#Vanlife Envy: Does My Festiva Look Small?

You may have seen the too-perfect photos last week in a much-shared New Yorker article (see inset below). Our self-confessed dirtbag writer had to vent.

new yorker vanlife article
Raquel Hernandez-Cruz and Samuel Salwei pose in their vehicle/home. Inset: Photo featured in the article ‘#Vanlife, the Bohemian Social-Media Movement’ (New Yorker)

Last week, #vanlife jumped the shark with a feature article in the New Yorker. It went a bit viral across the outdoors world as a deeply-reported expose (with accompanying glossy photos) on a lifestyle that’s getting more attention in the mainstream.

Our longtime contributors Raquel Hernandez-Cruz and Samuel Salwei (a founder of the YogaSlackers), have lived for years in a Ford Festiva. They couldn’t help but poke some fun at the New Yorker’s feature and the too-perfect #vanlife photos that accompany the piece.

Read on for his lighthearted critique.

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After a decade of living the #subcompactlife we are a little intimidated by this #vanlife trend. We are spending a lot of time and effort learning, preparing, and practicing the necessary customs so we can integrate into the social structure of this movement.

Adventure no longer fills our days. Instead, we mine Instagram for the new hashtags. Images dictate our every move.

Life on the road, living in a tiny Ford
Life on the road, living in a tiny Ford

Just yesterday we woke up in a parking lot and noticed some sweet mountains in the distance. So after breakfast in a coffee shop, we broke out the camera that cost three times as much as our car. I set up the shot with our 8mm fisheye and flash. Raquel cleaned up all the junk strewn about our 28-square-foot living space and our #tinytwin bed.

As Raquel stuffed my dirty underwear into a random crevasse I Tetrised myself underneath the sheets with my shirt off in the 45-degree car just in time for the timer to click.

We didn’t realize our life was going to become a hashtag. We used to wake up, scavenge a fast breakfast, head to the rocks for a long climbing day, and come back home tired and happy.

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Our pictures were little more than a record of our adventures. Now, this lifestyle seems to be all about the images. But if so, we better stay on the cutting edge. Might have to upsize from the #PeaceLoveCar. Gotta look #authentic.

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