Leave everything behind and drive off in a van, why not?

The signatures have been written. Our house is officially sold. Now it’s real: from mid-October I will be living in a van. I can’t wait, but I can’t believe it either.

The hassle of having to arrange so many things make it feel like quite some time ago, but actually it’s been not too long ago since we came up with this plan. Only two months ago. On a sunny Friday afternoon before the summer even had really begun. Once again we were discussing what we actually wanted. Same as the previous months, when we did little more than scanning the edges of our existence, looking for anything to win. We felt restless. The city we had seen by now, it seemed. So why not move to some deserted farm on the country side? Start a juice bar on Bali? No, thanks. It’s not like we wanted to run away from our lives. We just wanted, well, something different.

The exact moment when the idea came to us (because that’s what it felt like) was bizarre: with fire in our eyes we looked at each other, both thinking of the very same thing. Leave everything behind and drive off in a van? Why not? If I were to describe myself, I’m really not that adventurous, but suddenly this all felt so inevitable. Like I was a Sims-doll and someone else had made this up for me. We grabbed a beer and put out a toast, to our brand new plan.

Changing course

Looking back is becoming increasingly clear to me that it was indeed inevitable. We were doing so well. Too well, perhaps. Is that what makes you want to throw your life upside down? As if we had done everything within the boundaries of the life that we were living, and nothing more could be sucked out of it. That sounds so greedy though, and that’s not what it is. It’s more that we now live in Amsterdam for over five years. We certainly have a wonderful life, but what if we blink our eyes and again another five years will have passed? Then everything would still be fine, but nothing more than that. Fine. Suddenly I don’t want to put up with that anymore. I want to live.

Now it doesn’t strike as odd to be getting a lot of energy from such a crazy ass idea. Still, I immediately knew it was serious. Right away we called a realtor and not even two months later I was forced to think about how much money we wanted for selling all of our stuff. And to this day forth, we have never had a single moment of doubt on our plan.

It’s super exciting and sometimes also scary. The feeling we get back already makes up for everything already though: in front of us lies a horizon of possibilities. I feel fifteen again, and that everything’s possible.

This article has previously been published in Dutch on

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Wanderer. Likes writing, and reading too. Prefers an analog camera over a digital one. Couldn't live without her gargantuan supply of different teas. Also known as Mother of Dogs.

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