"I like to imagine a time where no person dies without having embraced the daring adventure their life was meant to be. ".
I am Stuart Ross, an avid van-lifer embracing more of life on wheels and taking delight in each aspect of the sweeping Van Life movement. I am a part-time van dweller enjoying some of the dreamiest and most inspiring adventures in my well-outfitted van.
I fondly tag myself as a ‘weekend warrior’ who wants to mainline a dose of wanderlust at weekends or whenever I yearn for unlimited sporadic short-term adventure. At the same time I love to hit the backroads and unveil hidden gems while having a blast in my mobile housing!
How? When? And Why?
After I dived right into van life in early 2019 I was asked by many people about the reasons for choosing the alternative lifestyle. At that time, I wouldn't know where to begin the story of my quirky lifestyle desires. So one day I sat down, jotted down every thought about van life and finally, found the answer to my own question ‘Where do I begin?’
What initially lured me to experiment with Van Life was unquestionably the hype surrounding it on social media. From the candid photographs of incredibly breathtaking locations to the laidback lives of the vloggers and vanlifers to the idea of immense freedom, I was intrigued by the life led by Instagram-Vanlifers and wanted to see if I would feel the same way.
The temptation for me wasn’t so much because of the normalcy of everyday life or low finances, but more so because of the inspiration I received from fellow Vanlife Youtubers and my undeniable love of adventures. I remember stumbling upon a fantastic documentary about a couple living the nomadic lifestyle and traveling across the world. Right at that moment something just clicked inside and I knew it right then that I wanted something just like this.
I used to uninterruptedly binge-watch hundreds of videos to get as much insider-information as possible. I was inspired beyond words. I was glued to youtube for hours. And I so badly wanted the wheels to take me to drool-worthy destinations.
I used to and still do feel that the individuals and couples who vow to become digital nomads are extremely courageous. From boomers to millennials to retirees and even cube-dwellers, they are not just another individual daydreaming about clocking out at work, hitting the road and simply driving away. They are the ones who put their thoughts into actions and not ponder upon what it’d be like in the dead of the night. They are the doers! They are the ones who draw energy from being fully immersed in nature. And they have a blast!
Knowing my heart’s longing, I invested in my first ever converted VW transporter- truly one of the best decisions ever! I saw a golden opportunity to live my dream adventure life and jumped at it. Then there was no holding me back, I pushed the throttle with all my might and started my van voyage. It gave me the freedom to get up and go with no real planning or notice and yet feel at home. It’s incredible and needless to say, I was and am totally hooked!
Freedom to structure your own life
With so much less stuff, more electrifying adventure and unlimited exposure to less trodden paths, doing Van Life has brought about a tremendous transformation in the way I think, process what hits my eardrums and interpret it. I got time for self-introspection that’s inspired me to simplify my life, understand my values, and vision at my core.
Now I can assert that Van Life opens a secret magical door to a whole new world and I wouldn’t hesitate to vouch that Van Life is here to stay. After all, relishing the taste of the nomadic lifestyle is the new black!
What’s more; being an occasional van-dweller, venturing out in my converted rolling home and conversating with fellow van lifers, I realised that Van life blesses the sub-culture of nomadic individuals to live a life of unlimited freedom and adventure. And this, my friends, can only come with a home on 4 wheels and NOT through planned and occasional vacations.
During my vanlife tenure, I have engaged with so many inspirational individuals, some of whom wish to take this gigantic step but hold themselves back because of various anticipations. I could completely relate to them because when weighing the pros and cons of investing in a home on wheels, I would consider every worst-case scenario and find a reason to not do it myself. I can understand how unsettling it is to think of it being just a whim decision and a huge commitment in time and money. Not to mention for those considering doing it on a more full time basis and the huge leap of faith that would be required for that.
But, having said all that, being a Van Lifer has its clear perks that allow you to follow your passion wherever you are! In my case, Van Life has encouraged me to pursue my love of adventure, all while having my home comforts and the ability to run my online businesses at the same time. All I have to do is grab my keys, pick a destination and I’m off!
What’s more: within a couple of weeks of owning my van I realised that it’s the most freeing thing that I’ve ever done and totally understood why van-lifers insanely love it. It's the most perfect alternative lifestyle for anyone out there who longs for never-ending adventure and freedom. Today, I feel both overjoyed and thrilled to witness such an incredible ‘bohemian social media movement’ unfold across the world.
And yes, if I was ever to lose what I proudly own or found myself in a financial constraint, I’d absolutely take the nomadic advantage of full-time van life. It’s comparatively much more economical than having a house/apartment, yet provides all the security you need in today's digital world!
To be honest, I was not someone who fancied the idea of roughing things and camping which now I am truly, madly and deeply in love with, all thanks to the Van Life movement! From being an individual who savoured the utmost comfort of posh hotels to being a minimalist and free-spirited traveler, Van Life has turned my perspective upside down, which I do not regret at all. It has made a massive contribution to the way I perceive the importance of small things and be gratified for them. I can very openly confess that pursuing Van Life has taught me not just about my surroundings but also revealed the sides of me that I was completely oblivious to.
With that said, I’m not admitting that I’ve thrown in the towel to staying in luxury of 5-star hotels. They are super-amazing with top-notch services at your beck and call but the love that I have grown for Van Life is simply incomparable.
Rolling wheels blessed me with the big-moment of my existence when I figured out that my day belongs to me in ways I have never experienced before. I decide how it turns out to be. I map out my own destination. And I can choose if I want to sleep stargazing or listening to the amazing sound of a waterfall (or more often rain in the woodlands).
Wheels helped me align more with my purpose: Inform and Inspire
The motto of my life for the past decade has truly been to give back what I receive from the world and make it a more beautiful place to live in. I had acquired inspiration to get out of my comfort zone, be more adventurous and explore the world’s untainted terrains in their pristine, natural form.
So I have put my heart and soul on this website to serve my readers with inspiration and details about life on wheels; and pushing them to see life, the world and themselves from a whole new perspective.
While I take the assistance of amazing freelancers to give an organisation and life to my ideas, I ascertain that the content is original and unfiltered to share my journey with everyone out there. I can’t put into words how enthralled I am to share my van-journey with you all and have you guys become a part of it.
I will be on cloud nine to be in touch with you all and clear any doubt you may have, so feel free to drop ‘Hi Stuart! ’ in the comment section and I promise to revert ASAP.
Here's to exploring more sandy beaches, driving less traveled roads, riding insurmountable waves and falling in love with heavenly sunsets. And everything your heart desires!
Always remember; if there’s an idea, you ought to do it.
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