I just quit my job to travel in a van. Do I have concerns? Of course I do.

I consider myself a pretty low maintenance individual. I get my haircut about once a year. I don’t use conditioner or lotion. I buy standard shampoo that costs less than $6. My nails usually go unpolished. Toes too. Make up is generally for special occasions like weddings or, even rarer, nights when I go out like those young 20-somethings do. I don’t like expensive food like steak or seafood. Pretty simple!

But.

I like showers. With hot water and lots of pressure for my thick hair.

I love doing laundry. I used to be compulsive and do a load of laundry, at minimum, every other day. No overflowing laundry baskets for me. Just a sweet smelling closet. I have since reduced my weekly loads (ha?) because a) I moved to Seattle and stepped up my environmentally conscious game and b) I recently moved into a microstudio apartment where I have to freaking pay for laundry like a college student. Small, quick loads (HA!) aren’t as rewarding when they cost $4 each. Regardless, I have [somewhat] reined in my laundry obsessive ways, but how often am I going to be able to do laundry while we’re adventuring??

Everything “just so”. My OCD is fairly subtle (I think), mainly comprised of tiny adjustments. I like labels facing out. I close open drawers even if you’re not done with them. I will apologize. I will do it again. Now, I know that organization is paramount when living in a van. I will gladly step in and take that on. Colin is an organized individual; I’m not worried he’s going to Tasmanian Devil our home. I AM, however, nervous that I’m going to drive him nuts. Because when your home is one room, there’s no hiding imperfections. And I like everything to appear neat from where I’m sitting. Will he lose it one day when I turn his contact solution face-out as I have every other day before?* I guess we shall see… Unless he can’t find his contact solution, then he won’t be able to see anything. HA!

La toilette. The head. The LGR. The commode. Or, maybe I should say the “humble commode” because that’s what we’re looking at here. We done got ourselves a portable toilet for our van. It has yet to be used, thank the heavens. But someday it will be and with only two of us in the van, chances are pretty good that a) I’ll be the one using it or b) I’ll be the one finding out real quick if the deodorizing pellets are really worth their weight in Amazon reviews. We debated having a toilet in the van but then we read a few too many van blogs about poor travelers crossing their legs while waiting for a KMart to open or having some terrible nighttime experiences. I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stay tuned for more on this story as preparedness meets opportunity.

Keeping up. I don’t see myself as an adventurous individual. I like to hike and climb but I am in no way a thrill seeker and I don’t do things just to say that I did something really hard *flexes muscles*. I do them to enjoy them (or, admittedly, to cross them off my check list). Colin and I are on the same page here. Except his skill level is completely beyond my own. I’m sure there will be times when I send him off adventuring with like-skilled individuals while I spend a day at a movie theatre or library. I actually think that sounds great. I’m just nervous that I’ll be too slow on our hikes, I won’t be able to go enough miles, or I won’t be able to complete a climb we’ve started. It’s a silly concern as this has yet to happen and if it did, I’m sure Colin wouldn’t care, but it remains all the same. It also doesn’t take into consideration how much stronger my muscles will be after putting some good miles under them. So, who knows where my skills could be a year from now?!!? Guess we’ll find out together.

 

*”I literally never noticed.” – Colin

Author: Lisa

Over one year in van life and loving it. Hiker, rock climber, novice mountain biker, and professional napper. Official “documenter” of our time with Vaniel. Favorite podcast: Stuff You Should Know.

Leave a Comment