When I separated from the military, I had a lot of questions to answer. What would I do next? What direction would my career go? Where did I want to settle down? My time in the van is helping me to sort out answers to these questions while keeping expenses low and allowing me to explore the nation in search of my final destination.
Van dwelling is challenging. When living on the grid, you can dispose of your bodily waste with the pull of a handle, water magically appears when you turn on the spout and electricity and closet space are available in surplus. For me, the challenge I find most difficult to accept is loneliness.
Major concerns that presented themselves as I prepared for this lifestyle included safety and funding. In building my van I decided to forgo windows to make myself less vulnerable to outside dangers. Further, I try not to let anyone know that it is just me in the van, especially when arriving to a campsite. Funding is something that I am still working out. Luckily when I started this venture, I had a fat savings account and though it has gotten a bit slim, it will support me until either I can supplement my pension with my photography or I select another remote career path.
While on the road I tend to see more men, couples and even families file out of vans than do single women. But that’s not to say that we aren’t out there. I have many single female friends that are also wandering in search of something more than themselves. It’s much akin to the ratio of women in the military, there may be only a few of us but our dedication and determination make sure that our presence does not go unnoticed.
Now I am behind the lens, capturing frames exploring this new life that I’ve chosen. I have no doubt that I’ve made the right decision to live off-grid. This collection of work has started to give the journey more purpose and grounding.