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Van Dwelling

Yep, just what it sounds like... the act (or art) or living in a van. We're currently traveling the U.S. and living in a 2001 Dodge Ram Wagon. So how does one go about living the good life on the the road? We've compiled our stories, tips, hints, thoughts, logistics and much more here. Enjoy.
20

Van Dwelling Logistics: Overnight Parking and Security

You pull into a nice quiet and dark parking lot. There are only a few cars around and one semi truck. The business looks closed and it seems like a fine place to hunker down for the night. You climb into the back, get your comfy clothes on and whip out the sleeping bag. Memories of the day and excitement for tomorrow’s adventures float through your head as you drift off to sleep. Just as Mr. Sandman begins to guide you through tonight’s dream journey, a Maglite taps the glass. You jerk up and your heart skips a beat. Adrenaline. Short breaths. You attempt to gather your thoughts as you wipe the fog from the glass. On the other side is a man in uniform and he wants to talk to you much more than you want to talk to him.

No self-respecting van dweller wants to find themselves in this type of situation, but unfortunately, it’s an unavoidable fact of van life... OR IS IT? If you’re thinking about living and/or traveling in your vehicle (or if you just want to know what it’s like for us), this post is for you...   Read more

0

The Great Smokey Mountain Tourist Watch

Leaving Knoxville late at night, we stopped at a Walmart to rest for the night. At this particular Walmart, we were chancing our luck not to be towed away. Even with "No Overnight RV Parking"  signs posted, we figured it would be okay since others were more than obviously parked for the night. Safety in numbers, right!? The restless night went by and eventually I fell fast asleep.  Early in the morning, Josh woke to make our way to The Great Smokey Mountains.  Beyond exhausted, we stopped at an outdoor store to stock up on cooking fuel.  The store yet to open, Josh climbed back into bed for a couple hours to wait it out.  When we woke, the parking lot was full and Josh headed in.   He was lucky to come out with fuel as he mentioned the store was mainly for tourists with money burning in their pockets. Still bring a bit early, we made our way to a visitors center just outside the park. This feeling like yet another tourist trap, we found ourselves back in bed again.

Our excessive morning sleep caused us to head into the Smokies later than expected, but we pushed forward. Upon entering the park's main Visitor's Center, we were faced with the worst part of the only free (and most visited) National Park on the country- traffic. It's like Christmas-time traffic where everyone is busy getting somewhere, distracted and in some kind of dumb-founded bubble. Drivers aren't kind here for the most part. It took us a few circles to find parking and due to traffic chaos mixed with growling bellies and petty arguing follows suit. We finally made into the visitor center which was littered with aimlessly wandering tourists showing souvenir hunger in their eyes.   Read more

5

Cheap Travel Food Recipe: Cheesy Creamy Potato 'n' Broccoli Soup

So how does one eat when living in a van with no refrigerator or cooler?  Surprisingly... quite well!  Being van dwellers and backpackers, space, weight and budget are always limited, making dehydrated foods a typical theme for our meals.  Wait, isn't "dehydrated meal" synonymous with "tastes like crap"?  With a little experimentation and the proper dehydrated veggies and meat-ish bits, the answer is a resounding NO!  We thought we'd put together a little video showing you one of our typical meals and just what goes into it.  How's it taste?  We think it's delicious, but don't take our work for it.  Try it yourself!   Read more

Meisha demonstrating a typical night at an Indiana rest stop.
3

Vagabonding 101: How to Live in a Van

Before we leave our van behind and head to Costa Rica, we wanted to answer some of the most common questions we get while living and traveling in our van.  How do we do it?  What does our van look like inside? Where do we keep all our stuff?  It only looks like you have enough for a long vacation... don't you have anything else?  We've mentioned in previous posts that we are minimalists.  Hopefully this video will give you a better idea of what we mean.  We'll show you just how little you really need to survive a life of van dwelling adventures.  So come along with us for the tour...   Read more

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