Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Connecting...

For people that are new to the world of VanTramping, one of the concerns might be loneliness on the road or how to meet people and friends. I have heard and read many folks express these fears and I thought it might be helpful to describe how we can connect with other VanTramps/Vandwellers.

One of the first things people often realize once they get out there is just how many people are actually living this way. It doesn't take long to develop your "Van Eyes", your ability to spot VanHomes and their owners. It isn't always clear if they are fulltimers or vacationing, but there are often many clues that will sway the guess one way or the other. So, for the sake of this post on connecting, lets say we have identified a fellow VanTramp and are feeling like we wouldn't mind some company.

This is the point where we have to slow down and just observe for a minute. Without being annoying, be seen, but don't impose. Not everyone wants to be connected with and it can be hard to tell who is who. We suggest and prefer to err on the side of privacy. If they notice you and make eye contact, a smile and a wave may tell you all you need to know. Of course, if they avoid eye contact, don't proceed any further. A VanTramp that is working and parking/living in one area and relying on stealth to keep it possible likely will not want the attention. If you do connect with another VanTramp, keep safety in mind at all times.

The easier way to find and learn about other VanTramps/VanDwellers is of course online. A little browsing and digging utilizing your favorite search engine and you will stumble across groups and forums and blogs filled with people that have similar feelings that you once maybe felt were yours alone. The key here is to talk and reach out a bit. Be safe and take precautions just like you would in person, take your time and don't divulge too much too fast. VanTramps and Vandwellers like to have meetups as do RVers and others in the mobile lifestyle. Heidi and I have met quite a few Vandwellers now and have always grown from the experience.

If you have read our earlier posts, you probably know Heidi and I also met online first on the Vandwellers Yahoo Group. We weren't looking for it, but it happened and we couldn't be happier!

The overall concept of this post I want to get across is that, ironically, what seems like it could be a very quiet life of solitude (and certainly can be if you prefer that) is actually filled with opportunity for friendship and human connection. It is very easy to find a good balance as a VanTramp!

11 comments:

  1. Don't forget about those of us who live and camp in larger RVs. We like to talk to anyone who is out there enjoying the Lifestyle. In fact I'm sure many of us would be very interested to learn how you deal with the challenges of RVing in a smaller unit.

    Jim

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  2. Hi Jim, Thanks for the comment! I agree completely. I kept the scope narrow only because it is easily expanded on and adapted to connect with just about anyone. I really wanted to get the ideas across about proceeding with discretion towards other VanHomes. We have dealt with both enthusiastic folks and very antisocial folks in their Vans. Larger RVs don't seem too concerned about keeping a low profile and aren't going for "stealth mode"

    Heidi and I of course are usually happy to talk to everyone who will listen about our life. We almost always seem to end up talking to people about it in grocery store checkout lines too for some reason :)

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  3. By being a lurker I have learned so much about van living. Your blog is one of the best out there. I have discovered a certain camaraderie. I can be driving the back roads of Kansas and if there is another van person on the road coming towards me or in passing there is always a quick wave. Even when I park other van people will approach us. I have not met an unhappy van person or dweller. We live in our Roadtrek full time. The only complaint I have is when people who live in a bigger rig than mine want to come in and take a look around. I usually swing the driver and passenger seat around and tell them to come on in. Just stay out of the cupboards... :-)

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  4. Hi Mike & Heidi

    First thanks for the comments and encouragement you have sent my way regarding driving our rig. One more day and I take the big plunge!

    I read through many of your posts. You are a good writer and make things clear, especially in the one about moisture in your rig.

    I look forward to following along on your blog. I will post tomorrow night about the drive to Port Townsend. Again, thanks for the encouragement.

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  5. Hey Little House on wheels, Thanks for the nice comment! Nice to see another FT Roadtreker! I just went to your blog, looks like another fun one to follow! I will enjoy reading about your travels! Hope we have a chance to meet you out on the road :)

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  6. Hi Ali, I have faith in you! Your drive is going to go very well! I will be looking forward to reading the details! Thanks for the compliments too! I very much appreciate it! Enjoy Port Towsend too, I just love that town!

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  7. I was amazed at how many people..and COOL people at that..are out there vandwelling! I have many vanfriends already..and I haven't even hit the road. Thanks Mike....excellent post!

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  8. Thanks Pam! We are glad to call you one of our vanfriends! I know your van purchase has been delayed a bit, but I know we can't wait to meet you out on the road sometime :)

    -Mike

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  9. I didn't know that you guys met on Vandwellers Yahoo Group. How cool :)

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  10. Hey, so did the hypervent material work out to reduce condensation?

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  11. Anon, Yep, it solved the problem perfectly! I will have to do an update post here quick and give reviews of all the stuff we did last year now that I have had a chance to put it through it's paces. The hypervent was a definite good move :)

    -Mike

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