Did you also decide to go for the adventurous Van life or for a long-term travel journey? That’s amazing to hear! You made a very beautiful and strong choice! Because traveling long-term can provide you with lots of wisdom, self-awareness, and a ton of inspiration. Really, it can change your life forever. But, with the choice of leaving your hometown to go traveling full time, there is a lot of preparation needed. At least, it’s better to be a bit prepared. Because even though you are choosing for the adventure and the unknown, still, it doesn’t hurt to start off with a bit of knowledge and know-hows. Don’t you think?
One of the top things that come with ‘planning your new life journey’ is making your inventory list, of course! This was one of the things that I honestly really enjoyed doing! But, I have to admit that on one hand, it was kind of overwhelming in the beginning. Because you do need a lot. A lot that you wouldn’t be thinking of at first! Definitely when you choose to live in a van, your tiny home on wheels. But still, if you would compare it with living in a regular house, it actually isn’t THAT MUCH. Because choosing to live the travel lifestyle is also choosing to live a more minimalistic lifestyle. The less you own, the less you stress. However, it’s just good to know which goodies and handy stuff you should better take with you. Oh yes, and besides it being overwhelming in some parts, it was also very exciting and fun! It gets you in the travel mood right away.
If you are wondering how you even begin with making your own inventory list from scratch, well, in this blog I’ll share with you my how-to’s. These aren’t big magical mind tricks! These are just the ways how I did it. And I found that these helped me a lot!
The first thing that I did was visualizing a day that I would spend at home the whole time. In this visualization, I would go through that day from waking up until going to bed again. You can do this both in your head as also physically in your home. Just act like you are spending the day in speed mode. To give you an example; I would visualize myself waking up in the morning taking my glasses from my night table and then go to the bathroom. In that part of my visualization, I already mentioned a very important object that I will need in my van. My glasses of course! As I would go to the bathroom I would take my bathrobe (write it down) and go stand in front of the mirror. Standing in the bathroom I would go through my whole waking up/bathroom routine and just write down everything that pops into my mind. And so you go on. Make yourself your breakfast and go through every drawer that you have in your house. It’s not that you go through all your drawers every time you are at home, I know. But just go with the flow and do it in this visualization anyway. And really it doesn’t have to be perfect immediately. This technique is just a way to get a proper basic inventory list to
start with! You can minimalize or expand it afterward.
At first, I wrote everything down on a piece of paper. But this is optional of course. If you rather write it down on your phone or computer immediately, that is also perfectly OK. But the reason why I chose the write everything down on a piece of paper first, is that I just love how you can take it everywhere with you. Besides that, I just love how it doesn’t need to be clean and perfect right away. You can just randomly scratch whatever you want on that paper.
For those who rather use their phones, a phone is also a great option to take with you all the time. But to me, I found it not that easy to take out my phone wherever I was. Definitely, because I still have a fulltime job at this moment.
From the moment that you feel like you have a strong basic list, then you can rewrite it in a proper and organized list on your computer. I printed it out afterward and used some coloring and extra notes to get a better overview.
I can’t recommend this enough! Another amazing way to gain your inspiration is to go follow other Van Lifers online. Certainly, on youtube, you can find a lot of inspirational and motivating videos. Videos about inventory, videos about good to have’s, or just about the random way of living the Van Life. As you have probably never lived the van life before, it can be quite difficult to know how it feels, what you need and what is truly important. So these videos can really give you some good information and ideas on your Van Life questions.
Note: You can also follow my youtube channel, I’ll put him down below. I didn’t start my van life just yet but I do already share some ‘progress towards van life’ videos. And from the moment that my Van Life begins, I will post a lot of Van Life videos while being on the road.
This is also a great way to expand your inventory knowledge! Just look online for some inventory list examples. And you can really find them online, believe me! Compare your list with their list and see what you might have forgotten. Maybe you will find some interesting ideas that you can put on your list. Use words like checklist, inventory list, travel gear, Van Life inventory,… in google.
Note: I will also put my inventory list online as soon as possible. This will give you the opportunity to look through mine as well! I will also re-update my version when it’s needed. For example when I made some changes during the next few months. The inventory list will be uploaded on this website. I will mention it on my social media accounts when it’s online. I will put my social media links down below.
Really, it’s just as simple as that! Go through your inventory list together with your friends or family. They might come up with things that never even popped into your mind for a second. So put those brains together and do some brainstorming! It’s can be both fun and helpful!
Sometimes it’s better to put those papers away for a moment to give your mind some rest. Because if you are constantly staring at that paper, chances are that you will get overwhelmed. And that is just the thing that we want to avoid! So put it away for a second and go get some fresh air.
Ok, now it’s time to minimalize! If you feel like your list is getting too big, then you can always downsize it a bit. Go through the list every now and then and see what you can drop. You might not see it immediately but while your journey is approaching you will get a better and clearer overview. Always ask yourself the questions: “Do I really need this?”, “Will I miss it if I didn’t take it with me?”, “Does this have any value to me?”, “Will this make my travel journey easier, more comfortable or more fun in some way?”,… If you are being honest to yourself and the answer is always ‘NO’ then it’s better to drop it. Don’t overstuff your van! This will only irritate you in the end because of a messy and chaotic Van.
And the most important tip that I can give you…
Just enjoy the journey! There is a big change that you WILL forget certain things, but that’s really not such a big deal! You can buy everything you need while you are traveling. Just google it and see where you can find it in a spot nearby. Really, the best learning school is the experience. You’ll learn your Van Life needs while you are living it.
Love & Joy
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