There’s a special kind of allure that comes with van life. Perhaps it’s the thought of an exciting adventure beyond ordinary life that draws a person toward the lifestyle.
Yet, freedom isn’t always free, and van life comes with challenges that aren’t always shared in the public eye. Behind the scenes, there can be exhausting challenges that may not be for everyone.
We recently stumbled across a new video series by YouTuber, heyxnatalie, and wondered if she’ll be showing the bad days as well as the good.
Let’s check it out!
What is Van Life?
First, we’ll explain a little more about van life for those new to it.
Van life means choosing to live a life of travel either temporarily or for more extended periods in a van. Aside from the adventure and excitement, increased housing costs in many cities can make van life an attractive option.
It has become increasingly popular to post epic images of adventures on social media. However, these create an inaccurate picture of the lifestyle, as van life contains both positive and negative elements.
A broader view should be available, considering van life isn’t always the easiest lifestyle to live and comes with unique challenges that aren’t suited for everyone. And we hope that more people like heyxnatalie will begin showing all perspectives.
YouTuber heyxnatalie Throws Life Savings into Van Life
Heyxnatalie is a Generation Z YouTuber who dreams of living a life of travel and adventure. So she bought a van and entered into van life. The lifestyle spoke to her because it’s affordable and would allow her to create fantastic videos.
As a content creator, she’d been struggling to produce and keep up with the numbers required to make top videos on YouTube. Her mental health began declining.
As part of her healing process, she felt compelled to move out of her parents’ house and begin traveling. She’s documenting the lifestyle by creating reality videos and producing them so people can see more about van life. Her new series is called Borderless.
What Is Borderless?
In her inaugural video, heyxnatalie explains why she decided to travel and experience van life. And it’s not just “because it’ll be cool.” Maybe more importantly, she records her process, including the frustration, in purchasing her van.
Our GenZ YouTuber takes us through the highs of listing her must-haves to the lows of van after van not working out. Her sense of scene and storytelling is excellent. We can see why she wants to be a video creator. She’s got natural talent and genuine charisma.
Although she’s obviously editing to create her story, heyxnatalie doesn’t come across as fake or stilted. We’re certainly looking forward to future videos in the Borderless series.
Our Best Van Life Advice
If you’re feeling called to give up your home and move into van life like heyxnatalie, here’s some good advice to consider.
Don’t Buy Too Cheap
It’s essential to look for a mechanically solid van rather than a cheap one. One of the worst headaches living in your van is if it breaks down. A significant problem can leave you literally with no home until it gets repaired.
Therefore, ensure the vehicle is in good mechanical working order with no water damage, rust, or leaks, and all systems functional. Cutting costs and ending up with a van that’s often breaking down can leave you stranded and homeless.
Minimize Your Electronics
It’s also critical to consider what electronics you’ll need and how to charge them. There may be campsites with no power, and charging will mean running off of your van’s electrical or solar system. Two good pieces of advice are to invest in energy-efficient appliances and use fuel, such as propane, for cooking instead of electricity.
Simplify Your Life
It’ll be necessary to downsize your life as space will be limited. Consider all aspects of your life, from hobbies to daily practices to work. Also, take a look at maintenance supplies and tools, and consider how you can downsize your physical possessions. It’ll be necessary to live with less.
In fact, ask yourself now if you can live with less. Minimalism can feel uncomfortable for many and freeing for others. If you’re considering van life, perhaps consider doing some home decluttering to see if you’re able to live your life happily with fewer things.
Downsize Your Expectations
It’ll also be vital for your mental health to let go of expectations regarding the lifestyle. It’s easy to look at van life and see the most amazing elements of this van life, then get into it and realize it’s far different than you expected.
Let go of what social media promises and remain open to the reality of this lifestyle. The magical, unforgettable moments will exist within the greater perspective of what living this lifestyle is about.
Test Drive Van Life
Another great piece of advice is to test out the lifestyle. Before giving up your home, test drive the lifestyle by going on extended road trip adventures for a few weeks or a month to get a taste of the lifestyle. This can help determine if it’s the right path for you before giving up your whole sticks-and-bricks life.
Is Van Life Right for You?
Van life can be an extraordinary travel adventure, and we hope heyxnatalie’s is full of positive memories. She chose to be realistic about her reasons for living a nomadic life and tackled buying her van smartly. She’s off to a good start!
Remember, there’s more to this lifestyle than what meets the social media eye. It can be hard work to live on the road. So give yourself time to consider all the details. Do lots of research and talk with people who’ve done it. See what it’s really like behind the scenes. Then let us know. Do you think you’re ready to live the van life?
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