Firstly, I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to subscribe and comment on this blog so far. I know I’ve only written a few posts, and when you subscribed, you may have been expecting me to write about our day-to-day adventures living in a camper a la Heath and Alyssa. If you were, sorry for not following through. But let’s be honest: you probably forgot you subscribed to this blog in the first place, and now this sudden flood of confusion mixed with mild disappointment is causing you to unsubscribe as we speak. Trust me, I get it—no hard feelings.
I was fully expecting to document our journey, too—but then we actually started living in the camper, and as it turns out, living in a camper is a lot like living in an apartment. A very small apartment that requires physical removal of your own urine and feces, yes, but an apartment nonetheless.
The thing is, we weren’t traveling while we were living in it. Our #RVLife was not the quirky, non-stop adventure you see from other full-timers on Instagram. Our lifestyle was more akin to being a homeless vagabond than a travel blogger. Except we were homeless vagabonds with an income who shopped at Whole Foods and the Apple store. To be honest, I struggled with this incongruity. Our upbringing and status as college graduates with a decent resume didn’t fit at all into this picture of camper living.
There were times I had intense feelings of guilt and imposter syndrome over our lifestyle experiment, because we were exposed to so many people who lived this way out of pure necessity.
Anyway, back to the shocking mundanity of our camper life. A typical week for us really felt no different than a typical week for most “normal-space” dwellers. During the week we parked in Palo Alto, the affluent hub of Silicon Valley where you’re just as likely to run into a millionaire as you are a homeless person. Our truck camper was just one of dozens parked a long a stretch of El Camino Real by the Stanford campus. We even made a cameo in a local news story about the growing RV epidemic.
On the weekends we escaped the high-tech machismo of Palo Alto and rented a spot in Half Moon Bay (shout-out to Pillar Point RV Park!), where we recharged outdoors. The majority of our weekends were spent walking along one of the coastal trails, and I know we have the camper life to thank for that. Because when you have the choice of staying in an enclosed space or taking in the fresh air and scenery of a picturesque beachside town, you typically go with the latter.
I think—at least in our case—there is a direct correlation between one’s square footage and the time one spends outdoors. The larger living space we had, the less motivated we felt to stretch our legs outside. We were comfortable, so why venture into the world where we had to drive and find parking and fight crowds? It always felt like a struggle getting to the outdoors, whereas camper life brought the outdoors to us.
So this was our routine for a year. And then at the end of November 2018, we put our camper in storage and took the money we saved to go on sabbatical to travel, learn, and spend more time with our families. Now that we’ve been out of the camper for a few months, I’ve had time to reflect on the experience, which I’ll talk about in future posts. Right now we’re just two (now-married) guys enjoying the fruits of our former camper life, for which I’ll always be grateful. 🙂