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