Van life has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice in recent years, with more and more people choosing to hit the road and live out of a van. But what exactly is van life? The definition seems to be a topic of much debate among those who practice it, with varying opinions on what counts as true van life.

What is Van Life?
At its core, van life is all about living a minimalist lifestyle out of a van. This often involves downsizing to a smaller living space, eliminating unnecessary possessions, and embracing a simpler way of life. Many van lifers are attracted to the freedom and flexibility that comes with living on the road and the opportunity to explore new places and live a more adventurous lifestyle.

What Counts as Van Life?
While the core principles of van life are relatively straightforward, much debate exists about what actually counts as van life. Some argue that only those who live full-time out of a van can genuinely call themselves van lifers. In contrast, others believe that even those who only spend a few weeks or months on the road can claim the title.

Another point of contention is the type of vehicle that counts as a van. While many van lifers live out of traditional camper vans or converted cargo vans, others argue that any vehicle converted for living purposes can be considered a van. This could include buses, RVs, or trucks with camper shells.

Why the Debate Matters
While it may seem trivial, the debate about what is and isn't considered van life can have real-world implications for those who practice it. For example, some campgrounds may restrict the type of vehicle that can park there, limiting the options for those living out of a non-traditional van. Additionally, those just starting out on their van life journey may feel discouraged or excluded if they don't fit the narrow definition of what is considered "real" van life.

Ultimately, the definition of van life is personal, and each individual must decide what it means to them. For some, van life may be about living full-time out of a van and embracing a minimalist lifestyle. For others, it may be about taking extended road trips and exploring new places. As long as the core principles of minimalism and adventure are present, it can be considered van life.

Tips for Embracing Van Life
For those interested in embracing van life, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. First, research and choose a vehicle that suits your specific needs. This could involve investing in a traditional camper van or converting a cargo van or truck. Additionally, downsizing and simplifying your possessions are essential, as a van will limit space.

Finally, embracing van life means embracing a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle. This could involve cooking meals on a portable stove, using a composting toilet, and showering at public facilities or with a portable shower. While it may take some getting used to, many van lifers find that living a simpler, more intentional lifestyle is ultimately more rewarding and fulfilling.

Van life may mean different things to different people, but at its core, it is about living a minimalist, adventurous lifestyle out of a van. While the debate about what counts as true van life may continue, ultimately, it is up to each individual to define the lifestyle for themselves. Whether you are a full-time van lifer or just embarking on a road trip, the key is to embrace the freedom and flexibility of living on the road and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

What does van life mean to you?