The Real Reason I Chose Van Life
If you would’ve told me 12 months ago that I would be living in a van with my wife, I would not have believed you. If you would’ve told me the same thing, I would’ve thought that I totally screwed up my life!
Here’s the real story…
for full context, I have to go three years back in time. My wife and I were on an airplane with a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland. She was working at Deloitte and I was doing my entrepreneur thing. This trip was our first taste of nomadic life.
Before starting a family, we knew that we wanted to travel together for 2 years across Europe. During wife decided to leave her job and pick up a lifestyle similar to mine. She had been hustling for years and she deserved a break.
In December of 2019, we flew back to the States after living in Europe for a year. Next on our list was Asia. We planned to see Japan, Okinawa, and Thailand. Most importantly, I wanted to learn Kung Fu.
I somehow convinced my wife that she wanted to learn Kung Fu as well! Specifically, in Thailand, we were going to learn Muay Thai. Then as we traveled the continent, we would learn more art and culture along the way.
In January of 2020, we took a trip to Mexico to accept an award through LadyBoss. After that, we set off to New York where we were featured on Marie Forleo’s B-School. January was a great month.
In February, we traveled to Hawaii. It was amazing there and we planned to stay for a month and a half. My wife and I even contemplated living there for a while!
Then… you all know what happened in March of 2020. We were on the island of Kauai. Almost overnight, the beautiful island turned into a scary place. Ashley and I heard that locals were mugging and beating up visitors and tourists. We had already been there a month so it’s not like we brought COVID to the island, but it didn't matter. We weren’t from Kauai.
There was one moment that I remember in particular. Ashley and I hopped on our bikes to go get our daily juice from a local shop. As we walked out of the juicery, a guy pulled up in a super ghetto Astro van and very bluntly told us to get the “f” off the island. Ashley freaked out. I was ready to fight the guy but I hadn’t made it to Asia yet to learn my Kung Fu. So, I stood there helplessly and pretty stunned.
We got back to the hotel room and hopped on a live stream being held by the governor of Hawaii. We don't regularly watch the news but we decided to tune in to see what was going on. There were a lot of very violent comments on the video all geared at tourists. You do not want to mess with local Hawaiians!
We booked a flight to my parent’s place in San Diego. It was at this point in time that COVID really started to get worse. My sister and her boyfriend came down to join the little family get-together we had going on. It was actually lots of fun playing games and deepening my relationship with my family!
Now it’s May 2020 and Ashley and I are still trying to figure out what to do with our lives. We still wanted to travel the world! We sold everything we owned and were committed to the nomadic lifestyle. What were we supposed to do?
It was actually Ashley who pitched the idea of living in a van. It’s such a romantic, humble, and simple way to live. Plus, you get to see beautiful sites that you didn't even know existed along the way. 30 days after hearing the idea, we were in. We hired a family friend to build our van and deck it out just as we wanted. It took around 90 days to complete and we set off in November. We had no clue how long van life would last. Our original goal was one month. We pondered waiting until the world got back to normal but, as we all know, it’s still not normal!
Van life was not planned or something we always wanted to do. It was just an idea that made sense. Van life allowed us to isolate and stay socially distant when we needed to. All things considered, it was one of the best decisions that we ever made. I’ve seen things that I thought I’d never see and my relationship with my wife is the best it’s ever been.
As we just passed the 6-month mark, the next question is how long will we do van life for? Only time will tell…
Peace and God bless.
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