HITTING the road in a van with all of your worldly possessions in tow might seem like an ideal lifestyle.
But it’s far from perfect, and no one ever talks about the bad bits, according to one less than happy camper.
Christian Schaffer has lived on the road full-time for four year, after moving out of her apartment in Seattle she never looked back.
She left the corporate world to peruse her nomadic dreams and further her career in travel photography.
Now living entirely out of her 4×4 Nissan Xterra, she finally got her dream home on wheels, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
“There’s a lot of content that creates this unrealistic of beautiful views and never ending adventure,” she explained.
Although she likes to focus on the positives, she admits there’s so much that is annoying about van life.
Overnight parking can be a nightmare, according to Christian.
“If you’re in the middle of nowhere you might be more exposed and have fewer amenities such as a shower, or the ability to restock essentials like water and food.”
While some places might be safe and legal to stay for the night, they’re not always quiet and some don’t even have phone service, she explained.
Her tiny 60 square-foot home means she has to be picky about what she chooses to travel with – there’s no room for luxuries.
“Fitting it all in starts to feel like a never ending game of Tetris,” she joked.
There’s no room for a shower or a normal toilet in the van either,
“I do have a cassette toilet, but it’s for number ones only, which means I’m always planning my route according to gyms, campgrounds and other places where I can comfortably shower and use the restroom.”
In fact, the lack of convenience is one of the major downsides to living in a van.
“I used to be able to throw my laundry in the wash and then switch it over when I got home.
“Now I have to find a laundromat and hang around while I wait for my clothes to wash and dry.”
“You’re also always on display when you live in your vehicle, unless you’re hiding in your rig or parked somewhere remote.
“People can see your cooking food, or filling your water outside, or whatever chores you need to do,” she revealed.
“I can pretty much guarantee that if I leave my side door open for more than five minutes in a public place someone will star tasking me questions.”
While Christian admits she understand people’s curiosity, it can be pretty full-on.
“It can start to feel like a real invasion of privacy,” she said.