Like the nomads, pioneers, and explorers of old, there is something irresistible and innately human about a life of travel; about the desire to always learn what lies over the next horizon. This week's guest blog is by Vanlifer, Digital Media and Marketing Specialist, and entrepreneur Ben Pryce as he enlightens us about mobile entrepreneurship and the traveling life.
Living out of your van used to be reserved for weirdos, bums, vagrants, whatever you want to call them. Now, with the advent of new tech, it's becoming easier and easier to find working professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, and just plain old adventurers swapping the comfort of four walls for the portability of four wheels. As the trend grows and gains traction across the world, and is regularly featured on popular social media channels; living (and now working) from your van has gone from something to be ashamed of, to something that many are starting to aspire to.
If you’re unfamiliar with the phenomenon and think I sound crazy, search #vanlife the next time you’re on Instagram. You’ll find accounts like @VanLifers with hundreds of thousands of followers, dedicated purely to the creative ways people are living and working out of their vans all over the world! People’s reasons for doing so can vary. Some do it because they don’t need much and want to escape the rent trap, while some can’t stand to stay in one place for too long. Many do it because it’s fun! Me, I did it as an experiment to streamline my life as much as possible; with simplicity comes growth.
So, I got rid of everything. EVERYTHING.
I donated or sold everything I had except for my computer, cameras, and clothes. I started over fresh with just the necessities, moved out of my apartment and into my van. Having less stuff meant more money. Having more money meant having more time, having more time meant I was able to pursue the things I really wanted in life. For me that was travel. I love photography, and I love nature. The problem is that I lived in the middle of the city in San Diego. A beautiful city, albeit, but a city nonetheless. I wanted to go where there were no buildings, no power lines, no people. So with more money, and more time, that meant I had a lot more opportunity to travel, take pictures, and explore the world.
Good thing my new home was also my ride!
Now I spend my time traveling up and down the west coast, often into Mexico, exploring deserts, finding new surf breaks and working remotely, all from the comfort of my own abode, rent free. It sounds great, and it is, although it certainly brings its challenges. Space, weight and comfort are some of those challenges for obvious reasons. I found comfort to be the biggest one; I’m 6’3. Aside from physical comfort though, the whole point of Vanlife is to live comfortably. Saving all of the money in the world is useless if you are miserable because you’ve made too many sacrifices. One sacrifice that I wasn’t willing to make was giving up great coffee.
The Minipresso NS is my go to. I have and use a GR model for when I want to grind my own, but the NS model makes prep and clean-up so simple and fast. From remote locations, it could take hours to find a café, and who knows if they’ll even have good coffee, and who can afford to take that risk? With Minipresso, all I have to do is heat up a bit of water on my stove, and in a few pumps I’ve got a delicious shot of espresso that could easily cost me $4 or more back in the city! If I’m about to jump into some cold water for a sunrise surf, or embark on a 10 mile hike, I can bring along my Tank+ for a bit of extra caffeine and make it a lungo. And just like that, my coffee conundrum is solved and my adventures are fueled!