Discover the sense of freedom and adventure from living in a van. The Vanabode lifestyle affords you cheap travel and a laid back life in beautiful settings. However, life on the road also requires a high degree of personal accountability.
I say this in all sincerity after several days in discussion of van living with my best friend from college, Sherm Davey.
Sherm actually sold his home, 99% of his belongings, and banked a big chunk of cash.
He then purchased a used conversion van for a little over $6,000, and has been following the sun by staying in a variety of state parks, National Parks, and National Forests.
He estimates he saves $2000+ each month, which stays in his bank account, by living out of his van as he travels to every beautiful destination he can find here in America.
"I bought a little eBook, by Jason Odom, called Vanabode - Travel and Live Forever on $20 A Day, and it completely changed the way I looked at my life."
"I had never really thought of living in a van, year around, until I read about all of the adventure and wonderful sights that guy and his wife experienced."
"I love the Vanabode life," said Sherm, "but it also comes with its own set of inherent challenges."
"Without a doubt," says Sherm, "The biggest obstacle you have to fight when living out of a van is that you are a legitimate traveler who can positively contribute to the area where you are staying...and not some homeless bum who is looking to rip-off whatever is not nailed down."
"Even when you are in a National Park campground, the people who travel in those huge RV's and pick-up trucks with campers are just naturally suspicious of you. I guess size really does matter."
So how do you fight this, I asked.
"I just adhere to some simple, personal rules, and I hold myself accountable. They are:
* Stay clean. Shave, shower everyday, have exceptional personal hygiene, and keep you rig (van) fastidiously clean and uncluttered.
* Make your bed every morning. Keep your campsite squared away and picked up.
* Dress nice. Wear a collared shirt as much as possible.
* Treat everyone you meet with courtesy and respect.
* Obey all park rules and city ordinances.
* Always talk to the local police department when you want to stay inside city limits to find out the laws.
* Never try to get something for nothing. This includes electricity to your van, and food.
* Look fit and healthy. Not fat and sloppy.
* Mind your own business. Stay out of bars. Stay away from conversations with polarizing topics.
Checkout: Below is a video about a young guy discussing the need to keep clean when living out of a van
"Vanabode living is made for relaxing, recharging your vitality, and embracing the beauty of whatever location you are at. Nothing is gained by being lazy with your attitude and actions," said Sherm.
"Another challenge of living out of your van is that of making good food choices. It is way too easy to eat sugar foods and starchy processed foods," said Sherm.
"From Day 1, I made a commitment to myself to live on a low-carb, high-protein diet. Carbs make you fat, that has been demonstrated over and over in research."
"I purchased an eBook called The Dark Side Of Fat Loss, and have been following it for close to three years, now. My weight dropped from 192 lbs. (at 5'9" in height) to 170 lbs, and I am under 10% body fat."
The change in Sherm was remarkable. He had always been an athlete, and looked strong, but like all of us over 40 (he's 62) he was getting fleshy.
Now, however, he is so ripped that he looks like some kind of body building freak.
If there was ever a walking advertisement for Sean Croxton's program, Sherm is it.
"Now, all of my meals consist of fresh vegetables, meat, a little fruit, some nuts, and eggs. I make an omelet every morning, and I never eat bread, rice, boxed cereal, or even oatmeal anymore."
"Living in a van can make your food choices real lazy if you allow it. I see way too many travelers munching on bagels, donuts, big sandwiches, bottle juices, and energy drinks. All of that stuff makes you fat."
"If you just eat Paleo style...meaning eat natural foods and meat...you can eat until you are full, and never put on fat."
When I workout each day, I always include pull-ups, air squats or burpees, and push-ups. Three or four days each week, I do some short but intense running. The other days, I just take a hike to recover."
"Finding a set of dip bars is tough," said Sherm, "not every park has them. Fortunately, I keep a Silver Sneakers gym membership, so I can usually find a set when I go to a gym to take a shower."
Living in a van is all about traveling cheap and saving money...but, it is NOT about flying by the seat of your pants and straying from a budget.
Yes, it would be great to live a whole year on just $20 bucks a day, but realistically, that is not going to happen.
"A lot of people I meet who live out of their van actually have some little part-time jobs at campgrounds and small country stores. They keep the place clean, and do some small-time administrative duties, but it all helps out when payday comes each Friday," said Sherm.
Others, like Sherm and I are retired and have a small pension they can draw from, however, budgeting is still required.
"I got lucky," Sherm says. "I found an inexpensive $15 course for guys just starting an Internet business...it goes by the name of Internet Billion Dollars...and it taught me quite a bit about making money online."
"From there, I purchased Blogging With John Chow, and my profits really took off. Well," he laughed, "I make about $1200 - $1500 extra a month...but for me, that is profit taking off into outer space."
"Actually, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you like it and it doesn't take up much of your time," he said, "but when you work from a laptop, you can legally write-off $1000's of dollars in expenses...and get those $1000's back on your tax return."
(I know exactly what he means because this small site I have makes me money and provides me excellent home business tax deductions.)
Living in a van gives you plenty of time to study and learn something cool, like having your own Internet business.
Vanabode travel allows you to see many beautiful locales. Sherm says it is important to be grateful for this opportunity, and to give thanks at all times.
"It just makes things go easier, and helps your own peace of mind when you give thanks to the Universe for all of the beautiful sights you see when you are going down the road," Sherm said.
"Living in a van is about the most free a man can be," says Sherm, "but you want to acknowledge that Someone else is really running the show."