Living In a Van – But Not Necessarily Down by the River


Composite image by Anderson Graphics.

Madison Raap, Managing Editor

Minimalism, in terms of a lifestyle, has been defined as being characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. It can also be defined as living with freedom and individuality. 

Many take the “vow of minimalism” by getting rid of everything they don’t need. This means they rid themselves of the “distraction of excess possessions so I can focus more on those things that matter most.”(Joshua Becker, via his lifestyle blog). 

A minimalistic trend I love is the van life. Many couples or even single people take a van and convert it into a mini home that they can use to easily travel wherever they please. This is considered minimalistic because you have to have the bare minimum with you in the van as not everything you own is going to fit. 

Some popular Youtubers and influencers that have embraced the idea of van life and have even inspired others to join the trend are Jennelle Eliana, @jennelle.eliana, Eamon & Bec, @eamonandbec, and Hannah Duggan, @hannahleeduggan

However, the real question is whether or not the minimalist lifestyle is for you? You may have wanted to take the “vow of minimalism” but can’t seem to rid yourself of possessions you don’t need. Or you’re wondering how you’re supposed to be happy without all your stuff. 

I’m going to list a bunch of reasons now why becoming a minimalist sounds so appealing to many:

  • It’s better on the environment.

Just think about it. If you have less stuff it reduces your impact, or carbon footprint if you wanna sound cool, on the environment. As you take on this lifestyle, you become more mindful of what you are consuming and putting out into the world. 

  • It increases your happiness.

You’re not just ridding yourself of your un-needed possessions, you’re also minimizing your to-do lists, your schedule, and decluttering your mind. This leads you to “search for happiness not through things, but through life itself” stated by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who are the owners of “the minimalists” blog and podcast. 

  • It also increases your productivity.

When your to-do list and schedule are void of the things you don’t want to do all you have left is things you actually enjoy and are more likely to do.

  • You’re gonna save money.

When you don’t buy those unnecessary things you can save up that money for other uses.

So now that you want to become a minimalist it’s time to donate all those un-needed possessions to goodwill, buy that dream van, and travel the country.