Stay home. Socially distance yourselves. Wash your hands (okay, let’s hope we were all on board with that last one prior to recent developments).
To put it mildly: COVID-19 is getting serious, and it’s seriously affecting society as we know it. Businesses closed, events cancelled, and this season’s hottest accessory has swiftly become a face mask. I’m not going to go into all the details, because I think we all have an idea (and if you don’t, google is happy to assist). Instead, I wanted to share the affect this has on #vanlife specifically.
This is just my perspective. I’m not complaining- I chose this life (although obviously, everything going on right now is something that none of us could have planned for). Overall, I’m really lucky, and thankful to still have a job/ my good health/ a place to sleep at night.
But DANG, it’s really frustrating to be lectured on how I should be “staying at home”.
My home is less than 60 square feet-I can only stay ‘inside’ it so much. My van build may be cozy, but it certainly lacks many of the amenities/ comforts found in the average American home. I spent the last 10 months primarily showering at gyms- all of which are currently closed. Limited storage and fridge space (as well as no freezer) restricts how much I can actually stock up on groceries and essentials. Social distancing? I’m actually pretty great at that (possibly pro status)… but, the fact that it’s discouraged to drive anywhere means in theory it’s expected that I just post up in a city, parking alongside street curbs or in parking lots. Numerous people have expressed a mixture of concern and disapproval at my intentions to drive outside of the immediate area in my off shifts… where I plan on camping out and interacting with no one. Just me, myself, my van, a hammock, some books, a cold beer (or several). That is, if I can find a solid and safe spot to stay- because many campgrounds or recreation areas are currently off limits.
I want to be socially responsible, I care a great deal about ensuring I do my best to be a help and not a hindrance throughout this… but quite frankly, trying to live in my van in a city and avoid people seems way more problematic than just going off grid for a week, in the mountains or desert or wherever I end up.
So yeah, I am doing my best to ‘stay home’- it just looks a bit different than what most people expect.
If I was back in West Virginia, this wouldn’t be an issue. But I’m not. I’m working in Utah, and when I’m not working, I have to be somewhere. Just like everyone else, I’m trying to navigate these crazy times and find ways to still function. Life feels like something from a sci-fi movie, it’s hard to process that this is our current reality; I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and I don’t fully know what to do.
Normally I don’t get freaked out, but recently an unsettling combination of anxiety and uncertainty have been creeping up on me. I actually hate admitting this (I usually like to just say “I’m fine, everything will be fine” with a big cheesy smile and hope for the best), but I figured many of you can relate, so YAY honesty.
I can’t wait for a day in our future when we can hug strangers, attend concerts, buy toilet paper with ease, etc. Until then…