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  • Tice James VanderHeiden

First week of #vanlife


Parked in the festival parking lot.
The Calm before the storm.

It all started about 3 months ago. I bought my van in march and worked on it for about 6 months into summer until I had to move out of my buddy's place. I took it with a heavy heart but the transition was inevitable and was forcing me into a situation where I was learning and living out of my van to get by. It sounds funny but I was mentally prolonging the entire van life as long as possible. Living out of a apartment literally my entire young adulthood I was SUPER comfortable with my everyday art routine. Wake up, dance around drinking coffee, waste more time then needed on the high speed internet and then finally get to work on my van.. day after day.


Finally a end of summer festival came up and I was basically homeless so I told myself, "after this weekend i'm going to live in my van full time." Boy was I in for a treat. Sunny sky's and tons of laughter with my new van life friends came to a screeching halt when Monday came around and reality set it. I was 3.5 hours from my parents (home base) and an hour away from my college town. So i started to warm up the van and head toward my friends in the college town which is Mankato Mn. About 15 mins on the road as a full time van dweller it started to downpour.. I didn't think of it much because I was so exhausted from my crazy weekend that I did what most van dwellers do best.. take naps in Walmart parking lots. As I quickly realized after my accidental 6 hour power nap is that every corner of my van had sprung a leak. not just a little leak, like a lot of water was pouring in the van, getting my drivers seat wet, my bed wet, and not to mention i had a van full of dirty cloths and random shit accumulated from a crazy, dirty festival weekend. As if this wasn't the best way to start a nomadic lifestyle i dont know what is. After basically having a mental meltdown I realized that if this is the worst thing that can happen then the rest of my van adventures here on out should be a god damn cake walk. So I parked the van at a friends pull shed and did my laundry and tried not to give up. After 3 long days of torrential down pour my van was completely dried out and sealed up. I actually used like a ton of silicone because I wanted to triple stamp a double stamp, making damn sure this would never, ever happen again.


Basically after that weekend I got my belongings together, polished up the van and got some affairs in order so when i'm on the road away from amazing friend and family I didn't have to deal with random things that would slow me down like this.. 2000 miles from home.


-Shout out to everyone who helped me these last few months as I got comfortable living and coping with everything that was my van process.. It means a lot more then you think to help me relax as I got situated living in a van full time.. you the real MVPS.


Next up: Does Tice and Big T have what it takes to mentally withstand the wild country side that is the vast rigid landscape of the Pacific northwest.

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