I have decided to buy a van. And live in it.
(Part-time. (For now.))
If all goes as planned, I will be spending a big chunk of this summer living at a yoga and meditation center on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. The provided accommodations are not exactly luxurious from a “western” standard – essentially, BYOtent. However, after spending the last six weeks of summer 2012 in a tent, and being a pretty dedicated “festival hippie”, I don’t feel like this is much of a hardship. From my perspective, this yoga/camping scenario seems pretty high-class: Leveled tent platforms, waterproof tarps already set up, and hot showers with composting toilets nearby. On the “roughing it” spectrum, this is the equivalent of an urban penthouse condo.
Not too shabby. Yet trying to make this work without a vehicle will be a bit trying. Without a vehicle, I am limited to what I can fit into a random ridesharer’s hospitality and car space, or the train. The following is a list of extraneous items I would like to bring with me that would need to stay behind without my own vehicle:
- Bouldering crash pad
Basically, an entire method of transport, all my music-creation tools, and my main physical outlet all get put on hold if I do not acquire a mobile fortress. There is also the concern of not being able to “lock” a tent, which would put all of my possessions in a vulnerable position. This is a minor concern while living within a spiritual community, but on weekend excursions (and really anywhere outside the safety of an ashramic environment) there is a different sort of reality that must be acknowledged. Anyways, tons of reasons to consider getting a vehicle, no need to expand on everything right now.
Being the cheap-ass that I am (I might prefer “resourceful”, or even “deeply conscious of ecological imprint and the destructive tendencies of capitalistic societal values” depending on the situation), if I need a vehicle, then I better be getting my money’s worth by living in the thing! Thus, a van.
So the quest begins. At this point, I am asking a lot of questions as to what I need out of a vehicle. Full size? Cargo? Minivan? Station wagon? Older and cheaper? Newer but pricier? (Just kidding. It will be old and cheap.) Really old – like, carbureted? Or is this just asking for trouble? Plus, do I want a big V8 that will whisk me up mountain passes whilst chugging gas like a frat boy with a beer bong, or a smaller V6/4-cyl that takes it a bit easier at the pump?