“It sounds cliche, but it really is the small things in life…the basic things (food, shelter, clothing, freedom, friendship) you can be grateful for that truly make you happy.” -Josh Theberge
You may have been hearing about vanlife more than ever before. You might have even seen breathtaking photos on various social media platforms that you can’t seem to get out of your head. While the idea of exploring the world in a van, working remotely, and beginning your very own vanlife journey may be tempting, not many people know how to make that shift, turn it into reality and really focus on the most important things in life.
Interested in making vanlife happen? Josh Theberge, owner of Vanmakers, shares how you can begin transitioning to Vanlife. He personally made that big switch from living what most people would call, “The American Dream”.
Josh explains, “I grew up a city kid and I typically worked two or three jobs at a time from the age of sixteen until almost thirty. 80+ hour work weeks were the norm for about 15 years for me. I worked hard and saved my money and eventually started learning, practicing and ultimately investing in real estate. After several successful years of making a considerable amount of money in real estate, I did what most average successful Americans would do. I went out and bought a bunch of expensive things to show everyone how successful I had become. I had a Maserati, an expensive wardrobe, expensive watches and a waterfront condo in Miami. I was living the American dream that’s typically portrayed in marketing, TV, movies and magazines.”
Josh made a decision that changed his life forever. He continues, “I decided to sell all my non-essentials, build a van and live in it while exploring all the natural places I had dreamed of. I sold everything I owned, including my business. If you don’t spend a lot of money you can last a long time on the road and living this lifestyle for as long as possible is the ultimate goal.”
So how can someone really transition from the “American dream” lifestyle to vanlife?
Josh goes on to explain, “Many people message me saying that they want to do vanlife, but don’t have the money to buy and build their dream van. I challenge their thought process. Do you want to live Vanlife or do you want to show off on Instagram? Vans and vehicles come in all sizes and price ranges. Maybe you don’t have enough money to buy a fully tricked out 4×4 Sprinter, but I’m sure you have money to buy something you can live in. At the end of the day it’s really about freedom, not about how pimped out your van is. If you’re serious about getting out of the rat race and onto the open road then you’ll find something to fit your budget and make your dream work.”
“If you’re worried about earning a living while vanlifing, don’t stress. There are many ways to make it work for each situation. For me, I have investments that generate income and work somewhat seasonally. I think if you really make this lifestyle a priority you can find a way to make it work. If your overhead is low, you will find a way to survive and thrive. Maybe you work in the winter and spring and travel in the summer and fall. Maybe you find a job that lets you work remotely, maybe you come up with a product or service you can sell on the road, maybe live somewhere for a month and do some gigs and then move somewhere else. The possibilities are endless! If you really want to get started in vanlife, but are worried about earning a living then move into a vehicle and work at your normal job for 6 months or a year and use the vehicle to travel on the weekends until you can find an income source that allows you to be more nomadic.”
Most people who shift to vanlife reassess what the most meaningful things in life are. They have found that living a minimalistic, adventurous lifestyle, a life of simplicity, in nature, is more fulfilling than any other way of life.
Interested in transitioning to vanlife? Vanmakers designs & builds custom, high-quality vans, with style and functionality for the best vanlife experience. Josh Theberge and the founders have extensive knowledge and experience of living life in a van and help to create the right blueprint to meet each person’s vanlife needs.
Want to hear Josh’s whole story? Click here to read his whole featured article.