If you have not heard of the latest hashtag in trend (#vanlife), please do search it now. You will be treated to beautiful Instagram pictures of old and new vans parked in beautiful locales, captioned with some quote about how to get out of our houses and start living in a van. Across the world, hundreds of youngsters, couples and loners, millionaires and homeless, are travelling in vans living a seemingly pleasant dream with its own set of nightmares. Today’s Needull, a recent article on The New Yorker, will give you a glimpse of the #vanlife of a couple named Emily King and Corey Smith.
Scroll through the images tagged #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll see plenty of photos that don’t have much to do with vehicles: starry skies, campfires, women in leggings doing yoga by the ocean. Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive. It’s a one-word life-style signifier that has come to evoke a number of contemporary trends: a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.