CAMPING LIFE: ROMANCE VS. REALITY | Hashtag #vanlife
has a lot of people dreaming about the freedom of the road. Perhaps the only thing I have to say about it is that the Instagram version of #vanlife
is mostly a sterile projection, a kind of staged and meticulously curated dream that misses some of its finer points.
Vanlife is trending for a number of reasons — wanderlust, a rejection of the nine to five treadmill, the yearning for freedom and a simpler life of adventure in the outdoors — but one of the less discussed reasons is that as the cost of living rises everywhere and cities become increasingly unlivable, more and more people are downsizing and moving into their vehicles as a means to survive.
I have a trailer that I use as an office and library. I sleep, eat, and also often write in my van, a 2007 Toyota Sienna that’s nothing like the glam setups popularized on social media and magazines. The longer I fine-tune my setup and figure out a system of living and moving that works for me, what I find interesting is this rosy pictured glamming effect Instagram and Facebook have on what is actually an extremely tough way of life. We’re settling for less and yet putting lipstick on it with fishtail lens-shots of our string light-adorned living spaces, in effect saying, as @kimschnuelle
pointed out to me in a recent conversation, “See? It’s not all that bad. Here’s the view out my door at sunset with a skinny long-haired model in the foreground.”
I’m still trying to define my own relationship with this life by a measure that gratifies and suits me, not some glorified image. Because I chose this life for the things I love about it beyond my living space: being able to kick off my shoes and feel the earth under my feet. The euphoria of the last move on a difficult climb. The croaky calls of ravens. The smell of smoke on my shirt on a cold night as I climb into bed. The experiences that linger in memory long after they’re past us. •
📸: My “perfect” trailer life, Winter Holiday 2018 😸❄️✌🏼Boulder City, NV #ipreview