VanLife FAQs: What inspired you to do this?
Originally written: September 18, 2016.
TLDR: The short story about why I chose van life. I was bored, unfulfilled, and my spirit was drained. Leaving the desk in the dust. It's funny...as I look back on this unfinished, hell it was only just titled, blog post that I started last year, I'm reminded of my many good intentions that just..didn't quite make it to fruition. Here I am in my hotel room at this unusually nice Ramada. It's 2:40 in the morning and I'm stranded in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. My mum is over on her bed, tossing and turning every 30 minutes, occasionally waking up to say, "You're STILL working over there?? You should get up and walk around every once in a while." Ah sweet hyperfocus and OCD. Much has transpired since I decided to leave my amazing family at the Oprah Winfrey Network in West Hollywood to pursue a less desk-centered lifestyle. I've packed this amazing hunk of meat in my skull with an immense amount of new information and I've shared some epicly dope AF experiences and adventures with family and friends. My intention last year was to do life in a new way: the proper way; the way that I had been dreaming about and bitching about after so many years of waking up when my alarm told me to, trying to recall "how my weekend was," gradually upping my glasses prescription from staring at computer screens all day (and night). I wanted to go where the happiness was. The mountains. The woods. The deserts and beaches and fields and open sea. The ne'er explored vastness and macro lens subtleties of this gorgeous planet. I wanted to be "free!" My open browser tabs often looked like this:
Throughout 2016, I had developed a deep fascination for #VanLife. Watching minimalist adventurers like Alex Honnold give a tour of his van and explain his simple way of life to the camera in such a raw way, "welp, here it is. my everything..." These videos, interviews, and articles on YouTube, Instagram and the like moved me. Something I do quite often when facing what I believe to be a big life decision is that I talk about it, a lot, with everyone. I told my friends, my family, my bosses, strangers...I talked to everyone I encountered about my fascination with this lifestyle. I judged their reactions. I absorbed their personal questions and concerns about the specifics and logistics and...less romantic aspects of the van-dwelling lifestyle. I fielded the inescapable "...van down by the river!!" jokes. Typically what happens at this stage is, well, more often than not, I bail on myself. I get hyper about a new idea. I'm inspired. Fired up. All in. But then my inner voice, which is always talking, always worrying, always projecting the worst possible scenarios, preparing for what seems to be inevitable difficulties or even failure, that voice puts out the flame and I'm left in a slump of inaction. But something different happened this time. The stars really did align. My lease was up in LA, my super supportive girlfriend at the time had no obligations and was totally in, my brother and his girlfriend had already ripped out the back seat of their Subaru to hit the road with a fury, and my boss at OWN had a very clear understanding that I was ready to retire from an ultimately less fulfilling life. I said my farewells and goodbyes to my friends at OWN and our neighbors at Funny Or Die, and I went straight home to start drafting the most epic spreadsheet I've ever made.... To Be Continued....