Vanlife - the truth

Updated: Nov 3, 2018

While you’ll often see pictures of the two of us happily watching an explosive sunset, swimming in crystal clear waters or hiking in a beautiful national park, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes when you’re living in a van. Here are our top 15 van life 'truths'.


1. Car issues - our yearlong roadtrip included 41.5 push starts, a new starter motor, alternator and various windscreen repairs. While we kept telling ourselves “it’s all part of the adventure” – we’ve realised maybe it’s not as cost effective to travel in a vintage vehicle?


2. Bumping our head on the same bolt every single day as we got into bed (it’s actually kind of impressive we managed to hit it so consistently. And no I’m not sure why we didn’t come up with some kind of quick fix).


3. Packing and unpacking. We underestimated just how much time we would spend rearranging, repacking and reorganising.


4. Sweeping our van/home at least six times per day. And yet somehow it still remained covered in dust and dirt?!


5. The real shower situation - a loofah + soap + a pump water bottle. And to make things more interesting, add in a swarm of wasps who apparently need your shower water so badly they aggressively circle you. Cue the alarmingly frantic naked dance/run. And while you’re here - showering without your jandals / thongs also becomes a thing of the past rather quickly.


6. Encountering creeps like the one that put his phone/camera underneath Char’s shower door.


7. Encountering lovely people like the one that randomly and very generously shouted our petrol at the service station.


8. Magpies stealing our food. And it was always the good stuff. Like the bacon we waited two weeks to buy cause it was finally half price.


9. Ants becoming our nemesis (after magpies of course). We had an absolute antventure finding them spread through all of James’ clothes drawers.


10. Being holed up for two days due to a sudden storm. And then finding out we had some serious leaks in the roof. Hello duct tape.


11. Becoming the most frugal version of ourselves. We scoured the weekly supermarket catalogues, watered down our milk and tried our best not to hysterically cry when we saw how much our laundry would cost. In fact here we are drying our fresh laundry on a public fence in a bid to avoid paying to use a drier.


12. Constantly questioning when the road was last graded. And then pulling over and finding a range of screws, nuts and bolts that had rattled off Vinnie.


13. Playing a game of matching up the screws, nuts and bolts to Vinnie and then eventually resorting to “we’ll just drive and see if he breaks down”.


14. Carrying toilet paper more often than our wallets.


15. Really, truly questioning whether the expiration dates on our food were accurate or more just “recommendations”.


16. Getting really sick from eating our out of date food. (haha we had to include a 16th)!


What do you think? Can you relate to any of these vanlife truths? What have we missed?

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