#VANLIFE, The Bohemian Social-Media movement

Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive.

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Scroll through the images tagged #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll see plenty of photos that don’t have much to do with vehicles: starry skies, campfires, women in leggings doing yoga by the ocean. Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive. It’s a one-word life-style signifier that has come to evoke a number of contemporary trends: a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.

Vanlife is an aesthetic and a mentality and, people kept telling me, a “movement.” S. Lucas Valdes, the owner of the California-based company GoWesty, a prominent seller of Volkswagen-van parts, compared vanlife today to surfing a couple of decades ago. “So many people identify with the culture, the attire, the mind-set of surfers, but probably only about ten per cent of them surf,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to tap into.”

… We had been in Ventura for two soggy days. Smith described the waves as “garbage,” and, because he chooses where and when the couple travels, he decided that it was time to move on. He had heard about a hot spring in Los Padres National Forest that he was eager to check out, and King wanted to get back to the woods, where the opportunities for content creation were better.