To show the magnificient sunset we had. n the right half of a white campervan. Standing on fake grass. The fake grass is surrounded by real grass. Behind the grass is bushes and a creek. Behind the creek is a field. ON the horizon the sun is setting and the sky is colored yellow, red and blue. Van life.
Camping,  Kids,  van life

Dreaming about (part-time) van life

Those idyllic pictures of people cozying up in their van or just outside their van. Or similarly a picture of a neverending highway, makes me want to hit the road and live the van life.

Paul on the right,Yuri in the middle, me on the left. A selfie. We're sitting in a camper van. You see the interior behind us. Van life.
Us in a camper van

What’s the draw in van life

Why am I drawn to this picture of the van life? It’s the idylic of going wherever you wanna go. In theory, you can roadtrip around the World, and since I have a very lenghty bucketlist, that sounds divine. We would have our own place while traveling. A van looks like a payable solution to see the whole world.

The cosily feeling of a VW van is appealing. The 3 of us happily together. I love roadtrips, we all do, Yuri missed the long days in the car listening to books on our last vacation. Let the weather and our interests decide where we are going. Follow the road with the 3 of us.

A white camper van, parked on fake grass, The side door is open. Behind is also open. Paul is standing their. Cooking our dinner on the kitchen in the camper van. Van life.
Paul making dinner

In our home there are lots of distortions from doing stuff with the 3 of us, the household (which is the same every week), in a van this would be far less, we would have more time for eachother and our hobbies. It’s more in tune with minimalistic living, because if you really look at your stuff there are only a few things we use a lot, a few things sometimes and a lot never. With a van I would be more forced to choose wisely and gain less stuff.

Tent or van?

The camping life is fun, but our small tent isn’t always handy when it rains or you can’t find a spot to pitch your tent. With a small van we would still enjoy the camping life, but would be better protected against the rain. We can go boondocking on places. We would always have a roof over our heads and a bed to sleep in. We never went wildcamping with our tent, somehow that’s not appealing for me. I think it’s because of those horror scenes of people being pulled out of there tents. A van feels more solid. A camper feels too big and lumpy to drive with. I want something we can easily park on smaller spots and roads.

Part of a white camper van. The doos is slid open. Yuri is sitting on a bench with grey cushions. His arms are on a high table.
Yuri sitting in a camper van.

Examples of people living the van life: Syd Schulz, who bikes for a living and lives the van life. Kevin and Ruth, who live in a camper, bigger than we want, boondocking a lot. Here are their sites, on which you can read their stories: https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/ and https://www.sydschulz.com/

What’s it not

On Instagram and Facebook you see idyllic pictures of van-life with plaids laid down and strings of lights hung up. They make the van-life look perfect, dreamy and care-free. Well let’s not be fooled, it isn’t , not anymore than any other lifestyle. There are also blogs who write about van-life, who love it, but portrey it as it is. Those other pictures are posed, made only for the likes. And that’s ok, I like looking at them. I just don’t go as far as to think that it would be that in reality. I don’t see myself hanging strings of lights on every new place, lay down a rug and all that other stuff. Just some chairs and sitting down with a book or playing a game of Uno. Turn the barbecue on and life is good.

Objections against van life

There won’t be enough space for the 3 of us. It won’t be spacious, I know, but I think I won’t mind. We all are together in the living room in our house and that works for us. On vacations this is also the case. We love being together as a family. The van will be small, but it’s planned on us being outside a lot. I don’t mind, in fact I think this is positive, because the more we’re outside, the better. This way it will be more automatic, then planned. When it rains you will be cramped inside, but in the past this went well in our small tent. We can always find a cafe to sit if we need a little bit more space.

A black and white picture of the 3 of us. Paul on the lift, Yuri in the middle, Cosette on the right. A book behind Yuri's head. In the bed in the camper van. Van life.
Sleeping in a camper van

It would be just one Queen bed for the 3 of us. We don’t mind sleeping so close, so it will be okay then. When he’s older there will be a moment he will be to big, then he will need his own space. At that moment we’ll probably pitch a tent next to the camper van, or on top.

From dream to reality

So it’s all great and all, but so far we only road tripped once with a camper van when I wrote this piece. We’ve never camped with a camper van longer than 3 days. We loved those 3 days in the camper van touring together. Further more we only slept in our car once, and that’s not the same. How to take the next step from dreaming? We will rent a camper van for a longer periode and start saving for our own camper van.

Yuri sitting in his carchair with a blanket over him. A pillow behind his head and stuff on the left of him. Sleeping in the car. Van life.
Sleeping in our car

But so far the dreaming isn’t over and I love to dream!

We rented a camper van from Kekke campers.Our experience with their camper vans and personal service was excellent. In short we reccomend them: https://www.kekkecampers.nl/

Moreover if you want to read more about camping, check out our blog about kidfriendly campsites in Croatia.

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