It seems reasonable to think that Van Lifers are like little islands, existing mostly alone, meeting people only as they flow through cities and towns. But, as we get more involved in the van life community, we are finding a strong bond and camaraderie among people who have chosen this lifestyle. They aren’t living a life of isolation, hiking alone, hanging with the dog – only.
There are many online blogs and Facebook pages that are dedicated to building a community within Van Life. Some of them include #vanlife, Asheville Van Life, Van Life, Vandog Traveler, Barefoot Theory, and Van Life Edition to name a few. It is common for Van Lifers to blog, vlog or photograph for a living, and therefore their musings are there, building a presence and community among them.
There is also an increasing number of face-to-face events that bring van lifers together in a real and tangible way. Coming up is a Van Life event in Crescent Head Australia and there have been past events in Melbourne, Colorado and Asheville. The Asheville event was a fairly large event with dozens of vans, lots of Van Life supporters and entertainment and food to keep the party going for two nights. Next year’s event is already in the works and will be bigger and better than before.
Also, many van lifers are inviting fans to join them on their adventure. Bearfoot Theory’s Kristen Bor has a popular blog and regularly invites others to come and join her. She encourages women, in particular to get out and find adventure. We have also seen other popular bloggers, such a cruisers do this and invite people to join them as part of the crew. It is also not uncommon for bloggers and vloggers who live this lifestyle to offer special gatherings and events for people who sponsor them on sites like Patreon, which is a subscription based platform that allows people to connect with their fans and charge, often a small fee, for unique footage or behind the scenes footage.
Van Life is taking off and is no longer only for hippies or homeless. This is a thriving, driving group that is building a strong community and together a strong bond.