November 1, 2011
Not until experiencing something for myself can I really appreciate it. Call me thick headed, but it’s been true about autumn in New England, sex, and most recently, camper vehicles, or as I call it, van life. I purchased my Syncro with no prior knowledge of van life. Operating on the assumption that I liked the freedom and exploration offered by living out of a van, I committed to trying it out. A handful of interesting people’s stories of the road reassured me that it was the right thing to do. Ships of the open road are hard to understand when you’re not sailing them. Now that I am sailing my own, I have grown to appreciate the breed of adventurers they attract and the vehicles they drive.
The older and more weathered, the better. Dents, rust and scrapes equate to good stories. Each time I see a van, I imagine all of the adventures they facilitate. Trips to Big Sur, Cross-country road trips, Baja and back. Dream it up, and it’s been done. At least twice.
For generations, vans have been a vehicle for people to explore the conquered frontier on their own terms. There is no need for hotels, restaurants or mass transportation. Leave when you want and head where you please.
Van life runs on a simple premise: fill up with gas, stock up with groceries and head towards a place rumored cool. Hippes did it in the ’60’s and there are plenty of people doing it today.
This Syncro Westfalia has been there and back.
Like the best restaurants, reservations are not accepted.
The trailer is for firewood. The owner uses this ’78 when he’s not captaining a salvage tugboat in the Channel Islands. He bought his for $3000 on eBay.
These guys started in Montreal and are heading to Patagonia. Livin’ the dream.
The driver and year unknown, but presumed awesome.
Once the bug bites, it’s hard to shake. I spotted these all of these VW Vans in the last week on the Northern California Coast. I look forward to seeing more and guessing their journeys.
Here are some more links,