We’re living in crazy times…
Times when after the paradoxical timeline of the 2009 crisis and its subsequent largest economic growth, millions of people are captioning #VanLife to photos of them pursuing their crave for adventure and fulfillment by abandoning it all and hitting the road, never looking back, and “plug out” of society.
When at the same time, thousands of families across the world are living homeless or unsheltered, turned to the streets without a Plan B, and desperately looking for a way to “plug into” society.
Van Life, Bus Life, Van Dwelling, Vehicle Dwelling...our “steal horses”, once a piece of the American Dream, have merged with the original Dream: Homes. Our vehicles have become homes to many of us, once again.
How Did It Start?
I’m Sacha, the creator of the Van Life: Dwellers, Nomads & Vagabonds Facebook Group and my story is different, yet similar to many. I’m a Belgian native who came to America, the land of opportunities, eager to live the Californian Dream. Hired as a software engineer in the Silicon Valley, working the dreadful 9-5, struggling to find the time to find time for my newfound passion of surfing...I quickly realized that my dreams were elsewhere all along.
One day, the opportunity came to work remotely and I jumped at the occasion: “Here it is! I’m going to live in a van and surf along the Pacific coast!”
I had no idea where to start so I turned to Facebook. I created this group in June 2017, added a few people I knew and others from the internet and asked all my questions...To my surprise, these people knew others who had the same questions so they added them in the group, who added a friend, who added….
Today, we’re a community of 30,000 people from all walks of life, looking towards a solution to their problems or their dreams and finding support in one of the most welcoming communities. We share tips, ideas, suggestions, stories, comforting shoulders… We are a family.
So whether you decided you wanted something more from your life and wish to get away from your routine and explore the world…
Or you’re looking for an evacuation plan when “it all breaks down” or a simple Plan B in case of fires or floods in your area..,
Or life’s been tough on you and you simply need a roof over your head…
You are now a part of our family. Welcome all!
What We Stand For...
Some of us have “vehicle dwelled” for a long time, some of us are weekend part-timers, some are just curious about the lifestyle, and some are actively working at making their dream lifestyle come true.
We come from diverse backgrounds but we share the same values of:
- Love and respect for each other on the road.
- Help and support others achieve this lifestyle.
- Pay it forward and be the change.
- Keep love and respect for the environment.
- Sustain your passion for the outdoors and the 4 elements (The mountains, the forests, the oceans, the deserts).
- Freedom and Adventure
- Seek freedom, adventure, the unknown, and the open road.
- Live your life as you decide, regardless of what society dictates.
- Take the road less traveled.
- Love people, use things.
- Remember, you are house-free, not homeless.
Together, We Built...
Over these 3 years, we:
- Grew a family of 30,000 brothers and sisters.
- Organized meetups on Home Depot parking lots to help each other on our conversions and builds.
- Wrote guides and answers to the common questions about the lifestyle.
- Shared our personal stories on our blog.
- Built a specialized online store donating a part of the proceeds to charities that help others in our community
- We gathered all the apps, tools, and content needed to live that lifestyle into an app.
- We launched a helpline with mentors and experts for anyone, at any stage of the lifestyle to get answers to their questions and issues.
What our Members Have Said
"Now that I know I can do it - live rent-free, I know I will always be safe." - Sam D.
"You’re living the life style I want so badly. You’re very lucky...blessed to have taken the plunge. Happy travels and stay safe 💕🌸👍" - Luana W.
"I'm so excited and grateful about the new chapter in my journey. I definitely want to hear about yours ❤️" - Marquita H.
"To ALL of you 🤗 BIG HUGS 💞 thanks for encouragement and tips. I know I'm not alone. I ❤️this group ✌🏾" - Marquita H.