Van Living is more accessible than ever. Are you ready to make the move?
Move That Bus
by Jacqueline Kriek
Who still remembers the signature phrase, “Move that bus”, which became synonymous with the American hit reality series Extreme Makeover? Contestants and the neighbourhood crowd would shout this catchy line at the top of their lungs just before the unveiling of the newly renovated family home.
The Wheels Of The Bus Go Round And Round
Today, however, we see an almost nomadic trend emerging where the only bus being moved, is the one these trendsetters choose to live in and move whenever the need arises. The thought of breaking the bank to renovate a home, filling it with stuff you hardly ever use and never being able to relocate, is a bleak prospect the van-dwelling community never want to think about. Truth be told, the American hippies have been living in what Americans term ‘vans’ since the 1960s.
The van-living phenomenon is firmly rooted in the tiny living movement, which is seen in countries like the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and parts of Europe.
Less Is More
The idea of van-living is largely fuelled by the move toward minimalistic living. Downscaling on size and living in a decluttered environment holds huge financial benefits. With many jobs now being completely remote, the possibility of living on the road permanently is becoming real and alluring. Longer than usual road trips while working and pursuing a career is something many do without giving up their permanent abode, plus saving on accommodation and enjoying the changing environment around them. All you really need is a good internet connection and power supply.
How the Locals Locomote
Without a doubt, a move towards a more minimalist lifestyle is increasing in South Africa. Capetonian couple Cindy and Seth Alfino embraced this lifestyle back in July 2018 when they traded their 140 sqm home for a 7.52sqm 1974 Volkswagen Jurgens Campervan. They did this while still earning an income and homeschooling three young children.
Tripping Over South Africa
Luca Barausse, a photographer, and Jodie Marie Rudd use their brand Tripping Over South Africa to document their adventures across South Africa in their VW T3 campervan.
4 Kids And A Bus
Sonja and Rheinholdt are teachers who just could not refuse the call of the open road when they realised how little time they were spending with their four children. They make their way across South Africa funded through a mix of online teaching, renting out their house and the running of an after-care centre. Follow their journey on their Facebook page, 4kidsandabus.
Small Travel, Big Life
Duncan and Bianca have decided to decrease their carbon footprint, but increase the reach of their hiking boot prints as they prepare to travel South Africa. Their fantastic page; Small Travel Big Life offers tips, facts and reviews of their favourite destinations. What’s more, they take the time to speak to and catalogue the locals who have inspired their way of life. Do peek through their lovingly curated interviews – it might inspire your own van plan.
Go Where the Road Leads You
The South African landscape has unique considerations. Living off the grid in a country plagued by unpredictable power cuts is a luxury out of reach for many middle-income South Africans. But living smaller makes off-grid living very possible using solar energy to power your bus, especially considering South Africa’s great weather. Safety is also another factor on overnight stops, which will lead to more costs when you need to find camping sites or bed and breakfasts to park your home.
Many bus dwellers speak of not only the monetary saving but also a strange sense of freedom when living completely off the grid.
There remains something romantic about going where the road takes you all the while exploring the diverse landscapes of South Africa. If you are tired of being stuck in a rut, working just to pay off a bond, living for the next holiday or need some inspiration, then van-living is something to consider.
Make A Move Our Way
Whether for an extended working trip or completely embracing this nomadic lifestyle, consider converting your bus into a mobile living space. You might find that roads were made for journeys, and not destinations.
When you do decide to give in to the call of the open road, take HOMEMAKERS with you and remember to tag #homemakerssa in all your travel pics.