(NewsNation Now) – The so-called ‘van life’ gained momentum during the pandemic, when people packed their lives and hit the road for freedom, nature and fresh air. For some, it is seen as a referendum on materialism and the status quo.
The minimalist lifestyle is now being talked about across the country in the wake of the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie affair.
Six months ago Quin Gable, 29, quit his corporate job and turned a van into a nomad with his two cats.
âYou can do what you want, where you want,â Gable said. âYou can choose to be with like-minded people; you can choose to be with people who may be putting you outside your comfort zone.
Gable, now a brand ambassador, is part of the growing trend: people who can work remotely and see the country’s natural wonders. While there aren’t exact numbers on how many people choose to live in their vans, there have been over 2.1 billion TikTok views under the hashtag #vanlife.
âWe kind of follow each other all over the state or the national parks, or by myself, you know, on my own, going from place to place,â Gable said.
Gable focuses on teaching others, especially women, how to live her lifestyle safely.
âI will text my family my contact details every night,â she said. “I also have a GPS satellite phone, which allows me to breathe so that there is an SOS button, I can send text messages outside of the service.”
For her and her lifers, Gabby Petito has been a priority. Gable said she was now traveling in a trailer, instead of being alone.
âIt really hurts my heart that this happened to Gabby. I don’t think van life is to blame for that or for the safety of van life, âGable said.
Yet the enchantment of America’s natural wonders and a life without constructions or constraints continue to draw Gable and others.
She said she didn’t see herself living in an apartment anytime soon.
âI don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow,â she said. âI would say a few years, I love it. It really pushes you to grow as a human and what I love about the van living community is that everyone is incredibly self-aware.
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