10 Signs You're Meant To Live In A Van


I really believe that Cody and I were meant for a nomadic lifestyle and there were many signs that made us feel like it was “meant to be.” When we first started dating, we were in a long-distance relationship. We spent our first two years together flying back and forth between Tennessee and Oregon.

When Cody decided to make the move to Oregon, we drove his car (and all of his belongings) from Tennessee to Oregon. That was our first long road trip together, and we loved it (even though I came down with the flu).

After that first trip, we often found ourselves driving long distances together. We drove to Disneyland from Portland, we drove hours and hours to eastern Oregon just to check out some cool place we saw on the internet, and we drove all the way to Austin, Texas to go to a music festival. We slept in my car in a hospital parking lot in Moab, and I have to say, the van is a lot more comfortable than that was!

After realizing much this nomadic lifestyle was meant for us, I wanted to compile a list of signs that will help you determine if you have what it takes to live in a van or out of a backpack.

You Love Road Trips

This one is obvious, but if you enjoy long drives you’ll probably enjoy living in a van. There’s nothing like downloading a good audiobook from Audible to listen to as you drive to far away places. Even playing your favorite playlist from Spotify is great!

Road trips are fun and the best part about them is the journey. The random stops you find along the way, the beautiful scenery, and the unhealthy gas station snacks. If you enjoy that part about road trips, then I guarantee van life will exceed your expectations.

You Don’t Have Much

Even when Cody and I lived in a 700 sq ft. apartment in Portland, we didn’t have enough stuff to really fill out our place. We just had some sentimental items, furniture, and artwork… other than that, we never really liked spending our money on things we didn’t absolutely find necessary. If you already don’t have much stuff, then it’ll be a lot easier for you to transition to van life.

You Feel Happier With Less

Living a simple, minimalistic lifestyle makes you happy. You enjoy really focusing on things you are passionate about and making purchases on experiences over things. You’re totally cool with wearing the same pair of hiking boots every year because they are still in good condition. Honestly, having less stuff feels freeing. Being able to have everything you own in a 60 sq ft. van is definitely satisfying.

You Have A Strong Urge To Make An Impact On The Environment

Living in a van is a great way to practice consuming less. If you have goals around leaving less of a footprint, or making a positive impact on the environment, van life will certainly be appealing to you. You’ll learn how to live with less, how to consume power and water in smarter ways, and you’ll definitely spend more time outdoors which will inspire you to keep it as beautiful as possible.

You’re Always Up For A Challenge

We’ve always loved to take the more challenging route in life, which is probably how we made it through a long distance relationship successfully. It’s also why we're able to be the entrepreneurs that we are! We enjoy life’s little challenges, and we never really like to take the easy route. It’s much less rewarding ;)

If you enjoy a good challenge, then you’ll really enjoy van life and all of the unique obstacles that will get thrown in your path along the way.

You Rearrange Your Bedroom/House A Lot

This one is a little funny, but when Cody and I were younger, we’d always rearrange our bedrooms, repaint the walls, or change things around every so often. I think that this was a sign that we really liked change, and we grew tired of the same thing. As seasons change, we change. When you live in a van, you are experiencing change all the time. It’s really amazing to wake up in a new place every week and it fulfills our desire for a constantly changing environment.

You Don’t Have Many Obligations

If you don’t have anything really holding you back, then van life is just for you. We didn’t have a full time job that we needed to be around for. We don’t have kids, and at the time we didn’t have any pets. We just graduated college, so we were open for the next big adventure. If you find yourself without obligations, then why the hell not? What’s holding you back?

Even if you do have kids or pets, it’s not impossible to live in a van either. Check out our friends @ourhomeonwheels. They travel and live in a van with their dog and their 1 year old!

You Have An Entrepreneurial Mindset

If you are planning on living in a van, you’ll need to figure out how you are going to make money to sustain your lifestyle. Having an entrepreneurial mindset means that you’re motivated to discover new ways to generate income. If you’ve always been interested in this, and you aren’t afraid to rely on yourself for a paycheck, van life may be a great option for you. It’s much more affordable than living in an apartment all by yourself!

You Aren’t Afraid Of Uncertainty.

This is something very important. If you aren’t afraid of uncertainty, van life is right up your alley. This lifestyle is full of surprises and outcomes that you may not have anticipated or planned for. If you are worried about not knowing where you’re going to sleep, or where your next job will come from, it may not be the best fit for you.

Before Cody and I lived in a van, we were always more spontaneous with our plans and we weren’t concerned about the unknown.

All of these signs that I outlined above are definitely easy ways to tell if you’re meant to live in a van. I’m sure there are plenty more, but this is what we’ve really thought led us to our nomadic lifestyle.