Every once in a while, the hubby and I will see a photo of some customized VW van parked on a cliff overlooking the ocean and we’ll say to each other “That’s it. That’s the life!” I don’t know where he gets it from, but the hippy, van life ethos has been bred in me by my hippy parents, who also owned a van. So when I came across this article in The New Yorker I realized that I’m not the only one idealizing a bohemian existence.
But as with many things these days, there’s a hash tag for that. This new generation of hippy-wanderer is social media savvy and most likely sponsored.
From the article: “There is an undeniable aesthetic and demographic conformity in the vanlife world. Nearly all of the most popular accounts belong to young, attractive, white, heterosexual couples… At times, the vanlife community seems full of millennials living out a leftover baby-boomer fantasy: the Volkswagens, the neo-hippie fashions, the retro gender dynamics.”
Again, from the article: “But, for all its twee escapism, vanlife is a trend born out of the recent recession. “We heard all these promises about what will happen after you go to college and get a degree,” [Corey] Smith said. “We graduated at a time when all that turned out to be a bunch of bull****.” … And so, like staycations and minimalism, vanlife is an attempt to aestheticize and romanticize the precariousness of contemporary life. “It looks like they’re having fun,” [Foster] Huntington said, of [Emily] King and Smith. “But they’re working a lot.””
If you want to follow some of these van-living hipsters, check out these Instagrams: Blue Moon the Van | Idle Theory Bus or | VanLifers | Holiday at See or search the hashtags #vanlife or #homeiswhereyouparkit
And if you’re considering vanlife for yourself, here’s a great article to get you started.