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!