The #Vanlife Movement Is Figuring Out How to Shelter-In-Place on the Road
Originally published for VICE on April 20th, 2020.
Almost 316 million people across the United States have been told to shelter in place by their governors, mayors and President Trump because of the COVID-19 global outbreak. “#Stayhome” has become a ubiquitous hashtag on Instagram, the mantra of 2020 and a cross-country rallying cry. But how do you stay home when your home is the road?
Rising in popularity over the past three years alongside Instagram influencer culture, #vanlifing—living out of a converted van or school bus—has become a popular lifestyle choice for mobile millennials, who even before the pandemic had shifted to alternative lifestyles that support working remotely. But many vanlifers rely on public lands like National Forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas, or National Parks to park their homes.
“We’ve always been able to rely on free campsites,” full-time vanlifer and wedding photographer Megan Kantor told VICE over the phone. “Over the past week, I’ve realized that this lifestyle that we’ve chosen feels a lot more fragile than I thought.”
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