What is van life really like?

|’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know van living was really a thing until I started down my own path to discover what it is like to not live in a house, firstly in my caravan on a site, then a community and currently nomadic. Since spending time volunteering at Frugaldom I have had the pleasure of meeting several van lifers. I chatted with Joey aka Road_viking on Instagram for my YouTube channel which you can find here. What about others experiences? I spoke with Sherrill to find out about her experience as a single female van lifer.

Sherrill, 44 is from the North East of England. Three years ago she watched a video on YouTube of a guy in Sheffield living in his van full time. The idea of living in a van where you can go where you want and when appealed to Sherrill. She decided this was what she wanted to do. The biggest highlight has been the sense of freedom. It has done her physical and mental health the world of good. She confesses to never being an outdoorsy person but has loved seeing so much nature and wildlife. She started wild swimming a month before she got her van. Rocking up at a river, lake or the sea allows Sherrill to go for a swim whenever she wants. The biggest challenge has been the winter months. Shorter days and cold weather meant not as many people about which felt tough. Engine troubles have also been challenging.

Sherrill has been lucky in that she has had support from her friends and family and other van lifers. The van life community have been very supportive, kind and helpful. She said she found these sites specifically useful; Women with Campervans, Women Be Kind, Wild Women Adventures and Van Life North East.

When I asked her what her top tips would be for anyone wanting to take the leap into van life, Sherrill recommended speaking to other people first who are already doing it to get their perspectives. Do your research into vans. When preparing to leave your house think about the things you own, if you haven’t used something for 12 months, do you really need it? The majority of Sherrill’s possessions went to charity shops. In terms of the practicalities, she has a care of address so she can tax her van and for official documents. “It feels like a scary concept but it is actually liberating” When she bought the van her only plan was do the whole UK coast and swim. How can life get better than that?

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