• Bionca Smith

I OWN VAN LIFE! Admitting I live in a van with my kid




One of the first things I learned about van life within the first week was to own van life. 

When I moved into my van with my son I didn’t know anyone else that wanted to partake in a similar quest. I didn’t have any camping friends, know rv owners, nomadic families or even heard of the term “van life”. Van life was present yet still quiet in the U.S. People wouldn’t look twice at a sprinter van and wonder if it was converted because someone may be living in it. The roar of the van life movement hadn’t made its way all over the internet and news just yet and the idea of living in a van was far from the average millennials mind. I didn’t have Instagram or a YouTube following or even the desire to blog about my full time travel journey before van life. I just wanted to explore with my son at a different speed and keep building business. In my eyes, I wasn’t moving into a van. Already having been traveling full time on planes hopping in and out of Airbnb’s and hotels, I was merely boarding my “new” cool camper and hitting the road. It was just another nomadic move and I anticipated a fun road trip until further notice. I didn’t worry about what I would do after van life or even where to go weekly. I just left and didn’t waste time thinking about what anyone would think. 


“If good things come in 3’s?

Do odd questions come in 5’s?

I wish people would stop worrying so much.” - Bionca


It wasn’t before long that I heard through the grapevine that family members were questioning.


“Is Bionca living in a van?”
“What’s wrong with her?”
“Why would she homeschool him?”
“How does she fund her travels?”
“How is her kid going to see other kids?”


I rarely had to answer directly to individuals gossiping, but as I traveled through towns, people would admire my campervan and I always got asked 5 more questions in the saaaaaame order. Lol

“Where are you from?“
“How long are you here?”
“Where do you live?”
“What do you do for a living?”
“Do you homeschool?”

The same 5 questions were asked over and over again by samaritans regardless of where we were. “Where do you live?”. About that question!... In the beginning my lips stumbled and I felt hesitant to tell others that I lived in a van with my kid. Eventually, I began to vocally own my lifestyle preference. I wasn’t ashamed to live my life in such a way...It was second guessing whether or not the person I told would criticize me that made me feel hesitant. I didn’t want to volunteer information that would lead me to defend my actions. Once I started vocally owning that I live in a van with my kid, people seemingly became more fascinated and wanted to follow my journey on YouTube. Communication shifted from people trying to figure my situation out to see if I was down on my luck to people thinking that I was lucky with plenty of money. They always assumed that you have to have a lot of money to live like this with a good attitude. Lol I started answering questions with more enthusiasm and responding more confidently to their questions because I am genuinely proud of our lifestyle. Without realizing it, answering these questions was preparing me for major interviews.


“How do you get mail?”
“What about his schooling?”
“What about his social life?”
“How does he see family?”
“What are you going to do when he gets older?”


It was as if people could see the confidence, excitement and peace we had from living in simplicity. It wasn’t before long before van life began to feel like a priceless luxury that was too good to be true. I feel like I someone who really set themselves free from the typical American reality. It was as if people could see the confidence, excitement and peace I had from living in simplicity. It wasn’t before long before van life began to feel like a priceless luxury that was too good to be true. I feel like someone who really set themselves free from the typical American reality.

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About us

Hi, I’m Bionca and I have an 11 yr old son named Carter. I’m a cultured high energy globetrotting life coach, public speaker and soon to be an author. 

 

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