of commerce for farmer’s markets, festivals, and classes you might be interested in.
We were recently in Big Bear, California only to discover that they were hosting a huge Oktoberfest festival and a Quilting show while we were in town! If we had known this sooner, we would have penciled them into the itinerary while we were passing through.
Also, there’s no better time to pick up a new skill or hobby than while you’re on the road! Have you always wanted to learn how to crochet – but you just never picked it up? Maybe you’re ready to try an ecstatic dance class and see what the fuss is all about.
Chances are, you’ll meet interesting like-minds when you follow the interests that spark joy in you. Check out local dance studios, recreation centers, and yoga studios for events and festivals.
Relationships are built in a special way when you’re living in the moment and letting yourself vibe with the people, the surprises, and the adventures that follow you along the road trip. Try to stay open to possibilities – don’t plan too much if you can help it, and let yourself stay open to all these eventualities life has to offer you!
Fellow Animal lovers
Are you traveling with a beloved dog or cat? Consider finding Facebook groups for dog and cat lovers in your area! We’ve made meaningful friendships at many dog parks, and animal lovers always seem to understand each other. You can even plan a meet-up with your furry friends at one of America’s Best Dog Parks.
Cultivating community while you’re Vanlifing might be different than what you’re used to at home, but trust us – it’s worth it!
Share your story, show interest in others, and why they chose a similar, adventurous path as yourself – we think you’ll find it’s a lot easier to make new friends than previously believed!