Considering Van Life? Remember These Key Things!

Van living is a modern subculture where people choose to abandon the traditional lifestyle of a house and car and instead choose to move around and live in a vehicle. Instead of having a specific plot of land to call home or a permanent structure, people who embrace the van life will instead spend their days driving from place to place, usually setting up camp in different cities. It certainly cuts down on expenses besides gas and maintenance. This is a growing lifestyle but isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering trying out this way of living, here are a few things to think about before making a big decision. Considering Van Life? Remember These Key Things!

Less Space

Having less space for sleeping and activities appeals to some people but not all. When you adopt the van life, you will be confined to the square footage of your vehicle for sleeping, eating, and storing your belongings. Since the lifestyle encourages minimalism, this is great for people who don’t want to own a lot and are looking to minimize their physical impact in the world. However, you will give up privacy if you are living with another person, so be sure you are good friends with them and have a great relationship!

If privacy isn’t a problem, be sure to invest in convenient storage items like discreet boxes and vacuum-sealed bags to store items like clothing. You’re going to travel a lot and laundry might be difficult, so it’s good to have places to keep separate winter and summer items as well as dirty clothes. Foldable cloth hampers are a favorite.

Cooking food can also be a challenge, so remember to invest in small appliances like a hot plate or a solar-powered oven to make and prepare meals. Some people even have a microwave set up in their van, but this is rare. Most people eat fresh, healthy items like sandwiches, fruit, and vegetables. Fancier food can always be eaten at a restaurant if you’re really craving that lasagna.

The Bathroom Situation

It should go without saying that most vans do not have modern plumbing amenities, and the van life itself does not include campers. How are you going to shower and use the bathroom? People new to the van living lifestyle often make use of gas stations and rest stops to take care of their bodily functions, but these aren’t always available. Instead, consider alternatives.

One of the most common investments for van life is a composting toilet, which can be easier to move than other options. It can be as simple as a bucket with an area over it for sitting, and the waste breaks down and can be safely disposed of in a discrete way. Showering can also be done with a solar shower, which is a bag which heats up in the sun and can then dispense water to form a hot shower anywhere you go. These water bladders can cost as little as $25!

Where To Stop?

This is often the hardest part of van life. Where on earth are you going to stop and sleep? Contemporary society is not conducive to people simply parking their van anywhere since most land is owned, and people are often suspicious of strange vans. Many people stealth camp, or catch a few hours of rest in a spot they technically shouldn’t be in.

When considering van life, remember you will need to plan out where to stop to sleep. Rest stops are always a good idea but not always available. Stay away from schools and areas with “No Trespassing” signs, as well as those with notices saying “Private Property.” Learn to be inconspicuous and see if there are public locations that don’t close so you can get your much-needed rest.

Conclusion

There are a few key things that are important to remember about van life. While some people romanticize the lifestyle, there are also some harsh realities for which you need to be prepared. Van life isn’t for everyone, but hopefully, this list helps you decided whether or not the pros will be worth the cons! And remember, it’s always a good idea to save up some money and make a few solid investments – such as purchasing a high-quality van – before going whole hog in the lifestyle.

Related:
3 Frugal Family Travel Trips
Traveling By Campervans Is An Amazing Way To See The Backroads
DIY Hacks to Make Your Minivan Road-Trip Ready

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Is Your Workplace Harming You?

Numerous studies suggest that the average adult in the United States spends ⅓ of their life at work. This number is only increasing as people take extra hours due to a declining economy or are forced to work overtime. While everyone knows working too much can cause stress, few realize that common elements in the workplace can also be harming you physically and mentally. Here are the most common problems with the average workplace and how they can be treated or avoided. Is Your Workplace Harming You?

Poor Air Quality

Poor air quality is the bane of everyone’s existence and something that exists in most offices, garages, and outdoor environments. This happens naturally since many workplaces combine tons of people with body odor, perfume, allergens from the outdoors and pets, diseases and germs, and even molecules from toxic chemicals used for cleaning, printing, and other basic functions. Some studies even suggest humans breathe in a ton of toxins just in regular office spaces because of cleaners, ink, and some of the old carpeting in office buildings. Nobody wants to deal with this stress on top of trying to make money to feed and support themselves and their families.

All of this airborne junk can worsen allergies and asthma, and make you call in sick more often. Something good for your workspace is to install a dehumidifier to filter out unwanted contaminants from the air you breathe. Many models can be set up right next to a desk and are small and quiet. Keeping a fan and healthy growing plants near you are also good ideas to improve air quality since you can push unwanted air away and filter out some contaminants with plants. The dehumidifier will also eliminate unwanted moisture in the air, which is great for those who live in muggy areas such as the American Southeast and Northwest.

Computer Screens

Computer screens are just a fact of life for most jobs, including designers, HR employees, salespeople, and even cashiers. Unfortunately, they cause a lot of eye strain since human eyes were not meant to stare directly at light and screens are always backlit. Thankfully, the light that emits from computer screens does not possess enough radiation to cause issues like cataracts, but the light does cause muscle strain and can irritate the eyes, causing dryness, itchiness, and other forms of irritation.

Blue Light: Filters
Source: Amazon

To combat this problem, use a blue light filter to tone down the harshness of the brightness and take frequent breaks. Some manufacturers also sell special glasses that can be worn while working on the computer to also block blue light and errant radiation. Every half hour, look away for five minutes and do something with no screens – this means no looking at your phone! Your eyes will thank you and won’t weaken as early in life.

Stress on the Body

Workspaces today are full of modern ills on the human body. Humans are animals that were meant to be in constant motion, not sitting at desks or hunched over working on machines. Even simple activities like typing cause muscle damage and joint pain, including the ever feared carpal tunnel. The areas most prone to damage will naturally be the joints that see the most use – including the wrists and knuckles – as well as the spine. Spinal injuries and back pain are surprisingly common, so it’s important to correct your posture as much as possible and avoid lifting heavy objects from your back instead of your knees.

To improve other aspects of your workspace, raise your keyboard so you’re not bent, invest in a standing desk, and go for frequent walks and stretches to keep your muscles in shape. It’s also a good idea to exercise outside of your office to make sure muscles are stretched and strong. Your body will be happy and healthy, and you won’t be in as much pain as you would be otherwise.
Related:
7 Tips and Tricks for Making Your Office Greener
How to Design a Productive, Functional Home Office
3+1 Stress-Relief Tips for Better Productivity at Work
This post may contain affiliate links and I might receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on a link.