Friday, January 18, 2013

What I learned through all this.

So I am coming to a close with my second half year sleeping in my van.
I am selling it within 2 weeks. Would I get a new one? At first, I thought I wanted to... But this last episode of getting sick reminded me of how much stuff I had to give up in order to pursue this kind of life.

My observations:

1)Food is my best friend...
My food choices became painfully limited. With food being my only vice, I was reduced to steaming and the crock pot which aren't necessarily bad, when you think about it. But sauteing, frying, and all that juicy stuff... can't be done in such confined spaces. Cooking is therapeutic for me. It is actually becoming a real pain towards the end especially when I have all this knowledge and no way to apply it.
In my regular life, I kept a well stocked kitchen with everything to make my favorite dishes almost on demand. That means it is stocked with enough food to last me a month long siege if it came to that.
I gotta be honest... I miss that.

2) I knock things over a LOT.
Space is tiny. After a while, you do get tired of moving things around or knocking them down.

3)A rolling office?
I was hoping to work in my "home". That did not even happen. If I don't have room to fry and saute, then there's clearly no room for anything else. I am a regular freelance artist. I do miss having a comfortable nook I can retreat to and work... then step out into the kitchen to fix me something... or roll out of bed to work some more when I am struck with insomnia. My productivity this past year has been terrible because I have had to fill in blank time in the van somehow with just cruising online.
Unlike other folks working full time on their computers, I still use paper as an artist... lots of paper. Probably one of the last of my generation to do so. As a result, I accumulate a lot of paper drawings and need storage for paper printing, etc..

4) The only time you need it... and it ain't there...
Yeah, it can be bad when you are sick. If you miss being able to just flop onto your bed and then roll off it and shuffle your way to the kitchen to prepare yourself some hot soup, then the van life may make that a hard thing to do. It was one of the things I mulled upon when I was sick in the motel room these past 2 days. What I would have given to have a full kitchen with a full complement of ingredients ready to be assembled to make some comfort food!

5) Is size the issue?
realize that all the amenities above can be supplied by a large class C or an A. That huge class A looked really tempting last week when we toured the interior... But as I was hearing the rumbling of that giant engine, all I could think of was "gasoline".

6) Time versus efficiency.
There comes a time when I have to admit I am sabotaging my own efficiency by undertaking tasks which can be outsourced. I was recently reminded of this when I saw this show where the leader never delegated tasks. As a result, the leader did everything and the followers did almost nothing.
I can comfortably pay for my sewage elimination, water collection, etc... The economic model which I was hoping for really did not materialize for me, sad to say. Perhaps others who have more free time don't mind dumping wastes or cleaning out pee bottles, trekking far for water, cleaning dishes in small batches in cramped quarters... having to put away some things before you can get at the things you want to take care of... and then putting that away to bring back the things that were there to begin with... A lot of shuffling, rearranging, etc... I believe I am spending an extra hour daily just doing all these other moves that otherwise won't even be an issue for me in a regular setup. Time is literally money.
Life is painfully short.


  1. As the old saying goes, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" You did more than many people will ever do in their lifetime, that is, actually live an idea or a dream. You are so successful, you did it and now its time to do something different.

  2. You are correct, Diane. I am very thankful for the chance to try it out. All told, I did a year broken up into two large sessions. I do miss having a full kitchen so it will be a relief to be in a home for now. After all, it's a house that's already paid for and the tax on it is cheap. I cannot complain about that. :)