The real reason I’m moving into a van

When I first decided just under a month ago to take up residency in a vehicle, it’s like a lightbulb went off in my head because I wondered why I hadn’t done this sooner, 10 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of hassle, headache.

Since I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest I feel like my housing seems like it’s always been unstable and it seems like I’ve always been in a precarious situation when it came to it because the rents are high and I just can’t afford them or something else goes down such as moving for school. The biggest thing, though, is that there are so many outliers, as far as corporations that are in the city and taking over that everyday folks cannot afford to live, are pushed out as communities are gentrified and tech wealth is taking over in every other part. Studio apartments can cost upwards of $1,500. No one, except for a select few, can afford to live.

The other day I got into a conversation about spending 80% of what’s in my bank account on a van, and got hounded to what seemed like, no end. There were folks who offered supportive advice but then there were others who were just plain judgmental. To be clear, I’m not loaded. And even if I poured every nickel I have into the purchase it would only net me a older, higher-mileaged mode of transportation and habitat that I’d still find myself a bit worried about. I don’t have a car to sell to offset the cost and financing is out of the question. Some may not think it’s the smartest decision, but that conversation made me think about people who live in vans because they want to versus those who are trying to survive. It seemed like those who had very strong options on my thoughts for a purchase didn’t really consider the reality that there are people outside of their own social statuses who just may be making choices based on what they feel is their best interest. No, I’m not on the streets or going hungry or anything like that. I was out of town for a while and am now temporarily at my sister’s house which I am really anxious to leave while I’m getting ready to start this vanventure, once I actually find a vehicle. But for me, spending more to hopefully have greater reliability would be a better option versus spending less and breaking down every other week. I figure if I put as much money up front as I could to get something that’s more trustworthy it’ll be in my best interest even if I have to be creative about ways to come up with other amenities. I’d always have my van even if I had to park it somewhere. But if I took the contents of my account and got an apartment around here — if I could find one — I’d have residency for a few months, at best. Living in a van absolves me of the stress like not being able to find an apartment, rent hikes, and a zillion other things. I could also conduct my academic research, which is about reproduction and ending health inequity and once that’s done I could teach full-time like I want to.

Even though to be honest I am looking forward to it and could see myself in a perpetual state of camping because I really love the lifestyle, it’s really the only choice I have right now, but like I mentioned earlier I still wonder why I didn’t do this 10 years ago. Am I the only one who feels this way?

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