‘Vanlife’, a phenomenon that took over the internet in 2012 with trending hashtags such as #vanlife #travelling and more. This approach to advertising a lifestyle was successful in the early days of social media, especially on social media like Instagram. Instagram allows users to search for aesthetics or things that they are after, by looking up hashtags that users have associated with their posts. An individual who was a part of this rising culture was Foster Huntington. Huntington has written many books on the ideas of vanlife, how the lifestyle can be more sufficient for the individual and just the overall enjoyment that can be achieved from this lifestyle. He was one of the original Instagram accounts promoting the vanlife lifestyle, taking photos of his journey, writing about it, and just generally showcasing his life.
From reading about foster, it gave me my own ideas on the take on vanlife, is it just limited to surfing and adventuring? Or could it more practical, like a mobile work van?
As people on social media like to basically one up each other, the setups have become more advanced and more impressive. Over the years of looking at vans and setups, there has been an increasing amount of van setups that include gaming pc’s, tv’s and everything else they need for living requirements. For a gamer, or someone who needs access to a desktop pc, this sounds ideal.
It’s interesting to talk about vanlife, and how people have taken on this nomad lifestyle. My cousin and his partner have started to build vans for a living “Rollin Campers”. They did this as they spent the last year travelling around Australia. But now with the experience they have, they have been able to start their own business in renovating vans to suit people who want to travel around Australia. This innovation of a new lifestyle has changed the way they can live now.
I love festivals, and I love filming content. The idea of having a van would be beneficial as a content creator or someone who wants to travel around and film gigs and have all the requirements needed on the road. Could you imagine the possibilities of travelling with all your camera equipment for gigs, and being able to take the footage back to the van and continue working on the footage in your own editing suite? This could be the way content creators could start getting more work instead of filming in the one town/city.
From reading the article “How Veterans of #Vanlife Feel About All the Newbies” it explores the ideas how vanlife can work for some people, depending on the work they take on while on the road. For example, “Though some vanlifers are salaried employees working 9-to-5 jobs from home — wherever that may be — many make a living doing freelance work, like graphic design or video production, which gives them even more flexibility to go wherever, whenever” (Pietsch, 2021). This further helps my understanding how vanlife can be practical for people like myself and using the van as a way to create content as well. If content creators had their side gig of filming gigs, advertisements or whatever, they could dedicate their own lifestyle onto social media as there is a market for fans of the #vanlife to follow.
This type of vanlife I’m interested in shares the same interest has gaming vans, which is a subgenre that dives into the technological advanced setups of vanlife, it is a more expensive lifestyle, but worth it for those who need to be around technology. The YouTuber “TTTHEFINEPRINTTT” has made his own category of vanlife and has inspired many to take on his approach to this lifestyle. In his video’s he shows locations of where he’s living, and making the most of #vanlife, but also explains how he maintains and lives inside this van, with experiences that are positive and negative, to give viewers a real look into his lifestyle.
If we look at these gaming vans, they are definitely an upgrade to the traditional ideas of vanlifing, as the idea of vanlife is to get on the road and embrace nature, being in the environment, but does taking your gaming setup with you take away that aesthetic? Or does it bring something new to the table? Personally, travelling with my PC would be ideal as this really resonates with me for a lifestyle I can’t leave behind.
Pietsch, B., 2021. How Veterans of #Vanlife Feel About All the Newbies. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/us/living-in-a-van-coronavirus-pandemic.html
[Accessed 20 September 2022].