The 10 Most Common Questions I Get Asked About Living In My Van

Hanging out in the van at Cascade Ponds in Banff National Park

“So where do you live?” A casual question which is usually always followed by a casual answer. Except my answer isn’t so casual, and the questions that follow when I give “my van” as a response are aplenty. Here are the 10 common questions I get asked about living in my van.

What made you decide to live in a van?

I had $2500 in savings and I could have either spent that on moving into a house where I would have to share a room with someone, or I could buy a van, live in it, go on road trips every weekend, and sell it at the end of summer and make my money back. It just made so much more sense to me. Also, I really liked the idea of living a little rough for a short amount of time. I felt like I had become unappreciative and lazy when it came to life. Now I appreciate the small things, such as when a friend offers me a shower in their house, and a working toilet.



How long are you going to be living in your van for?

I originally planned to live in my van for three months: May-July. Now I plan on living in it until October. Not paying rent is addictive; rent basically eats away at half of your pay check. I won’t be living in my van over winter, especially not in Banff where it can get as cold as -40 Celsius!

Where do you pee?

I use the bathroom where ever and whenever I can. For some reason, since I’ve started vanlife my body has decided I need to pee three times more than usual. It’s like my bowels just panicked and now I need to pee all the damn time. But to answer the question, I make use of toilets at work, restaurants, public rest rooms, and the forest. I’ve resorted to peeing in a McDonald’s cup on a few occasions. If I can offer one piece of advice about peeing outside it’s this: never do it on concrete. Unless you have great reflexes.

I honestly need a shewee. Maybe they’ll sponsor me after reading this article.

Yvette Morrissey driving around in her van eating a cookie

Don’t you get lonely living in a van by yourself?

Yeah. The first month was really hard. I’m naturally an introvert, so I was very surprised to discover I missed human interaction when I first started living the vanlife. Some nights it was very, very hard and I contemplated moving out of the van and into a house just because of how lonely I felt. The good thing about this however was that it made me appreciate the friends I had, and it encouraged me to come out of my shell and make new friends.

How much money are you saving by living in your van?

Rent in Banff ranges from $600-$800 a month, for a shared room. I average on spending $25 a week on fuel, and around $100 a month on car insurance. I’m managing to save quite a bit of money living this lifestyle.



How do you cook your meals?

Most of the time I eat out. Banff has some great food specials. I also go to the local supermarket and buy shredded chicken and a premixed bag of vegetables and make a salad, or make use of the deli section. When I’m not so lazy I make soup or stir fry on my portable propane stove. I also have a chilly bin I sometimes fill with ice to keep my food cool, although the melts within a day now that it’s summer so I’ve given up on that. I now use dehydrated vegetables to get my greens by adding them to soups, pasta or stir fry.

Where do you park your van?

Currently I park in my friends driveway as it is technically illegal to freedom camp in Banff because it is a national park. I make use of car parks and free camping sites when I am travelling. There are actually a lot of good places out there and it’s not hard at all to find a place to sleep.

Having breakfast in the van at Takakkaw Falls Campground



Don’t you get scared living in a van by yourself?

The first night was terrible. I had a nightmare where I woke up screaming. I dreamed there were bears outside my van, and they were trying to break into my van to eat me. The fact I was parked in the woods at this free campsite, so it probably wasn’t the best place to begin my vanlife adventure! You can read about my first week living in a van here.

Where do you shower?

I purchased a gym membership and I shower there every morning. I’ll also admit I’ve had the odd baby wipe shower.

What’s the worst thing about living in a van?

I look like Lady Gaga and Edward Scissorhands’ love child when I emerge from my van each morning. Then I have to ride my bike to the gym (usually in my pajamas, because I am lazy and all I care about is diving into the shower as soon as possible), walk into the gym and face the receptionist as I scan my card and politely ask for a towel.

But that’s not as bad as when a mosquito sneaks into the van.

I hope you enjoyed my answers to the 10 Common Questions I Get Asked About Living In My Van. For more articles on living the #vanlife you can click here.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Comment below!



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24 Comments

  1. July 20, 2017 / 6:24 am

    This is honest, I like to see the real side instead of the instagram-perfect life showcased in other van blogs. I’ve been thinking of buying a van but I’m still too lazy to change my lifestyle 🙁

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:42 pm

      Thanks Maria! I try and be as honest as possible about vanlife- it’s not easy at times but for the most part it’s a great way to live.

  2. July 20, 2017 / 6:34 am

    I like your honest response to all those questions! I think you should have some guts to live in a van 🙂

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:43 pm

      Thanks Lien- you should definitely try vanlife

  3. July 20, 2017 / 6:48 am

    Awwww man I loved this post! I have to admit this is kind of a dream of mine, who wouldn’t want to save all that money on rent, utility bills and all the maintenance cost that comes with it! I’m curious if you have a camping fridge in the van for juice, food water or do you just stop and get stuff whenever you need something? Your post gave me a giggle a few times… look forward to reading more of your adventures!

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:54 pm

      Hi Lisa! I have a chilli bin I can put ice in but I hardly use it unless I go camping. I tend to buy food most days as it’s just easier and that way i’m not taking up too much space storing food in my van. One day I plan to buy a van in the UK or NZ and build it from the inside and then i think I will install a fridge. It’s challenging not having one but you adapt!

  4. July 20, 2017 / 6:52 am

    I’ve always been curious about van life. It isn’t a possibility here in India because I would be very scared about my safety. We do drives sometimes but that’s the extent to which it goes. It has been my dream to try it atleast once in my life. I hope I get the chance soon.

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:55 pm

      Hi Penny, you should try it in Canada or New Zealand- they’re both great spots for vanlife. Good luck and if you need any advice, don’t hesitate to contact me!

  5. July 20, 2017 / 8:59 am

    This is the most entertaining post I’ve read in a while. Hats of for the guts to do things differently!

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:56 pm

      Thanks!

  6. July 20, 2017 / 9:18 am

    This is fab! Well done on making a big lifestyle change in order to save money and do something different! Loved reading your answers. We house sit and move every few weeks with a couple of suitcases and have been technically homeless since September last year! We are saving a lot of money too.

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:58 pm

      That sounds like an interesting lifestyle- I love house sitting and it makes a nice change from being in the van. I’m planning on living in a van in the summer and living in a house for the winter, it’s such a good way to save money

  7. July 20, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    This is awesome. I have really gone down a rabbit hole lately of reading about women living the van life and it’s nice to see such an authentic representation of the good and bad parts. Good luck with that shewee sponsorship, haha 🙂

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 26, 2017 / 11:59 pm

      Thanks Ashley! Finding a place to pee is probably the most difficult aspect of vanlife haha. You should totally give it a go, the good outweighs the bad by far

  8. July 20, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    I love this, I think you’re awesome girl! So cool you just decided to live in a van on your own! I would also like to try it for a while in the future :). I really wanna learn how to surf better and living in a van for a while, waking up next to the ocean seems like a dream! Keep sharing your stories and inspiring others with your awesome lifestyle!! I’m gonna follow you!

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 27, 2017 / 12:01 am

      Thanks Yasmin- that comment made my day! I wish there were beaches nearby where I’m vanlifing but unfortunately I live in Alberta. There are lots of lakes though and it is so cool to wake up, open my doors and stare out at the water. Hopefully when I do vanlife in New Zealand someday I’ll be able to camp near some beaches

  9. July 20, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Wow!.. I must say you are brave indeed. Actually, you must post the insides of the van. I would love to see that 🙂

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 27, 2017 / 12:02 am

      I’m working on some photos at the moment- my van has been so messy lately because I’ve been having too much fun exploring so organisation has gone out the window…

  10. July 23, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Wow! You’re braver than I am. Great post 🙂

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 27, 2017 / 12:03 am

      Thanks Hannah! Vanlife makes you brave- you should give it a go 🙂

  11. July 26, 2017 / 12:16 am

    This is seriously so crazy! I can’t imagine doing this, but how cool that you are. I wish you the best! So awesome!

    • Yvette Morrissey
      July 27, 2017 / 12:02 am

      Thanks Megan!

  12. July 30, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    Why don’t you move in with me I’m a single male living in a large home

    • Matt
      August 6, 2017 / 3:53 am

      Haha

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