When I first began my journey into van life, I was very unsure whether or not I would document and share my journey with others. I was scared people would judge me or make fun of me. My whole life I was always a little shy and insecure, so putting myself out there for the world to view was quite terrifying. But I remembered all the times I was inspired by people sharing their story online. Social media is a powerful tool, and if used properly, can be used to change our world.
Can social media be bad? Yes, of course. So can cheese burgers, but we don't go banning all the burger joints. Using these platforms with the right intention can really have an impact. Some people wait till they're rich to change the lives of others, but sometimes all it takes is an inspiring story. Now, could I change the lives of millions? Probably not. But could I motivate people, make people laugh or even help share a new perspective with just a few? Because that would make me happy.
I realized early on that I was not fueled by money or materialistic things. My fuel comes from impacting people and making people feel good. The feedback I've gotten from doing this whole van life thing has been a game changer for me. I've been living in a van for 10 months now and I've received hundreds of amazingly kind and thoughtful messages from family, friends and complete strangers. That fuels me more than any dollar amount ever could. In a world so focused on money, it feels nice to make a difference without spending or making a penny. I may be poor by society’s standards, but my mind is rich. And that feels good to me.
Purpose gives meaning to our actions. I first read about this concept in the book, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. He says if you have a strong enough "why" then you can get through almost any "how". Since he was a psychologist who survived the Holocaust, I didn't take his words lightly. After reading and contemplating his book for a while, I slowly began sharpening my life's purpose. Before that book, I was getting tired of living without meaning. I think a lot of people are tired of keeping up with the Joneses and running the rat race. I want to inspire others to live for experiences and not things.
This van life isn't for everyone and I know that, but if I could inspire people to live with a little less, consume a little less and rely more on their internal happiness over temporary external joys, then perhaps I could make a tiny difference in making this world a better place. That right there, is what fuels me to share my story and encourage others to share their story as we all have a unique story to tell.