A woman must rebuild her life after embracing the popular living trend “van life” and discovering she is homeless.
Natasha Scott from Atlanta, Georgia was inspired to try the nomadic lifestyle after seeing many clips that romanticized the life of freedom and self-sufficiency.
When the rent on her apartment went up, Scott decided to take the plunge thanks to YouTube and TikTok and bought a van with her savings.
She then had to convert the $5,000 van to get home on wheels.
However, the former pilot recruiter soon discovered the reality of this lifestyle, which is eye-opening Assets that it was “glorified homelessness.”
The 33-year-old felt like “the only person in the world” as she tried to sleep in her cramped van as it poured rain outside.
Read more about homelessness
She noted that in addition to loneliness, rising gas prices and regular van repairs made her life as a transporter hard and expensive.
“Van life is harder than it seems in the videos,” she said.
“Honestly, it’s harder than I ever thought.”
To make matters worse, Scott was fired from her job, giving her the instability of freelancing.
Financially, Scott began to struggle as prices of food and staples rose due to inflation.
“If you try to cut your finances, you’re just eating junk,” Scott said.
She added that the romanticized van life videos on social media don’t reflect the reality of grocery shopping at gas stations.
Scott explained that the videos often show happy travelers, but don’t show how to deal with extreme weather conditions or how to find showers or toilets if you don’t have one in the van.
The single woman began to feel unsafe at night and stayed in Airbnb rentals instead.
She also ended up selling her original van, which was never fully rebuilt, and buying another one that was more suitable.
Other van life followers have shared their reality of the lifestyle and pushed back against the glamorization of the culture.
TikToker @bylandnjeep said, “Van life influencer culture is full of shit.”
Scott was even approached by people who saw her videos about living in a van and asked if she was OK.
“Outside of social media, no one saw it as living in a van – they saw it as homelessness,” she told the news outlet.
Scott warned others interested in van life to do their research and do a three-week test run to get past the “honeymoon phase.”
After rejecting the nomadic lifestyle, she now lives out of pocket in a dorm, saves for an apartment, and aspires to go back to school to start a stable career.