I set out for Jackson, Wyoming in my Toyota Sienna in May with the excitement of finally chasing my western dreams. After a few weeks on the road and arriving in Jackson, I soon found out I would also be spending the rest of the summer living out of my van.
Setting up the ‘mock on my van.
I say living out of because in a recent interview with a good friend of mine he said, “I don’t live in my van, I live out of my van”. Which honestly is completely accurate. Besides the occasional rainy evenings with no plans where I sit in a random parking lot and poach internet, I don’t spend much time in there at all (nor do I plan to). It really is a place to store stuff, a place to sleep at night, and not a whole lot more.
What do you eat? Where do you shower?- Both questions I get a lot and don’t really have a solid answer to. I have a jet boil, I have a camp stove, I have friends with houses, employee meals, grocery stores with fruit and admittedly I probably eat out too much. As far as showers go, I have nice friends with plumbing systems, and there’s this hotel pool/ shower that is really easy to poach.One of many drives up Curtis Canyon for a night out.
So what it’s a little cramped and I have to push all my stuff over to the other side of the car when I’m getting ready for bed. I don’t care that I only shower every few days, or that my clothes are wrinkled. Sometimes I smell but more often than not I think I’m fine.
It’s kind of grounding, actually. You can’t go home after a long day at work and just watch Netflix. Post work means biking the pass, live music, and a whole other plethora of activities. I don’t have much stuff to begin with, but it shows you what you actually use and what you’d really rather just get rid of.
I move into a house in Bozeman this week. I’m excited but at the same time I feel like I don’t need it until winter- cause you know, heat. It’ll be nice to have a closet and a place to organize my belongings. I’ll have a wall to hang up decorations on (but again, money I’ll spend that I don’t need to spend). My skis won’t be trapped in weird places and I may even be sleeping on a real bed, eating real food, and taking real (and often) showers.
Watch out, van life. I’m coming back for you- next time with more organization, a platform bed, and even less ‘stuff’.
Insert John Muir quote here.