The Times journalist Caity Weaver was tasked by her editor to go on an adventure: With an old college friend she would spend a week in California, living out of a converted camper van, in pursuit of the aesthetic fantasy known as #VanLife.
Given the discomfort that can arise even in the plushiest of vehicles, it’s a surprising trend that shows no sign of letting up. As Weaver explains, even the idea of living full time out of a vehicle has “become aspirational for a subset of millennials and Zoomers.
Trending Craze For Van Life
Despite the fact that, traditionally, residing in a car or van is usually an action taken as a last resort, from want of other options to protect oneself from the elements.”I haven’t read the article yet b/c my library NYT free passes are full.
But I can attest that the influencer #VanLife trend is — or maybe more accurately — has been pretty predominant in my young staff’s chit chat as an aspirational lifestyle. Those 20-somethings are on Instagram all the time, didn’t camp a lot as kids (a few have), and are priced out of the real estate market in a lot of ways.
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I think anyone who’s read (or maybe watched although some of the context was removed) Nomadland can draw the lines between real estate and aspirational van living content (and to some degree tiny homes. Both of which have some pretty pricey option.) So I look forward to reading a piece pushing back on that glossy content.
Unpacking the craze by testing it herself, Weaver offers a humorous account of the trials of not being adequately prepared, claustrophobia, long restaurant lines, the increase in traffic within the national parks, and the disappointment that occurs when an Instagram aesthetic bumps up against reality. Sometimes fantasies are too good to be true