Saying goodbye to van life.


Remember that scene on Mary Poppins after they visit Uncle Albert, and Mary Poppins announces it’s time to go? Then poor Uncle Albert, who has been laughing hysterically and having the time of his life, literally sinks down to the floor in despair, completely deflated thanks to reality’s blow? Continue reading

Stealing from a bum



Saturday morning, with no where else to go, I decided to finally take my road bike out for a long 15 mile ride. I was so proud of myself. I was doing it –embracing life, getting out, exercising, taking exercising selfies, the works…because the alternative was sitting in a hot van. Desperate times, desperate measures I guess.

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Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about living in a van.

1. “Why do you live in a van?”

This is a complicated answer. I’m not sure we’ve really thought it all the way through. Probably shouldn’t admit that. But the truth is it’s a lot of factors that added up perfectly to “live in a van.”:

  • for the last 3 years we’ve both been commuting in L.A. traffic and that’s enough to make anyone do something crazy.
  • we have to drive at least 30 minutes (that’s no traffic) to the beach and we’re too cheap to pay to live closer. Living in L.A., and not going to the beach all the time is embarrassing and ungrateful.
  • we’re gone all day at school and work. We get home and crash. And to get home and crash costs hours in drive time and $1200 in monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment. Uh, no thanks.
  • we couldn’t really commit to any new living quarters with Levi moving back East for medical school rotations for half the year, and Andy not sure where she’d be/what she’d be doing during that time.
  • we love a good story/adventure and this seemed too perfect. Plus since we can’t tell our grandkids we lived through WWII, we can tell them we lived through homelessness.
  • we’re both pretty physically low maintenance, so it just seemed like not that big of a deal.
  • I dream of writing editorials professionally, and thought this would be a great opportunity to try it out and add it to my portfolio.
  • there wasn’t really a huge risk. The van cost us…ready for it? $2600! Plus some registration and insurance. Pretty low risk. And it’s a great van. We know it will resell quickly. If it’s awful, we’ll just stop. If it’s great, we’ll keep doing it.
  • We’re cheap bastards.

2. “Where do you shower?”

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Woes from a morning bladder

“I’m uuuup…”

“No seriously, I’m up. Let’s go. Potty time.”

“…What do you mean there’s no potty.”

“WAIT? No. There is no waiting.”



-Morning bladder in the van


30 hours later

Well night two was less “woooo we’re young and reckless!” and more, “Can you please get out of the way?!”

Moving sucks. For anyone. There are random stupid objects that really don’t belong anywhere, and you’re tired, and you have to have little counsil meetings about every detail of every drawer every other minute. The good news is rather than moving our stuff from a moving van to a home, we just moved our stuff into a van that is our home.


First night in the van

The day we moved into the van, I read a graduation speech from Mitt Romney. I highly doubt he ever intended his motivational words to reinforce a desire to be homeless, living “in a van,” but they did. With that kind of reaction, imagine what he could have done as President.

“Your world is now breathtakingly large, almost without boundaries. With such vastness and with so many possible directions to take, some of you may understandably feel somewhat anxious and uncertain. You may even be tempted to look for a smaller, more comfortable world, one that’s less complex, and less demanding. That’s not who you are and that’s not what Saint Anselm has prepared you to do. To experience a fulfilling, purposeful life, one thing you’re going to have to do it this: live a large life.”- Gov. Mitt Romney

Homeless on purpose

I’ve basically been living in a car for the last three years, commuting 3 hours a day in awful L.A. traffic. Sitting in crazy traffic while paying crazy rent just to crash at night and start all over again in the morning got me thinking– why don’t I just live in a van??

I write for advertising agencies. My husband is a medical student studying for the boards. We don’t really fit the hobo profile, but whatever. We’re doing it.

At least for the summer…if we can make it.

So we’re inviting you to follow along. I promise it’s going to be an interesting ride.