Vanlife and RVs Provide Choices
As you may know, I sold my home in 2021, gave away 93% of my material belongings, and embarked on the lifestyle of a digital nomad, as a citizen of the world without knowing much about Vanlife. In a chat yesterday with my former neighbor who introduced me to his tiny house life, he shared that he was thinking of buying a van and hitting the road. He was the second person I spoke to this week who has this dream.
While this choice of lifestyle is global, “as of March 2021, 11.2 million U.S. households owned RVs, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. That’s up 26% since 2011 … What’s even more striking is that 9.6 million additional households say they are considering buying an RV in the next five years,” according to Monika Geraci, communications director at RVIA.
RV and Vanlife Provide Flexibility
“According to the RVIA, recreational vehicle sales in 2021 are expected to be around 600,000, up 40% over 2020. And 2022 is expected to be another banner year for RV sales.
A driver of this growth is the pandemic-induced shift to remote work and more flexible work schedules. And driving around in a van or RV has several clear advantages during a pandemic.
You don’t have to get on airplanes, and you don’t have to stay in hotels or other places where you risk exposure to the virus. Vans and RVs can also access national parks and other outdoor or remote areas where infection risk is low.
But even before the pandemic, the number of VanLifers – digital nomads who travel, live and work in RVs, vans and other vehicles that are converted into roaming residences – was increasing.
And, of course, the pandemic accelerated the trend.
The chart below is from MBO Partners 2021 Digital Nomad research brief. It shows that the number of American VanLifers increased 36% in 2021, reaching 2.6 million.
While we expect the growth rate in the number of Vanlifers to decline in 2022 relative to 2021, we’re still forecasting VanLife numbers to increase in the 24% range in 2022.”
If you want to find out the pros and cons of Vanlife from people living it, there’s a comprehensive overview here. And as we know, no one has our answers so it’s up to us to experiment and know what’s for us and what’s not. And 2022 continues to provide choices and opportunities for us to practice discernment.
There will be so many opportunities opening up for entrepreneurs to provide services for people who are choosing another way of life. And companies who are facing The Great Questioning need to consider how they plan to work with digital nomads, who are choosing freedom to roam and work from anywhere, as our numbers continue to rise.