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What is VANLIFE? † Why is it so popular and is it for you?

VANLIFE has been really going viral on the web lately. With its rapid increase in popularity, many enthusiasts are jumping on this lifestyle. On the other hand, there are many people who wonder what exactly it is. And why has it suddenly become so immensely popular? In this article we will therefore go back to the basics. Today we'll tell you everything you need to know about vanlife and whether it's for you.

What is VANLIFE?

Simply put, opposite the 'normal life' there is also an increasingly popular alternative lifestyle and it's called VANLIFE. Life in a 'van' (van). In other words, you live and live completely in a van, bus, camper or other vehicle.

It is a lifestyle adopted by many Digital nomads who are looking for a basic lifestyle, while enjoying the different continents to travel around this beautiful world.

VANLIFE history

Living in your house on wheels has been around since the XNUMXs. It was popularized by hippies who started living from their vehicles. Though historically looked down upon, this kind of lifestyle is slowly becoming the norm and even extremely popular. Recently, this old practice has made a huge comeback through millennials and Instagram is really full of it.

VANLIFE started in the 60's - when hippies were looking for a cheap way to live
VANLIFE started in the 60s – when hippies were looking for a cheap way to live

VANLIFE popularity

The VANLIFE van life has been exploding on social media lately. especially on Instagram, where you can search for the hashtag #vanlife and be exposed to over 3 million posts (at the time of writing this blog). This number is only expected to grow rapidly.

Many 'vanlifers' have documented their entire journey on Instagram, making the platform the most popular social network for vanlifers right now. I say at the moment because YouTube in particular is slowly catching up.

Earn money with VANLIFE

With its growing popularity, many vanlifers have already had the opportunity to be sponsored or interviewed by major brands and companies. This nomadic lifestyle is no longer cluttered with old stereotypes, it is becoming a real money-making hype. A lot digital nomads respond smartly and that is the main reason that you see a shift taking place. More and more popular vanlifers are moving from Instagram to YouTube.

Earn money with VANLIFE? Due to its immense popularity, it is now possible
Earn money with VANLIFE? Due to its immense popularity, it is now possible

The main reason for this is that Instagram is mainly intended for sharing beautiful photos. Yes, money can also be earned with it, but the revenue model behind Instagram is a lot less attractive for the person who does all the work (you). This is simply because you have to try to attract advertisers through your (large amount of) followers. And yes, this is indeed as difficult as it sounds.

YouTube does this differently. YouTube shares the advertising revenue with you. So if you have a popular channel with well-watched videos, you can earn from that too because YouTube shares the advertising revenue with you. This is in addition to any deals you close yourself with advertisers.

Lifestyle of a van-lifer

Enough about earning. Most people don't do it for that. The lifestyle of a vanlifer is very different from that of an ordinary person. As a vanlifer, you go to sleep at night without knowing what awaits you the next day. In this section, we'll summarize what a vanlifer's lifestyle typically consists of.

1. Freedom

The freedom that vanlife has to offer is one that many people could only dream of. It gives you the opportunity to take control and live a life as your own boss. You can do the things you love most without having to make a demanding career, pay outrageous bills and feel under constant pressure.

VANLIFE = freedom
VANLIFE = freedom

You are able to fulfill your dreams and desires while traveling the world, stress free.

2. Living your dream

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. A well-known saying, but how many people actually do it?

Vanlife gives you the opportunity to do what you want, when you want and how you want. You no longer have to go through the headache of worrying about stressful daily routines. As a vanlifer you say goodbye to the routines imposed by society and you go on an adventure yourself, in your mini bubble on four wheels.

Living the dream - anywhere in the world
Living the dream – anywhere in the world

Vanlife will consistently inspire you to keep living your dream. You are motivated by:

  • Being able to travel the world
  • New experiences every day without the same old, boring routine
  • Do what you like
  • Set your own schedule
  • being your own boss
  • Building a lifestyle that suits your needs
  • Enjoy the best views
  • Living a flexible life
  • Do it for yourself and not for anyone else
  • Depending on yourself to make the best choices for you

Most importantly, with vanlife you can take control of your life and enjoy it to the fullest.

3. Simplicity

With a simplistic lifestyle, you can eliminate many of your biggest problems, especially many financial worries. The less you own, the less you have to account for.

Studies show that a minimalist lifestyle can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of illness, migraines and headaches, and improve your overall health. Often the simple lifestyle is not only beautiful, it is also necessary. Many vanlifers say it was hard to get rid of everything in the beginning. But in the end it was well worth taking on a life of less stuff.

Two pans, four cups, four plates and 7 sets of clothes. VANLIFE makes life simple
Two pans, four cups, four plates and 7 sets of clothes. VANLIFE makes life simple

Some of the many benefits of living in simplicity are:

  • Better health
  • More wealth
  • Fewer appointments, obligations and stress
  • Huge freedom

For vanlifers, life simply means:

  • Enjoy without luxury
  • Avoiding unnecessary purchases
  • being resourceful
  • Being creative – making things work that break
  • Living in a house with limited space
  • Living a life with less stuff

Also read: Debt, the FIRE movement & passive income | A look into my life

4. Financial Freedom

In most cases, a traditional lifestyle looks like this:

  • Go to school.
  • Collect thousands of euros in (study) debt.
  • Work for years at jobs you actually don't like, while at the same time giving up your freedom.
  • Waiting anxiously until you can finally retire.
  • Spend thousands of dollars on useless stuff

We all need to take a critical look at our lifestyle and ask ourselves whether it aligns with our goals and desires. Because if not, what's the point? You weren't born to pay bills and die… Right?

With a good water filter and solar panels on the roof you can live off-grid for a long time - saving you a crazy amount of money
With a good water filter and solar panels on the roof, you can live off-grid for a long time – saving you a crazy amount of money

I'm sure many of us can agree that this is not the way we want to continue to live. Living the van life allows you to be financially free in some of the following ways:

  • Free yourself from many bills
  • Escape your boring 9-5 job
  • Work where you want
  • love what you do
  • Work on your own schedule
  • Easier to save money for later

Money is a necessity in life. Unfortunately, you can't escape that. However, it is important to keep in mind that money does not make you rich. The definition of rich varies for everyone depending on personal wishes. Being rich is not the amount of stuff you have accumulated in your life.

You no longer have to have a lot of money or stuff to experience a rich life.

5. Experiences

Life from a van or campervan is very surprising, exciting and unpredictable. You wake up every day with a different view behind your front door. You don't know what challenges or adventures await you the next morning. Every day is different and that makes it intriguing and exciting at the same time.

VANLIFE = waking up in the most beautiful places
VANLIFE = waking up in the most beautiful places

During vanlife you will experience the following:

  • Rust
  • Unexpected and exciting situations
  • An unpredictable routine
  • Life changing events
  • Nature, up close and personal
  • Be part of a passionate and loving community
  • Adventures
  • Feeling tense
  • Simplicity
  • Challenges

6. Challenges

The daily challenges of life are often the things we take for granted in our normal lives. As you live the vanlife life, the challenges you face determine the overall experience on the road. Not everything is equally fun, you will definitely have to deal with setbacks that you have to learn to deal with.

Challenges of vanlife:

  • Parking
  • Dealing with the police and the judiciary
  • Try not to bother people
  • Secretly camping
  • Don't draw too much attention
  • Limited space
  • Staying Organized
  • Safety issues (car accidents, health, privacy, etc…)
  • Maintenance of your vehicle
  • Manage finances

VANLIFE isn't always as fun as you think it is. When you are on the road with bad luck or a cop knocks at your door at night because you are not allowed to stand there, you will have to deal with stressful situations.

Is VANLIFE for me?

Taking the time to read this lengthy article certainly indicates that you have vanlife ambition. The next question to ask yourself is: What's holding you back? Maybe it's multiple things like money, family, budget, fear, etc...

Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering living the van life. These will hopefully help you better understand your situation. Hopefully it will help you determine if vanlife is really for you.

By following these 4 tips, you will get a clear answer to the question: 'Is VANLIFE for me?'

  1. Find out what's holding you back. Is money the problem? Then learn how to save with our extensive 'save for a world trip' roadmap. Not sure which vehicle is right for you? Should you buy one or build one yourself? We have also written extensive guides for this. Read for example: How to: Buy or convert a campervan.
  2. Do your research! After all, this is a very serious decision that can affect your entire life. Looking at photos on Instagram will definitely get you nowhere. Look for valuable resources, many of which are FREE here are offered on our website. Read stories from vanlifers and especially look for the negatives they mention.
  3. Go see what life in a van is really like. When you buy or rent a house, the first thing you do is look at it. You will also have to do something similar for the life of a van. Go see what this lifestyle is really like. You might even consider renting a motorhome for a week or more. If renting a vehicle is out of your budget, try a weekend getaway and see if it's something you can do in the long run. Or maybe you know someone who would like to lend his or her vanlife van?
  4. Start connecting with vanlifers both online and offline. Ask questions and connect with real vanlifers who are already doing this. The best way to learn is from someone who has experience. The perfect place to do this is by reading stories of vanlifers and asking them questions.


So, are you out? Is the van life life for you? In any case, I hope that after reading this article you have at least made some progress. If you would like to read other articles on this topic, take a look at our vanlife page.

Also read:

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Owner or Wereldreizigers.nl | Discover the world!
– Traveled 3+ months per year, 10 years in a row
– Traveled a year in USA & Canada in 2022

Stubborn & decisive world traveller
– Life is short, make the most out of it in literal sense.
– Never take no for an answer.
– If you think about it, DO IT!

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