Vanlife as a solo female traveler
In Jan 2020, after working on my van for several months, putting so much effort, and getting out of my comfort zone so many times, I finally hit the road to Belgium and The Netherlands on my own! I had no idea what to expect, and what this world had to offer me.
✨ Why Vanlife?
To escape painful daily life. Buying my van also meant << there’s no turning back >>. At that time, I didn’t know I was running away from pain and emotional burnout. All I knew was that I needed to go. And once on the road, I couldn’t escape anymore: All my wounds reopened, and I need to heal them.
✨ How has it changed me?
Back my first solo trip. After 3 days, I felt completely LOST. Here’s one truth about vanlife: you are REALLY free. You depend on nothing but you, no train, no plane, no restaurant, nobody. I know it seems like the coolest thing, but at the same time, sometimes balance is the key.
So, what do you do when, like me, you are supposed to be the happiest woman who reached her goal but ended up crying for 2 weeks, feeling miserable and helpless, in a van that didn’t even have a shower 😂 (and yes, we still shower in the gym)?
✨You learn to listen to yourself.
And that was what this whole trip was about. It wasn’t about discovering new cities, it wasn’t about meeting new people. No. For me, it was all about reconnecting with myself first. The reason for all those tears was because of all those wounds that needed to heal.
So I asked myself, why do you think do we like to travel so much? For me, I feel that somehow it disconnect us from our painful daily life, and allow us to breathe, live the present moment, and create a deep connection with ourselves, and with others.
💚 Here are 3 Lessons I’ve learned while building my van:
👉 Learn to ask for help.
I’ve learned that often, people would be glad to help you, but they think you can do everything on your own because, when you don’t ask for help, that’s the image they perceived from you. And that’s also the image we want them to see.
But, Loneliness can hit really hard. Taking care of yourself is also asking and opening doors for others.
⇢ Be humble enough to say that you can’t do everything, or that you don’t know to do something.
⇢ Be honest with yourself, it’s the first and most important key to healing.
⇢ And, if you feel stuck, then you know it’s time to ask for a professional.
⇢ Asking for help is showing your vulnerability, which makes you way more relatable, human, and inspiring.
👉 Be part of a community.
Surround yourself with people who truly understand you.
I was really at a lower point in my life, two years later, I now have vanlifers as friends, but also incredible solo female travelers that I met during NomadHer’s events, and now, I don’t feel lonely anymore, I feel empowered. Empowered enough to empower others.
👉 Take action, no matter how scary it can be!
Listen to your fears, embrace them, and do it anyway. Because, when you overcome your fears, you grow, you become more and more courageous, and nothing can stop you.
Traveling in a van is such a unique experience of freedom. You really reconnect with nature, and this allows you to create sooooo many memorable and unique experiences like being stuck in the mud and having three ladies push that 3.5T truck 😂. So yes, I was afraid of vanlife. I was so afraid of my first solo trip.
Yes, I was afraid to tell everyone that I wanted to coach people.
But no regrets. At all.
Now, I am full of happiness, and so are my coaches.
💚 Keep in mind, nothing is perfect:
I don’t want to paint you a perfect (van)life. It was HARD and painful.
Building my van, I made mistakes that forces me to disassemble and rebuild everything again.
But I’ve learned from my mistakes and this time: I asked for help. I ask for a professional and learn so much.
I am sharing this because I am not afraid to be vulnerable.
I’ve learned to embrace the pain rather than hide it. And it’s because I was true and honest to myself that I was allowed to find my inner peace.
💚 Now, how do you think this trip has empowered me?
Today, I am proud to say that I have really strong self-confidence because I know exactly who I am, I know what I’ve been through, I know what I want and what I don’t want and nobody can take that away from me.