What Really Happened (Featuring Panicked Spider, Corrupted Child, Hiccuping Man, and Villain on the Run!)

The other day I began my van conversion in earnest by making a 14” square hole in the roof. But before I condense eight hours of work into five captioned images in my next post, I’d like to issue a disclaimer: The process of building this van feels nothing like looking at my before and after pictures. So far, not one part of this project has been quick or straightforward, and I don’t expect that to change going forward. Reading blogs and Instagram posts about #vanlife is like watching Rachel Ray make a 30-minute meal at a kitchen island conveniently stocked with clean pots, washed greens, and pre-cut pats of butter. Actually converting a van is like spending 30 minutes mincing onions while wearing swim goggles to prevent tearing up, then crying anyway as you write a note to your roommates to please wash your fucking dishes within 12 hours of use xoxoxoxo

Let’s return to these two before-and-after photos (and two more later on) to get a sense of what really happened. Continue reading “What Really Happened (Featuring Panicked Spider, Corrupted Child, Hiccuping Man, and Villain on the Run!)”

What is She Building Anyway?

As I started sharing this blog with people (or thinking of sharing it with people; I don’t like the thought of other people reading my stuff; I am aware that this does not contribute to my financial well-being as a writer), I realized that not all of you live in Colorado, where I pass at least two homebuilt camper vans on my mile-long journey to the grocery store. Here’s what I mean when I say I’m building a camper van. Continue reading “What is She Building Anyway?”

Life is a Long Preparation

Three months ago, when a broker promised to find me a van within two weeks, I bought a top-notch fan for the roof of my van. I planned to install the fan the day I got the van, which I was convinced would be soon. I wanted to hit the ground running! Like this guy, who converted his van in seven days! According to my estimates, I’d be done with the entire conversion by mid-July.

It’s mid-July. After two weeks of van ownership, I have yet to install the fan. I’m beginning to realize that the first step of a van conversion is to prepare for the van conversion. Preparation. I’ve never been good at it. I just want to write, not generate story ideas and prepare pitches. I just want to climb, not wash sunblock and grime off my climbing rope in a bathtub (and then wash the bathtub and then myself). I just want to run my vacuum in long, satisfying lines, not get down on all fours and scrape my bedroom carpet with my fingernails in an effort to collect the long hairs that clog the vacuum’s brush. I theorize that you become an adult only once you accept that every fun thing in life is preceded by preparation (and followed by even more bullshit, cleaning up). Continue reading “Life is a Long Preparation”