Dare to be Different – Part 1

I drove this van to Florida this winter and lived in it for a 12k mile road trip, and it has the battle scars (dents) to prove it. It is an ideal companion for those on a budget who prefer practicality over looks (same thing I tell my girlfriend).

The van with Alaskan plates and gas cans on the roof loomed over Maserati’s and Ferraris of Miami. I felt as out of place as Medusa walking into a Target for a routine grocery run.

I suspect people expected the uncle from Christmas Vacation to pop out of the van, looking for a place to dump sewage. A look of bewilderment fell on people’s faces as I told them I lived in the van. They could not comprehend such a lifestyle choice.

Perhaps their bewilderment stems from blindly following the social norms of a consumerist society filled with social constructs and white-picket fences. Had they ever paused to question what it meant to truly live? Despite their burning curiosities about Alaska, none I met had ever been. I wondered how long that fire inside would dwindle before burning out entirely.

“Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

I am not immune to the winds of society either, but as my road trip drew towards a close, a word I had never once questioned before, suddenly felt foreign: “home”. A somberness overcame me as I thought about returning to a “life” of routine and paychecks.

A naïve, but stubbornly vibrant heart of mine remained back somewhere in the misty mountains of the Yukon. I nearly turned back the way I came, leaving what I have always known. Enough about my adventure…

Here are the keys, what will yours be?


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