Yep, we use the #vanlife hastag. Guilty as charged! While it aptly describes our obsession with camping and traveling in our 1982 VW Westfalia—a more accurate hashtag for our ideal life would be: #hybridlife.
In 2011, we based ourselves in Mexico for eight months. This experiment captured us completely and made us realize that we people who thrive on the road; we are wired for travel.
Over the years, we've visualized several scenarios in which we return to a remote lifestyle. In an old blog post we flushed out the option that appealed the most: a rotating combination—or hybrid—of living situations including camping, housesitting, longterm rentals, hotel stays and the odd visit with family or friends. In essence, we will slow travel indefinitely in our van and at times—with just backpacks. We aren't viewing this as a vacation or even, a sabbatical. Just be a new way we live. Our surroundings will change more often as we continue to work, create and save. Instead of owning a home, we will possess only what we can fit in our van and packs. All in all, a good and flexible life until something else strikes our fancy.
Since 2014, we have been steadily inching towards this goal—saving, eliminating debt, purging belongings; researching budgets, visas and vehicle maintenance; experimenting with van hacks, gear, pack methods and travel-friendly art mediums.
This weekend marks a significant milestone along the way: moving into the last house we will inhabit while in the PNW before launching into remote life in 2020. Our new place in Kirkland, Washington is 467 square feet of cozy space paired with a secure parking area for Dave. It will be a great headquarters for the remainder of our planning and prep.
#Hybrid life hasn't officially begun yet. But the clarity it has already brought to our lives is a gift. We are forced to see things through a simpler, narrower lens: we must save more, own less and leave a smaller footprint, in general. We must prepare our bodies and minds to embrace a continuously shifting environment.
And we can't wait.