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The Upsides of Vanlife

the upsides of vanlifeWe don't have mains running water and waste removal like regular folk, nor a constant supply of electricity (we've already looked at the troubles of living this life).

More and more people are dreaming of being able to live a different lifestyle, and a great many like us already do! Apart from the obvious peace and quiet (unless we're in a busy layby!) and the access to enjoy more wilderness, what is it that we really get out of living the so called vanlife? Why ARE we so damn happy? 



It may be harder physical work to live an off-grid lifestyle when it comes to hauling water etc, but it can be a simpler one. We also don't have many of the bills that house-dwellers have which makes our finances simpler, though there are some cross overs. 



We don't have to worry about what the neighbours think of our lawn, nor do we suffer door to door sales people! On the road or at our rented parking space our nearest neighbours are wild birds and if we don't feel like socialising – we don't have to!



It seems strange to put freedom and control in the same list, control carries connotations of restriction but working an off-grid lifestyle means that you are the one in control of the life you live. When you feel more comfortable about the things you can produce and source for yourself, you find that you have to work less hours in 'conventional' jobs to give you what you need! While some folks feel less secure working temporary contracts we found we quite liked it, since we also had the power to turn down additional hours or leave if that’s what we wanted!


A future.

For us adopting an off-grid lifestyle, or grid-adjacent as I’ve taken to calling our situation, was a necessary adjustment to give us a home and a lifeline for the future. We'd experienced the sorrows of renting a house that didn't belong to us, and being forced to give it up because of debt. Despite finally pulling ourselves clear of debt, after only a year in another rented house we found ourselves having to start the search again as the landlord wanted us out so their family could move in! Whilst it was all done above board and we were given plenty of notice, it still left us wondering when we’d be needing to pay out for the next bout of credit checks etc, after all nothing is certain. Now, despite owning far less we can see a brighter and much more sustainable future for ourselves.


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Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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