There have been a number of big adjustments that have occurred in my life since moving into the van full time. Not having a bathroom, figuring out where to shower, dealing with mail, all have been adjustments I’ve taken in stride, and while it wasn’t necessarily easy I’ve certainly gotten used to it.
There is one adjustment, however, that has been particularly difficult for me to overcome. That is: life without a living room.
I never realized how much time I used to spend on the couch in my old living room, but now that I think about it, I was constantly stopping in. I’d get out of class, go home, and throw on an episode of The Office, or sit down and knit, or throw on some music and play with Sybil (the dog I lived with) or snuggle with the cat. The couch and my butt got a lot of face time. I honestly don’t even want to begin to think about the number of hours I spent sitting there.
Now that I don’t have a space to just “chill out” it has been a challenge to figure out what to do with my free time, and to find ways to relax. An obvious answer to this dilemma might be “just go outside!”, and while you raise a good point, my fictional advice-giver, it has been fucking cold. And the weather has been shit. So that’s off the table most days.
I’ve found myself at Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea most days, and while I do love it there, some days you just don’t want to have to see anyone, you know? And on those days, the van life proves to be particularly challenging. The van is small, and it becomes claustrophobic quickly. And while I’m convinced that I have the most supportive and helpful friends in the whole world, I feel bad constantly asking them if I can come hang out at their houses.
Obviously, I’ve figured it out thus far, and I am convinced that once I’m done with school and actually traveling in the van, it will be much, MUCH better, and I’ll actually have a place to be during the days, and things to do. For now, though, it’s kind of tough.
Moral of the story: be grateful for your couch, & the art of staying busy.