I know this isn’t the cool thing. Every day, I see the photos and read the articles where you keep telling me I should quit my soul-sucking office job and move into a tricked-out van/ bus/truck so my spirit can be as free as the eagles flying over Moab’s desert. Especially if I want to be a real Climber.
And if I commit fully to #vanlife, then I can use very authentic hashtags when I post photos of my amazing #vanlife, and humblebrag things like, “Wow, I can’t believe this is REALLY my life! #blessed!” which might worry some followers (‘does she really forget everything at night while she sleeps?’).
But I have to tell you something, #vanlife: I don’t want to be a dirtbag.
I don’t want to worry about where I’m going to sleep at night, be disappointed when it’s another Walmart parking lot (rather than this mad scenic lakeshore), bootleg wifi from my friends, or have a whole pile of friend notifications on Facebook from people I don’t even remember meeting, because all the parking areas are starting to look the same.
I admit it, #vanlife—I’m weak. I like putting down roots, a bed that’s mine, standing up in my living space and—what’s worst—I actually like my office job.
#Vanlife, I’m not saying you’re totally out there, or wrong. You have a lot of amazing things going for you. You foster a community of travelers with incredible, unique experiences, and you cut out the things that don’t bring you joy. The sense of independence you give people is real and noteworthy.
I think the difference between you and me, #vanlife, is that I don’t have a whole industry hyping my “live in a house!” lifestyle—so maybe I feel left out. (Seriously, the media’s loving you right now—search the Internet for “vanlife” and you’ll find more articles and products than you thought possible in places from blogs to The Atlantic to all the outdoor and climbing magazines. Search “live in a house” and you just get a bunch of tiny house articles and legal advice). And I just can’t handle the pressure of having to feed that sepia or #notfiltered media machine.
Maybe I’ll never be a Climber with a capital C, but I’m pretty sure that’s up to me anyway—not where I rest my head at night. You’re pretty swell, #vanlife, you’re just not for me.