Likes And Dislikes Of Van Living

Likes And Dislikes Of Van Living

We decided to compile a list of our likes and dislikes of van living. This list started out as my likes and dislikes, but recognising that Nick is an individual and experiencing this journey differently to me, I’ve made it a “his and hers” list. You’ll also find thoughts from our 5 year old daughter on what her likes and dislikes of vanlife are.

So, after 11 months on the road, what are our likes and dislikes of van living?

Charlie’s Likes of Van Living

  • Living in a smaller space (note ‘smaller’, not small, see Dislikes).
  • Living in a space that we hand-built and hand-crafted ourselves.
  • Having less stuff. Even though we have so much less than our old life in a house, we still don’t use everything we brought with us.
  • Our compost loo (also see Dislikes). I really like that we’re not using loads of water to flush the toilet, and composting our waste just makes so much more sense to me.
  • Not having so much to clean.
  • Sweeping the floor multiple times a day – yes, this really is supposed to be in the Likes section. Why? Because it’s super quick to do because our floor is so small, and it keeps it all feeling fresh and clean. No carpets and kitchen floors that haven’t been hoovered/mopped in a month…
  • My cast iron gas hob! I just love it, love cooking on it, love everything about it. After 3 years of cooking on an electric hob I am so happy to be back on gas.

Charlie’s Dislikes of Van Living

  • Living in a tiny space. It’s just too intense at times with four of us. Constantly squeezing past each other (or stepping/tripping over children) gets frustrating.
  • Not being able to cook together. It’s just too tight a space.
  • Constantly moving on. This is a big one for me, I’d like to write more about this in another blog post.
  • The isolation, and not having anyone else to speak to or meet up and hang out with.
  • Having our compost loo in our living space because it does smell. Quite often.
  • Not having hot running water.
  • Having a tiny fridge and no freezer space because it doesn’t really work in freezer mode.
  • Not having a quiet, private space to shut myself away to work. With children it’s hard to get the space I need to focus on work and writing. I’ve also realised how much I need quiet moments throughout the day for me personally to stay sane.
  • Our clothes and sheets smelling strongly of fragranced detergent. I am super sensitive to smells and I’m used to using a fragrance free eco laundry liquid. Most of the self-service laundromats we’ve found have the detergent pre-loaded.

Nick’s Likes of Van Living

  • Having less stuff – even though we’ve crammed a lot in.
  • Less things to clean and everyone helping to tidy things away.
  • I built it and know how most things work and/or how to fix them when they don’t. Thank goodness for Gorilla Tape!
  • Being together – less distractions and quality time together.
  • The amazing places it takes us.
  • Running off solar – with our additional solar from Slovenia last year (and sunny spots) we seem to be self sufficient even with a pair of 75Ah batteries.
  • Working through disagreements quickly and apologising, no one can hideaway in another room for the rest of the day.
  • Not getting up at 5am and going to work 5 days a week.

Nick’s Dislikes of Van Living

  • Size does matter – as the little ones get bigger, 4 people trying to do their own thing is increasingly testing!
  • She’s on old lady (the Baby Bus that is) and might go ‘wrong’ at anytime.
  • Wee smells!
  • Washing up/no hot water. Cooking and eating for 4 usually means using a lot of stuff and generally washing up falls to me – it was a fun thing to do efficiently at the start, now just a pain in the arse. Likewise living in a small space means we’re soon cluttered and it freaks me out.
  • Taking our eldest for a wee in the night – Tough Mudder should add this to there assault courses!
  • Other grown-ups to talk to, plus ‘me time’ now and then.

Our 5 Year Old’s Likes of Van Living

  • “I like the Baby Bus because I can go outside whenever I want to.”
  • “I like my bed.”
  • “I like that you’re really close to me.”
  • “I like that I can play up on my bed whenever I want.”
  • “I like seeing the things that go past in the Baby Bus.”

Our 5 Year Old’s Dislikes of Van Living

  • “I don’t like it because it’s so small.”
  • “I can’t get things out all the time.”
  • “I have to barge past you all the time because there’s not enough space.”