Do you even Sprinter, bro?
I love those #VanLife videos on YouTube. It’s generally a guy/girl pair—the guy has long, tousled hair. He’s wearing blue jeans and a basic tee he probably got as part of a 5-pack from PacSun, maybe a fedora if he thinks he can pull it off. The girl is wearing anything from Urban Outfitters tagged “bohemian.”
The video starts with an aerial drone shot of their van, some cheery music, a bit of nature b-roll, then: Welcome to our channel! I’m Carson and I’m Juniper and this is our 2018 Mercedes Sprinter Van: Jean-Claude VAN Damme.
Then the duo takes you through their buildout. Somehow there’s $10,000 worth of reclaimed wood inside, a full bath and a fully-equipped kitchen with a bright, mosaic backsplash. They might slide in a complain-brag about the realities of #VanLife to humanize themselves. The video ends with a plea to like and subscribe, another nature b-roll tossed in and some final notes of cheery music.
I fucking love these videos. And I fucking love #VanLife.
I just wonder about the #VanLife people who fully regret their decision. The duo who wake up in Rifle, Colorado and think, this is fucked. We’ve shit in a bucket for six months straight. We’re pretty sure we’re being followed by marauders.
At this point, the guy’s decided he can’t pull off a fedora. It turns out bohemian clothes are highly flammable. The drone was lost in a tree months ago. And they’re like 90% sure they ran over someone’s dog but they’re too afraid to go back and check.
Earlier this year, my wife and I decided to go on a great American road trip. We didn’t #VanLife it, mind you. We crashed with friends and booked AirBnbs along the way. 23 states in 4ish months. The impetus for the trip was a general angst with what our lives had become.
And over these past four months, as my wife and I drove aimlessly around the country we were born in, we tried to find meaning that ultimately wasn’t there. And I think what I’ve begun to realize is that maybe there isn’t more to life. Maybe sadness follows you, no matter how fast and far you drive on the I-90. Whether you’re in an apartment in Middletown, USA or a van in the Grand Tetons, you still have to wake up every day and say, hello morning, you sick fuck.
So maybe take that leap and buy a van, or don’t. Get that tattoo on your dick that says my erection always pulls towards the Pacific Northwest, or don’t. Max out your Roth IRA, or don’t1.
It’s just that life is weird. And life is hard.
Life is frivolous. You are born, repeat things like: those jokers in Washington need to work together and I don’t understand teenagers these days and my sciatica is acting up, then you die.
Life is about silver linings. If you come from a small family, you wish you came from a large family. If you come from a large family, you realize you just end up going to a lot more funerals.
Life is fragile. And life is a challenge.
Life is a highway? 🚗
But—probably max out your Roth IRA.