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Nomadland UK

  • by JW

“This is ‘van life’. For some, it’s a permanent way of life. For others, it’s a short-term fix…” [Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail]


A “solution to our housing problems” might be resorting to living in a van, as reported on these pages last spring – from Bristol where it’s not exactly easy:

Bristol’s van dwellers suffer as cost of living bites – BBC News

Whether this can be considered a real ‘solution’ to our housing needs, there has been considerable interest in this way of life since the movie which followed folk trying to live this way – for example, ‘Nomadland’: An interview with real-life nomad Bob Wells in Arizona.

Ben Fogle met another Arizonian nomad in his New Lives in the Wild series a couple of years ago. And the same film company were keen to follow this up with ‘The Real Nomadland’ documentary series for the UK.

You can see Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild [Season 18 – Episode 5] – that is his latest series – as he heads to Lincolnshire with Channel Five – and indeed, UK Van Life was featured in the episode along with ‘veterans’ of the road.

But as Christopher Stevens, writing the review in the Daily Mail, points out, Ben Fogle revels in the romance of ‘van life’ – until nature calls – and life in a van is hardly romantic:

Take a stroll around the suburban streets where I live and there are dozens of them — old furniture vans with doors in the side, converted ambulances, Ford Transits with windows and curtains. They park in rows for months on end, usually on the wider roads but sometimes on narrow residential streets. Since the start of the pandemic, their numbers have boomed, and usually the inhabitants keep to themselves, making no noticable noise or mess. This is ‘van life’. For some, it’s a permanent way of life. For others, it’s a short-term fix: one young couple told me last year they were living like this till they could afford a deposit on a flat. They befriended a resident who let them use her bathroom.

The VanLife Experience is indeed the romantic, holiday, part-time experience. However, to get the picture from ‘veterans’ of the van life experience, we can take a closer look at what Van Life is really like. And to finish, here’s a vlog looking at whether you might be CONSIDERING VANLIFE IN THE UK – with some high praise from those used to a life on the road.