It’s almost 2023, so I wanted to get out ahead of the new year and remind you that you would hate to live in a van. I know you’ve seen the TikTok reels and DIY YouTube videos, but you do not want to live in a van. You think you do, and I get it, but no you don’t.
“But it could be fun to ride out the recession like that!” you’re screaming at me. To that I say: it will not be fun. You have to shower in every Planet Fitness across the country. You are peeing closer to poison ivy than you ever have before. You are shitting in the holes of animals you couldn’t name if they stood in front of you. Your bed is underneath a cabinet that doubles as your desk somehow. You have no roommates, sure, but you also have no stove. Pick your battles.
“But I don’t need that much to be happy!” you muse. I doubt it. You’ll go a few days before thinking the space needs a little sprucing up. Maybe an extra pillow, another shelf, perhaps a sturdier water bottle. Then what, do you burn your old water bottle? No, it will sit in your drawer/pot/planter until you decide that a van is a terrible idea. Then you'll drive back to Glenolden Pennsylvania and empty out your year-long tiny-house-on-wheels and find that ugly water bottle again. And then you'll throw it out.
“But I could see all of America!” So what? You’ve seen one mountain you’ve seen every mountain. They all look like that. How different could a big rock possibly look? Oh, this one’s gray! This one is pointy! This one’s got white at the top! Do you want to see something gray, pointy, and white at the top? I’ve got a guy you can text to see it all in one night. Plus, what more of America is worth seeing? If you want snow, you go to Maine. If you want fall foliage, you go to Vermont. If you want rocks, you go to Utah. If you want to hate your body, go to California. Everywhere else is just filler.
“But I would meet so many new people!” Yeah, other people who shower in Planet Fitness. I cannot drive this point home enough: you will not have on-demand shower access. Have you ever woken up in a sweat and smelled yourself? Or walked in the heat and smelled yourself? Or had your period and smelled yourself? Have you ever smelled yourself? You smell bad! We all do! Smells will be a constant struggle in van life!
“But I could do it all myself!” Look at me. I know this is a reading medium but scroll down. Find my picture. Look at it for a long time (don’t I look great?). Anyway. Look at me. Be. For. Real. Do you even own a drill? Have you ever finished a project this big, or a project at all? Do you know how to hotwire a vehicle? In order to live in a vehicle you should know how to hotwire it. Just like how I know how to clean a dishwasher filter. It’s a mandatory lesson in knowing nothing.
“But I wouldn’t have to work!” I get it. Working is, in many ways, work. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. Every day I get up and go to work and get on Zoom and talk to a billion people I allegedly work for or with. I do this until I look out the window and say softly to myself, “I am the only intelligent person who has ever lived.” And then I keep working. This is the plight of life, but a necessary one, because at the end of it all they give me an embarrassingly low number to go into my Special Collection of Numbers that I can exchange for treats and goodies. Have you ever had a gingerbread latte with raspberry glaze? I have, thanks to my Work Points. No working means no work points, no work points means no latte. It’s a price but one worth paying.
“But it seems capitalism is the core issue with your argument and maybe distancing myself from that mindset would actually help me to achieve the state of happiness I’ve been seeking out in work points and lattes!”
Okay? Shut up. You smell bad.