May 13, 2022

"During the first night, in a rustic hot spring resort where the talk of the town was an owl that had taken residence in a tree..."

"... I came to terms with the fact that this was indeed going to be uncomfortable. I’d once lived outside for a month in a Thai Buddhist permaculture commune, slept in countless hostels, and meditated for 100 hours over 10 days in the Southern California desert. Living in a van when nightly temperatures dropped to 30 degrees would be another notch on the belt, I thought. Caity was astonished by my equanimity in the face of hundreds of opportunities to complain. Discomfort is inevitable, I’ve learned, but suffering is optional. I shivered and smelled, but there was no use resisting what I couldn’t change." 

From "#VanLife, From the Passenger Seat/When Caity Weaver wanted to try living out of a van as research for an article, she recruited her friend Michael Arnstein to come along for the ride. He shares what it was like to ride shotgun for a week" (NYT).

21 comments:

Joe Smith said...

If this van's rockin'

PM said...

If they'd dropped into Pappy and Harriets in Pioneertown, the article would be about nothing else.

rcocean said...

so it was going to get down to 30 and she had to put on a sweater? That's amazing. Living in a van, down by the river? Stay out of the Deep South during Summer. Although, I'm sure you could buy a small A/C that ran on battery.

Original Mike said...

"... I came to terms with the fact that this was indeed going to be uncomfortable."

Something I'd do for fun!

LordSomber said...

"... I came to terms with the fact that this was indeed going to be uncomfortable..."

Somehow I knew this was going to come from the NYT.

rhhardin said...

Carrying a Gerry tent on my bicycle doubled my weekend range. More day trips were spent returning in steady rain, though, what with forecast accuracy problems multiplied to two days.

gilbar said...

Sounds like, she went on a whinery tour.. You know, a tour for whiners

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Damn. This is about recreational van life, I guess. I was hoping for some poverty tourism in the London/Orwell/Ehrenreich tradition. It's a guilty-pleasure genre of mine. Because I was there at a point in my youth and now I'm decidedly not there.

Ice Nine said...

I've driven a total of about 30K mi. in every country in Europe and all over Turkey - and of course, lived in - a camper van (aka 'kombi van', outside of America). An absolutely wonderful way to travel. There is no reason at all to be uncomfortable or cold if you know what you're doing, as most kombi vanners do. These two didn't, it appears. They also seem rather tender.

JOrz said...

Interesting how you posted that Joe Rogan bit mentioning Marcus Aurelius right after this quote "I shivered an smelled but there was no use resisting what I couldn't change". That is so stoic.

Lem said...

šŸ‘‰šŸ½ https://youtu.be/GkQD3lUE6kM

mikee said...

The difference between 2 people, one living in a van by choice, and the other just living in a van, is that one of those two can improve their accommodations and the other is stuck living in a van. And if that was not factored into the experiment, and controlled for by the participants, it wasn't a very valid test of van life.

Old and slow said...

This would be type 2 fun, at best.

Kevin said...

Once an owl devours your testicles, the rest of the trip will be pleasant by comparison.

Howard said...

I stopped reading when it was apparent the van walls weren't covered in shag carpet.

Bill Peschel said...

Why am I hearing Shatner singing "Common People"?

farmgirl said...

I don’t really get this? The message is…? Self- denial? Self- punishment? Self something b/c Heaven Corbin- don’t do something of service for someone else to make the world an overall better place!

So, she stinks. Can’t wash her pits in a saucer? My Mom always says something like: just b/c you’re poor doesn’t mean you have to look the part. Some people have nothing and are clean, conscientious &well read. One would never know. Maybe she said you don’t have to be a hog. Somewhat Biblical- no sackcloth and ashes. Or , when you pray- go quietly out of sight and close the door…

I guess I really don’t get the point here.

farmgirl said...

I may not know what the hell’s going on- but, I just watched the video of the Valedictorian.

She knows.
Praise to the Lord.

Gabriel said...

Van life is marketing, I thought we all knew that. Those people on Instagram doing van life are getting paid...

Howard said...

The really out there dessert hot springs like Saline Valley are Crustic.

KellyM said...

@Howard: Saline Valley is probably the most amazing camp spot in the west. Nothing is better than spending all day on the most intense off road trails, both hard on your rig and on you, and pull into camp where you can soak in pristine tubs of hot mineral water and enjoy the heat of the desert. And an airshow over breakfast, courtesy of the pilots from China Lake.