Breakdowns, Adventure Guaranteed
About a year ago, I wrote about Foster Huntington, a twenty-something who ditched his corporate design career to become a full time van-dwelling nomad. Inspired by Tupac Shakur’s Thug Life tattoo, Huntington created the Instagram hashtag #vanlife–a small act that inspired a movement of light-living, full and part time vandwellers (there are almost 300K Instagram pics with the hashtag).
The Atlantic made this great little documentary that provides a deeper look at the #vanlife subculture. While the doc catches up with Huntington (stationed in his bitchin treehouse), it spends most of the time interviewing Ryan Sellmeyer, aka @poseidonsbeard. Sellmeyer, his wife Christina and their two small children spend months on the road, rendezvousing with folks they meet through the Instagram hashtag #vanagonlife–a subset of the #vanlife community who drive (mostly vintage) VW Vanagons, a vehicle where regular mechanical failure is pretty much assured. Rather than an unfortunate side effect of an otherwise awesome vehicle, the breakdowns seem to be the primary appeal of the vehicle, ensuring none-too-rushed journeys and the ingenuity and camaraderie that are necessary to address said breakdowns.
Sellmeyer and Huntington’s lifestyles are nice counterpoints to the prevailing trends of bigger, faster, more efficient. These folks seem to value languor and connection for connection’s sake. It’s also a nice case where technology facilitates real connection and deeper experiences rather than inhibiting them. Do yourself a favor and spend the 12:34 minutes and watch the documentary.