Today Im celebrating my first year living full-time in my VW California! Thats 365 days living in a space not much bigger than a king size double bed, with a tiny kitchen area and no bathroom. Ive enjoyed every moment and have zero regrets choosing this lifestyle. The time has flown by and I haven’t missed #houselife one bit. Admittedly I have been very fortunate to of spent the last year on Spanish unemployment benefits, which made my transition from apartment to vanlife a breeze. Those benefits stop this month so its time to start finding some paid jobs again, although wherever I go has to be dog friendly, as I cannot leave Babu in the van. Now theres a new challenge!
Anyways, heres a quick list of the Pro’s and Con’s Ive discovered living vanlife full-time.
1. Free rent. Ive saved 6,600€ by not renting an apartment this year!
2. I own my own home, the van, which will of paid for itself after three years, (if I paid the equivelant renting accommodation).
3. I have no fixed electric, water, or landline telephone bills to pay.
4. I use just a litre of water to wash dishes, and under 3 litres to shower, (I collect water for free from the taps on the beaches and gas stations).
5. I have enough clothes and bedding to warrant one visit a month to the laundry (which costs 6€ a wash). Air dried outside, free!
6. I do not waste as much food, as I only buy what my small fridge can store.
7. I dont buy or accumulate unnecessary stuff as my storage is limited.
8. I spend more time outside, (that includes when Im sat in my van with my feet hanging out!).
9. I use the internet 50% less than when I lived in an apartment with broadband, (and my 8GBs a month mobile internet is half of what I paid before).
10. I swim everyday in the sea, (its my bath!).
11. I can uproot and park wherever I please, (beaches, forests, mountains, city, outside the pub!).
12. I can drive away from noisy neighbours.
13. When its too hot, I drive to cooler spots on the island.
14. Babu can pop out for a wander or pee when he wants, (he’s a free-range dog).
15. My wardrobe and gear are never far away if I need or forget something.
16. I dont smell, (unless my friends are too polite to tell me otherwise?)!
17. My freedom, (paramount to my lifestyle and rebellious alter ego).
1. I have to walk to the toilet, (sometimes run!!).
2. I bathe or shower outside when its cold, (fortunately that only happens a dozen times a year in Gran Canaria).
3. My van becomes an oven some days during summer, (although most apartments do too).
4. When its overcast my solar energy is minimal, so I have to buy ice for the fridge.
5. I grumble when someone else beats me to a good parking spot!
With so few cons, theres heaps to like about living the outdoor van lifestyle. I think another year full-timing is in order?
Onwards and upwards, eh!