10 lessons of van life

(In case you didn’t know, Nick and I have been living in our van- Vaughn- since mid January.)

Vaughn the Van has taught us a lot!



  1. Somethings are out of your control - like wifi at campgrounds, stupid drivers, dust storms, national park closures due to government shut downs, dog injuries, cleanliness of public showers, etc.  Be resourceful if you can, and patient if you can’t.

  2. Everything has a space and everything in its place - your living space should be treated like your sanctuary.  Keep the clutter to a minimum and put away everything you get out. 

  3. Be prepared for arguments - when two humans and two dogs live in 80 square feet there’s bound to be some conflict, intense communication and (hopefully) compassion + compromise. 

  4. Develop a “today is today” attitude - don’t worry about tomorrow, or at least worry about it LESS.  Chances are good you can’t control the variables that will dictate tomorrow’s weather, traffic, people’s mood, the quality of the next campsite or the emails that are headed towards your inbox.  What you can control is the decision to not be concerned with what hasn’t happened yet, instead enjoy that beautiful summit view and the ones you’re sharing it with.

  5. You can survive with less - I literally have one drawer of clothes and a small cabinet for jackets + sweaters.  (If you saw my closet at home, you’d know I LOVE clothes…)  Do less loads of laundry, use less water when washing dishes, watch less Netflix - it’s not going to kill you.

  6. Keep it simple - it’s pretty self explanatory.  Just simplify EVERYTHING.

  7. Not having service or the time to scroll is actually a good thing - really, what would you rather do, hike a mountain or surf Instagram?  

  8. Team work makes the dream work.

  9. Speaking of pit stops, pee often - you never know where you’re going next.

  10. Be present - there is so very much to see and do.  There are so many views to take in, trails to hike, roads to travel, burritos to savor, flowers to smell, rocks to climb… don’t get distracted or you might miss all of it.