What Is Vanlife and Why Is It So Popular?
‘Downsizing’ is a term that means substituting a fair amount of space for something cozier. For many of us, downsizing is a lifestyle. There are many benefits to downsizing. The list includes less space to clean, embracing minimalism, and enjoying the peace of mind that comes with it. The result is saving time, money, and the stress from needing to participate in the rat race many call ‘life’. There are infinite ways to downsize. One we’re proud to introduce is Vanlife.
Vanlife originated back in the 1960s when people found more creative ways to lead their lives. Not only were they using vans for work, but they also modified their vans to accommodate their desire to travel. The goal was to drive all over the country. Of course, some people were perfectly fine with slight alterations to their vans for lengthy road trips. Others, in contrast, had the mind to live on the road for the rest of their lives.
The #Vanlife movement grew so popular back in the 1970s that there were festivals dedicated to it. They were usually fun-filled events that spanned multiple days across the United States. At these colorful festivals, you’d see all types of vans with impressive customizations. They came in all forms, from simple cot vans, love shacks, and even fancy vans with all the bells and whistles you could imagine. The craze came hand in hand with the hippie area, which was all about freedom and movement—the ultimate slogan of the Vanlife.
A Quick Stop
As all fun things come to an end, so did the Vanlife. Up until the ’70s, Vanlife was all the rage. Then, in the early 1980s, Chrysler introduced the minivan. It was the embodiment of form and function. This funky-looking vehicle featured better fuel economy, a sturdier build, higher-tech specs—and did we mention it looked super rad? It came to a point where only plumbers, electricians, and delivery companies (basically, livelihoods that relied on carrying heavy equipment) were the only consumers left purchasing vans. Naturally, folks shifted their interest to the newer, better-looking, cost-efficient minivan.
The Call of the Road
Fast forward to the current times: Life became significantly different compared to the 1980s. Suddenly, #travel and #wanderlust were the trending hashtags all over social media sites, like Instagram and Facebook. Hence, the Vanlife movement re-emerged.
Re-Emergence of the Vanlife
The gig economy made a profound impact on the re-emergence of this lifestyle. Millennials preferred high-paying freelance jobs rather than trudging their way to their workplace and being stuck in a cubicle in some 9-to-5 job. They realized they had so much to see and so many things to do beyond spending their youth at an office desk, day in and day out. Taking after the hippie movement, millennials put a twist on Vanlife and started using trucks, buses (pretty much anything with ample space on wheels) to travel around.
Aside from the customization of these huge vehicles, bloggers started to share more experiences about Vanlife, encouraging others to heed the same call. Vanlife festivals soon re-emerged, and they attracted droves. Newer technology was also a key factor in its re-emergence. More and more apps are starting to cater to folks who live their lives on the road. And it seems the Vanlife won’t fade away anytime soon. For all we know, it may well be a legitimate way to live!
There’s a saying that goes,
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
To that, we say, must we lose out on both?