Chris Farley's famous "van down by the river" sketch was a hilarious staple of my childhood -- but now, as an adult, I completely, 100% understand Matt Foley's rage.
And I don't even live in a van down by the river. I've just been told I should.
I don't understand the obsession 30-something-year-old men have with these stupid little vans, but literally every single one I've told about my decision to be a full-time RVer has mansplainingly suggested I get a Sprinter van, instead.
Bro. I would literally rather die.
I don't need to sleep next to a sliding door and accidentally punch the ceiling every time I change my shirt to know that living in a van is every bit as maddening at Foley made it out to be.
Having spent the last three weeks tent camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, I already know that I would rather live in a tent than a van...
Because I would rather die than live in a van.
A van would be super fun for a three-day weekend. But I'm not talking about a three-day weekend. I'm talking about a 12- to 18-month residency.
Would you want to have to scooch, crouch, squat, shuffle, and crawl every time you needed something out of your house?
THEN WHY WOULD I?????
When I say, "I'm going to be a full-time RVer," it's because I want to be a full-time RVer -- not because I want to live in a van down by the river.
I don't not know the word for van. I said "RV" because I meant RV.
However, the fact that so many people have offered this offensive suggestion isn't just indicative of 30-something-year-old men's obsession with stupid little vans.
It's... a sign that I have clearly done something wrong.
Something about me has made people think that I would be content to live in this awful way.
Optimistically, it's that I wear sunscreen every day... so maybe I'm being mistaken for a 17-year-old girl, rather than an adult woman. (And, to be fair, I still fit into the clothes I wore in high school and middle school, so...)
Realistically... it's because something about the way I act or live or write has made people think that I'm some kind of frivolous, immature child who thinks that traveling all the time will make me happy (fun fact: it won't) and that happiness can exist without purpose and meaning (it can't).
I love to travel (so much that I even travel when I'm not traveling). I love to play and have fun. But I also crave opportunities for intellectual and professional growth. I don't just need to mountain bike -- I also need to build something (I've been telling people to read Andrew Yang's book, Smart People Should Build Things, since way before he was cool) and create value in the world.
In fact, though my original song, "Expats are Expats for a Reason," ended up being kind of a critical, self-disparaging lament about loneliness (which isn't actually how I feel about travel at all -- I actually think the complete opposite is true)...
... It was originally supposed to make fun of dudes like the one I described in 6 Things New Age Hippie Types are REALLY Saying When They Tell Me to “Relax”:
As much as office jobs can suck, there is more to life than drinking cheap beer and hitting on local women. "Fun" and "meaning" are two very different things.
And. I am an adult.
That is why I need a desk.
That is why I need a closet.
That is why I need a full-sized refrigerator, stove, and microwave.
That is why I will not abide a bed that touches more than two walls.
And that is why I would rather die than live in a van.
8/28/2020 12:53:28 pm
Lol! You feel really passionate about this. How many people have made this suggestion to you?
8/28/2020 10:54:23 pm
The first TWELVE dudes who suggested it, it was water off a duck. But everyone has their breaking point, and 13 was mine.
1/19/2021 11:31:08 am
I wouldn't want to live in a van either. But, I've never heard of a sprinter van, so I'm surprised everyone is suggesting it to you. It makes no difference to me what vehicle or home someone lives in.
1/19/2021 05:33:10 pm
I think it's because they think vans are cool. Which they are -- for a short road trip or a long weekend. But every time I see one, I just feel so grateful I don't have to live that way.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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