The Reality of #VanLife

The Reality of #VanLife

2018, Society  -   9 Comments
Ratings: 5.63/10 from 67 users.

An increasingly popular trend, van living is a great way to meet new people, enjoy unfamiliar experiences, and see different parts of the world. At least that's the theory. Forrest Stevens attempted to live the life of a van dweller, but the experiment left him a bit disillusioned. Determined to uncover the appeal of this unusual lifestyle, he pointed his cameras towards others who are undergoing a similar journey. The Reality of #VanLife is a document of their insights.

Is van living the new version of the American dream? In generations past, young people might have longed for the security of domesticity and a white picket fence. For many in today's youthful generation, however, van life often represents the ultimate overture towards a life of freedom.

For those who wish to connect with their inner nomad, van life offers an adventure filled with unknown sights and experiences. But there are definite trade-offs at play when you embrace this lifestyle.

The subjects in the film testify to these deficiencies, which include a general lack of comfort, limited access to showers, bathrooms and refrigerated food, a feeling of isolation and confinement, and occasionally cruel temperatures. It might constitute an exciting excursion for a young couple, or a loner single, but van life with a child in tow can be particularly inhospitable.

Many newbies initially view the concept of van life in near mythical terms. In large part, this is thanks to the romanticization of the movement as it's often been promoted on social media. Van travelers frequently take great care in snapping only the most flattering photos on their journey - as most do when sharing aspects of their lives on social media platforms - and this often conveys a false sense of idealism and wonderment. At their best, these images are often benign lies that promote a lifestyle that can never be wholly attainable.

Even so, for those with the right constitution, the benefits of such a lifestyle far outweigh the risks and drawbacks.

Featuring a colorful cast of free-spirited characters, The Reality of #VanLife provides an entertaining and well-rounded portrait of this growing movement.

Directed by: Forrest Stevens

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

This documentary has 2 core concepts when it needs one. Either make a documentary about your journey to get Instagram famous whether you make it or not.

Or the introduced concept of interviewing homeless people that post on Instagram to fantasize about it. I think maybe you ran with this only to not ask the hard questions or maybe you were met with answers you weren't ready for.

What you do show is that you are able to do cinematics well. You posted a cinematic on Instagram. You did not however copy the formula of similar glorified homeless Van people. You need to mirror those posts. Almost to a t.

But you did make a documentary. Can't say you didn't do that. Work on structure and following formula through finish to the end. It seems like you allowed your instant gratification and decisions based on the now be your guidance. You allowed you present emotional state be your origin. Like a compass that points to what ever feels good instead of telling you which way is north.

3 years ago

This documentary is trash. As others have mentioned, it’s more about how this poser can get “Instagram famous” by pretending to be apart of vanlife. It started off great and then there was this dramatic shift. Complete waste of time.

Terry West
4 years ago

This video has more to do with using van life as a platform for making money and precious little to do with the reality of actual van life!

4 years ago

I was hoping this was a real documentary about the "reality of van life." It is not, in fact, it seems to be more of a documentary about this dude trying to get famous however he can. Not informative at all. I kept watching to see if it would get around to some real information, but it did not. I feel it was a waste of 40 minutes.

4 years ago

The punk doing this video, just doesn't get life, or maybe he does, but only his kind of life, based on glamour and style. Screw that, and he's going to screw things up for good people

Mr. Sunday
4 years ago

van life might be pretty cool in the states, but up here in Canada I would imagine in the winter van dwellers would not like it much. They would likely sell that van for a few months rent and find a job at Tim Horton's

Jim Freedom
4 years ago

I lived the van life for the better part of my adult life, eventually upgrading to a small motorhome that took care of most the challenges (toilet, shower, stove, refrig, etc.). It was a GREAT life but now in my 60s I want internet and stability so I live in a small mobile home.