All the media call it out unanimously: the vanlife movement has taken off since the beginning of the pandemic. With over 10 million #vanlife posts on Instagram (an increase of 445% since 2017), this alternative lifestyle has become the new trend.
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“Vanlife is a form of adventure tourism that involves a van that is livable and self-sustained that can access remote areas to recreate in.”
“Vanlife is a sub-culture of nomadic individuals who are embracing minimalism on a journey to reassess what is truly important for a happy and balanced life.”
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#Vanlife is the new trend
Commercial vehicle manufacturers including Mercedes, Ram and Ford, are seeing their van sales soared (e.g. up to 22.5% for Mercedes in 2020), and some of their most successful models such as the 4WD Sprinter or the ProMaster vans are currently experiencing a few months drought. Building compagnies are also noticing an increasingly higher demand.
Let’s face it: everyone is trying to get their hands on a converted van to use it as an adventure recreational vehicle or a little home on wheels.
But what drives people to experience the roadlife?
This unprecedented pandemic has taught us, now more than ever, that change can bring new surprises and positive outcomes in our lives. Like Chris McCandless, whose lifestory is narrated in “Into the Wild” and one of the most young adventurous soul of all times, have you ever questioned yourself, on taking that step forward and living the life you’ve always desired?
This article gives you all the elements to help you in that process, on whether or not investing in a van build, to enjoy this new exciting and unique kind of life.
A recent survey among hundreds of Americans in 2020 shows that “52% are more likely to consider vanlife due to Covid-19” (statistics taken from the move.org survey “How do Americans feel about van life?”).
This growth in popularity reflects how the ongoing pandemic has changed people’s way of living and traveling, craving for freedom, independency and control over their life, more than ever.
Following the social restrictions implemented by the US and states governments and for obvious sanitary reasons, it has been more and more difficult to access indoor activities or large outdoor gatherings, visit touristic areas, take the plane and even travel abroad…
…and who knows for how long?
Thus, people have changed their way of living and traveling for a more decent livelihood.
1) The art of roadtripping: a sustainable alternative to conventional tourism
“Why living in a tiny urban apartment if we can’t enjoy the activities around?” Brittany, an insurance expert, expresses how her daily routine with her boyfriend has changed since the shutdown.
“Living in New York with all the restrictions going on was such a hassle, I felt like suffocating. It’s been such a relief for Jared and I, since we decided to buy a custom van and go out whenever we can to the countryside. We like wandering and we’ve discovered new surroundings we would’ve never expected to see! Today, we went fishing and found a nice little coffee shop to relax by the river.”
For many Americans, roadtripping in a Class B mobile dwelling, like the ones Bemyvan create, has become a more reliable and secure way to spend their off-time and vacations:
- It is socially distanced
You benefit of your own private space without necessarily having to circulate through shared environments and in proximity with other people, which makes it an ideal quarantine-friendly travel option.
- It promotes open-air activities
Outdoor activities are known to be safer in comparison to enclosed indoor environments, where air doesn’t circulate as well, because of the virus and its high risk of airborne transmission.
- It is a private mobile home
Owning a fully equipped home on wheels frees you from the necessity of accommodations, food services and public transportation.
> Mobile – you get to choose the destinations AND the roads on which you travel.
> Home – you have your own bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and living room at anytime, anywhere.
The B-Home Louise from Bemyvan
More freedom is more choice for you and your travel plans! After all, isn’t the journey more relevant than the destination itself?
- It is compact and versatile
Spacious inside with a well-thought arrangement, yet still compact on the outside, its ideal size makes it easier to park anywhere compared to a RV. You can sleep overnight on National Forest roads, park on the streets of beach towns, or wander off-grid in the middle of the mountains.
The B-Van Joe from Bemyvan
- It can adapt to travel restrictions
Traveling locally and state-by-state has become the preferred mode of vacations in this ambiguous international settings where the world is still currently recovering from the pandemic, each country at a very different pace.
Even though more countries reopen their borders to American citizens, the pandemic “continues to pose unprecedented risks for travelers”, according to the State Department who therefore recommends to postpone trips abroad.
Under these circumstances, traveling in a campervan allows you to adapt the distance and the itinerary under each state’s policy and to the extent of the nation’s foreign policy. No need to worry anymore about unfortunate closures that are independent of your will. The campervan offers flexibility for you and your travel plans.
- It is self-reliable
With sufficient solar and battery power, a good wifi booster, as well as a large capacity water tank, living on board of an off-grid converted van takes you to a whole new level of self-sufficiency.
No need to depend anymore on electricity and water hookups from campgrounds facilities, especially during these times where many were imposed closure to abide with the pandemic restrictions.
You can now work anywhere from your roving home, travel to deserted places and still live comfortably.
The B-Digital Leo from Bemyvan
2) Working remotely: who are these digital nomads?
Millions of workers have transitioned their activity to a home-based routine since Covid-19, and have seen their productivity increase, as well as their quality of living.
According to a survey conducted last year by IBM among 25,000 people, more than 75% of the respondents “would like to continue working remotely at least occasionally” after the pandemic ends, and 54% would consider making it their “primary way of working”.
This long-term trend seem likely to inspire a new surge called digital nomads, or those who travel while working remotely.
Devin, web developer, decided among others to live and work part-time in his new mobile habitat: “My boss allowed our team to work from home since the pandemic hit the country. But if I can work out of the office, I might as well work from anywhere I want.”
“My new home is now a mini high-tech van completely self-sustainable. I live with my dog Pickles. Oh, and my neighbors this past week were some elks and a few mountain goats! It’s my first time in Colorado, and I already love it.”
Whether you work remotely a few days per week, a few months or even all year long, investing in a van equipped with Internet allows you to both travel and work from home, leading to more flexibility and balance in your life. In other words, you don’t have to wait for weekends or vacations anymore to enjoy your off-work time.
“I’ve been paragliding several days a week now in between work sessions, now that I have access to some stunning cliffs at the very foot of my van.” Brandon works for a real estate company and shares his life changes since he made some arrangements with his employer.
“It feels so much more satisfying than being stuck at the office for my 55-hours work duties. And I’ll admit I feel way more efficient now! I can’t believe I waited that long to live my passion. Who would have thought it was possible to combine leisure and work?”
Bemyvan offers a build layout specifically designed for digital nomads with all the necessary equipments for your activity: computer office desk with additional screen, dedicated storage with charging options for your high tech material, and of course a wifi booster.
Feel free to contact us for more info:
3) The roadlife : when the world opens up to you
The Covid-19 pandemic and its worldwide repercussions has encouraged people to trade their home living for a life on the road.
More than half of vanlifers live full-time in their home on wheels, according to a recent poll study run by Outbound Living.
A temporary trend? It turns out not to be. Most of these vanlifers do not see themselves living in a traditional home anymore in the near future, for reasons that are independent of the current circumstances. The pandemic only triggered what appears to be a more profound, meaningful, steady change…
“It’s not just about travel. Living remotely brought me a form of accomplishment and joy, beyond the consumerist life I used to have,” explains Megan, who started her new solo vanlife 6 months ago.
“I find myself much more attentive and enjoying what appears in front of me, that I tended to forget. I was scared at first to make this step, because I had to let go of all these unnecessary attachments, but I feel so much more happier and lighter now.”
A downsizing liberating experience
Roadliving goes beyond travelling. This new lifestyle requires some changes in our daily habits. We learn to come down to the essentials, for a more simple and grounded life, which in return contributes to a profound fulfilment.
This is the downsizing refreshing experience of traveling in a van.
The B-Adventure Melody from Bemyvan
- Be at home anywhere
What makes roadlife so special is its unique lifestyle: traveling and living become one.
Wherever you go is where you live.
“Rather than being stuck in one place, rolling to a new place with my B-Van makes it a whole lot easier to refresh my mind from the daily mental stress of life.” Among other medical workers, Karen has decided to leave her sedentary life to work as a travel nurse.
“This job used to feel overwhelming, I was closed to burning out. By making these replacement shifts in remote places, I get to work in a new environment, and I let other nurses take some vacations. All along with my same rolling home. It’s a really good deal!”
- Live lightly
You learn to carry less “baggage” with you, bringing only the essential, of what matters to you. Letting go of all the material acquisition accumulated for years in a house, for a small & mobile living space, can feel overwhelmingly satisfying and liberating. A healthy refreshing change to start a new life.
- Reconnect with the essential
Breath some new air, and focus on the daily concerns, which are centered back to the basic yet fundamental aspects of our living: sleeping, eating, taking care of our self, our surroundings and our home.
Focusing on what matters, developing more awareness, feeling more connected and living the present. You take some distance from this high-speed society, which has put profit and consumerism in the forefront, to cultivate a more human-centered life.
- Bring newness to your life
Add this inward feeling with some traveling and bits of newness everyday: meeting the locals, discovering natural sceneries of the planet, enjoying outdoor activities, sharing all these moments with the people you cherish, your favorite pet… Roadlife is a movement where you bring newness and fresh vibes to your life everyday.
- Live the utmost with your favorite hobbies
Have you ever wished you could grab your surfboard for your vacation stay with your friends by the Pacific coast of Baja California, your rock climbing equipments in Yosemite National Park, or your fishing poles and books at your grandmother’s lakehouse in Minnesota?
Now, imagine you could have it all, at the same time, with you, wherever you are. Imagine all the opportunities that it offers to you on the road! Any outdoor activity you love, you can make it happen. Don’t limit yourself to rental facilities or official recreational areas.
The world opens up to you, so go and explore! And you can always switch to your favorite indoor activities as you please, as your home follows you wherever you go!
The builds made by Bemyvan allow plenty storage for you to keep and organize all your essential belongings, so you can enjoy your favorite hobbies anytime, anywhere.
The B-Adventure Rachel from Bemyvan
- Open your home to the world
You may feel at first that your B-Van might be smaller than your current apartment or house. But at the end, you discover that your new property on wheels is not defined or limited by your private local territory anymore.
No need to possess miles of land to make yourself at home anymore. You get to enjoy much more land than you could ever imagine, without needing to possess it.
Every bits of road, grass, lake, town now becomes part of your habitat. By expanding your home to the world that surrounds you, you let yourself open up to the world. Home is everywhere.
This pandemic has taught us that there are other ways of living, that are more accessible nowadays and somewhat more secure in a world where the future is yet to be written.
The B-Vans offer this comfort and security, while preserving your freedom.
If you want to know more about our B-Vans, or if you have any questions regarding roadlife, feel free to contact us!
We have the experience of living on the road and building high functional home on wheels for you to feel safe and at home while traveling.