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FEATURE

THIS PAGE The Fite family FOLLOW The Schanneps at @contentednomads Emma Barr at @6reasonswhy_travelblog Lindsay Keller at @wehitpause Dan Lin at @Mali.Mish Ashley and Lamar Fite at @fitetravels Cat Ferrara at @pachawawa The Rosenes at  @rosenesontheroad

> say that would drive [them] crazy. It’s difficult for me to imagine sending the kids away. We want to have them around; it doesn’t feel like a chore.” In this environment, parenting becomes a team sport, and there’s no excuse for not being on the same page. Information about the child isn’t relayed from teachers at school or babysitters at home. There’s no delay between an issue arising, understanding it and working to resolve it.

“In our previous life, in a house, if an issue came up I couldn’t deal with it right away because I needed my partner’s opinion,” Keller said. “But now we are literally right next to each other, so if anything is going on, we immediately respond to it together.” But being that close to your kids also means parents have to get a little inventive when it comes to the intimacy necessary to keep a relationship healthy.

“It does make you get creative,” Barr said. “We still have a very active relationship. We are very good at having quiet moments.” “It’s like 50 percent stealth,” Lamar Fite said.

Vanlife can seem like a dream, Vanparenting, on the other hand, could look like a challenge. But van families learn and grow to find a happy middle. It’s not perfect or carefree, but it’s not chaos either. It’s just life.

“This was our litmus test; ‘how is everybody doing?’ How are the kids doing with the constant goodbyes? How are they doing with the constant travel?” Robin Schannep said. “But we aren’t really settled on settling.”

IS VANLIFE FOR YOU?

Pete and Taylor have been traveling for two years. Read their adventures at alwaystheroad.com. Here are the questions to ask before you embark.

1Are you a homebody?  This is a good question to start with. Yes, a van is certainly a home, but your home is constantly moving. A lot of the time you don't even know where you will be sleeping that night, so if you have a certain level of spontaneity and are good at adapting to new locations, you just might thrive living the van life!

2How comfortable are you with dirt? Your level of comfort with dirt directly relates to question #1. You can do your best to stay clean and tidy, but when the outdoors is half your home, dirt and dust will find their way into every nook and cranny.

3Do you tend to wear the same clothes repeatedly? Limited space is a huge factor and downsizing is all a part of the minimalistic lifestyle. It’s a great opportunity to dedicate yourself to a simple, downsized lifestyle and get rid of all the “stuff” you don’t need.

4Are you willing to be creative in order to make money? Those who live the van life come from different backgrounds and careers, all making money in a plethora of ways. Many people have jobs that can be done completely from a computer such as web developing, graphic design, freelance writing,

social media marketing, and blogging. Others might do migrant labour, sell products, or work for a few months to save and then travel with their savings.

5Do you like meeting new people? People have this idea that living on the road is a lonely life, never settling in one spot and making friends. But that’s so wrong! Since we’ve been on the road, we’ve made deeper connections and friendships in a matter of days than we have with people we’ve known most of our lives.

6Are you uncomfortable with uncertainty? Honestly, this is the most important question to ask yourself if you are considering a mobile lifestyle. I’m here to tell you that almost nothing will go as you plan. . . and that’s the best part!

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019 www.thegreenparent.co.uk

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