32 is supposedly the age where creativity and output peaks. So maybe it is fitting that a couple years ago, at age 32, I drafted three manifestos to capture some of my life strategies/plans. The first is a Vanlife Manifesto: goals and strategy for how I want to spend my time while living and traveling in the van.
The manifestos are:
1 – Vanlife Manifesto: A nomadic phase. Includes primarily Vandwelling, but later likely living in Central or South America and/or Southeast Asia. This manifesto is below
2 – Slowlife Manifesto: A “Settled down” phase. Buy or build a small home or cabin. Dive into hobbies like gardening/permaculture, construction, fishing, building social capital, etc.
3 – Life Purpose Manifesto: This one is difficult to draft and is currently quite vague
VANLIFE MANIFESTO – EXPLORATION AND ACCLIMATION
- Explore and learn about the United States (including our history)
- Study and enjoy “nature”
- Find good locations to settle in later
- Meet people with similar outlooks and interests
- See how little space and few things I need to live well
- Big enough to be comfortable enough to feel like an option for permanent living. (this may require buying a high top van in the future or adding a high top to mine)
- Able to go/stay in a wide variety of places.
- Get to many remote locations.
- Blend in while in cities.
- Not restricted from going to certain areas by van size or type (I don’t mean parking garages here, I mean parks/forests or parts of cities)
- Reliable – not needing frequent repairs
- Relatively fuel-efficient, if possible
- Equipped to allow living remotely for at least one week
- Space for carrying hobby equipment
- Not so expensive that it causes me stress
- Clean and organized inside – so that when things are in their place, I feel calm and without urges to clean or reorganize
- Low amount. High usefulness/quality
- Things that serve multiple functions
- Not so expensive that loss would devastate me
(some are current, some are things I want to get into at some point)
- Learning the history of areas
- Learn about nature – plants, animals, earth, weather, survival
- Photography (landscape, nature, wildlife, travel)
- Fitness – running, strength, injury resistance, health
- Swimming / Snorkeling? / Surfing?
- Animal watching/tracking
- Pens and writing
- Graphic design (on computer)
- Drinking good tea
REMINDERS FOR MYSELF
- Stay in good shape – don’t let muscles atrophy
- Eat mostly healthy – find ways to make this work and to make it easy
- Spend a lot of time with friends and family (because I may not want to travel while I’m settled down later on)
DO YOU HAVE A LIFE MANIFESTO?
For those of you dreaming of Vanlife, preparing for it, or currently living in your van, do you have a Vanlife Manifesto? If so, what does your have that mine doesn’t?