Well it’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated you all on my life! I’ve had a wild 6 weeks, travelling all over the map. I’ve been on so many crazy adventures that I can’t wait to share with you all. But first I need to start where it all began.
On June 23rd I attended my first Vanlife Gathering, in Harrison Springs BC. The beautiful souls behind the Vanlife Diaries account had put together a 6 week tour all over North America. They are filming for a documentary called “The Meaning Of Vanlife” coming out next year. What these meet ups do for our community is SO important. Humans and vans from all over come together to connect, bond, and tell stories. Every van so different and unique, all with their own personalities. I’m constantly making mental notes on others tips and tricks, interior designs, and travel routes. But meeting the drivers behind these big beautiful rigs is my favourite part, because even though we are like-minded individuals we are all so different, with so much to offer each other.
I’ve attended 3 out of the 4 gatherings in the past 6 weeks and they have put me through a whirlwind of emotions. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t make the easy decision to go to the first meet up. At the time I was brand new to this lifestyle, I had been on the road for just over a month and hadn’t met any fellow van lifers. Nerves were pumping through my body, but it was mainly excitement. That first weekend opened my eyes to a whole new world. It was a place of zero judgments, with so much love and support. For the first time in my life I felt like I had finally found my tribe. Parting ways that first Sunday morning was a hard one for me. I was feeling like I wasn’t given enough time to spend with this new family of mine. It was all coming to an end far too fast for my liking. But, then I gave my head a good shake and realized I live in my van… I have the freedom to do whatever I want! So my next move? Continued travelling with all the incredible people that changed my life.
I didn’t make it to the Second gathering in Banff, Alberta. I had been spending time with my new buddies on Vancouver Island. But there was something missing, I was feeling a bit of anxiety and I couldn’t figure out why. There was a gathering coming up in Colorado that I wasn’t planning on attending because well, it was so far away. But I realized it was calling to me. Within hours I made the decision to leave Victoria at 530am, and make it to Yellow Stone National Park that night, where my friends from the Vanlife Diaries crew were exploring. After a 21 hour journey all on my own, I made it to them! That following weekend 10,000 feet up a mountain was where the gathering was held. My heart felt so full to be surrounded by familiar and new friendly faces. We experienced hot sun, cool rain, heavy hail, and freezing cold nights. But I didn’t mind. I think the wild weather actually made for a more intimate setting. Groups of people huddling back and worth between vans, playing music and telling stories. This gathering even bigger than the last with countless new vans to explore, and even more people to connect with. I was learning quick that this type of environment was my happy place.
Hobuck Washinton, the final gathering. My heart felt so heavy arriving to this meet up. Full, but heavy. To be honest I still haven’t had enough time to process it so I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. Just that a great adventure filled with incredible people came to an end, a beautiful end.
The friendships that you make at these gatherings truly are life long. I now have strong connections all over the world. I have a family of people who have my back. Who understand me. Who support me. Who love me. I have countless memories, and endless stories. Our community is growing rapidly, as more and more individuals realize the benefits of living simply. I am excited to meet more fellow van lifers, and attend more gatherings.
If you are living in a van or tiny home, want to, or are just curious to see what this lifestyle is all about I highly suggest going to a gathering! It is one of the most eye opening experiences and it will change your life, just like it did for mine.
Shout out to Vanlife Diaries, Go Van, Tiny House Tiny Foot Print, Rock Meets Soil and Where’s my Office Now for putting together this years Vanlife Gathering Tour. You’re all so inspiring, and you’re changing lives.