“So what do you all do all day exactly?”
“Does it get cramped being in the van with kids?”
“How do the kids feel about #vanlife?”
These are the questions that I get asked a lot. People wonder how do I handle being in the van with the girls and my response is always along the lines of “Well, it’s quite similar to how it was when we had our apartment.”
What Do The Girls Do All Day?
My daughters are quite young still and have always wanted to be with me. As a mother that nursed both girls until around 2 or 3 plus co-slept with the girls prior to #vanlife, I’m used to the girls being close to me. Also, when we had our past apartments, the girls either played outside, watched tv, or we went to the clubhouse to play with other kids… much like how we do living in a van.
On a typical day, the girls are either in the van watching Netflix or JellyTelly OR if there are other children around, you’ll catch them riding their scooters, running around, or simply playing with them OR outside with each other coloring, painting, or doing their homeschool workbooks. In a given day, the girls are doing 2 of the 3 things above as sometimes, there aren’t other kids around us for them to play with.
And then there are those days where we’ll go to different museums or the library. Vanlife living in itself isn’t that much different than our previous living situations other than the fact we’re full-time traveling now. And you know what? The girls ABSOLUTELY LOVE #vanlife! Before going this route, the girls were used to traveling via planes and road trips in rental cars, but this is very different to them and they love it. They love telling people that this is our van and how it’s so cool that we have a bathroom, bed, and kitchen! You can see it in their faces how much they are excited about the van and what we’re doing.
What Do I Do All Day?
My day consists of working and exploring with the girls. I’ve been working remotely for almost 6 years so I have a hang on both working and traveling. As I always say, I don’t take “vacations”; I take workcations as you’ll almost ALWAYS see me with my laptop wherever we travel. The only time where I didn’t work was when we were on our cruise to the Bahamas. That 4-day break was well needed, but I enjoy working from the road, hotels, or simply anywhere. If I have a stable internet connection and my laptop, I can work and I’m thankful for my job and what I do. I work in digital engagement which ranges from social media and content management to moderating blogs – all which are non-phone projects so I never have to worry about the girls being “background noise”. I am also learning how to code. I went to college for fashion marketing so I’m always looking to find ways to merge and grow within the tech and fashion industries.
Outside of work, I get outside! I’ve gone hiking, and rode on a hoverboard for the first time. I’ve also played basketball and went bike riding with other families which I haven’t done in a very long time. Growing up, I’ve always been active, but once I had the girls, I stopped being as active as I used to be. Thankfully full-time traveling has been changing that. I try to get outside and explore what’s around us with the girls every day so we aren’t always in the van.
So yes, this type of living may seem strange to some people, but there are plenty other families that have chosen to full-time travel in various types of rigs. We’ve met families that live in RVs to several families living in skoolies (school bus conversions) and their kids also love this lifestyle – and these children range from teenagers to babies. We’ve met families that send their children to traditional schools on a full-time or part-time basis and those that simply homeschool their children and all routes are great as they work for their family. That’s the thing, this type of lifestyle has to work for the whole family. As parents, we want to do what’s best for our children so while our avenues may look different, at the end of the day, we’re all doing our best for our children.
I can’t predict that the girls will want to do this forever, but as of right now, the girls and I are enjoying full-time traveling. We’re enjoying #vanlife!