Last fall various internet sites picked up a story about a fellow doing a masters degree at Duke University who chose to finance his education by living frugally in a van instead of going into crushing debt (you can read his essay about it here). While I feel kinship with this guy in many ways, I was a little dismayed that he helped promote the stereotype of van life as squalid. He describes unwashed dishes, weird smells, ants invading… I want you all to know, van life doesn’t have to be like that!!!!

Since renovating the interior, I’ve come to really enjoy the time I spend converting the space from its daytime configuration into the nighttime one, and back again. It’s not a quick process; it can take between 20 and 40 minutes, and at first I thought I’d resent that loss of time. But it’s actually become an important ritual that doesn’t just transform the space, it also changes my state of consciousness, getting me ready for the outside world, or ready for sleep. The other benefit is that it means I’m constantly maintaining my space, keeping it organized and clean.

For me one of the key markers of being civilized in the van has always been my sleeping arrangements. It was never enough for me to use a sleeping bag, which would have been more convenient; instead I needed fitted sheets, blankets, pillows… a nest that didn’t just do the job, but would look warm and inviting to anyone.

So now we come to the real reason for my post. Now that summer is sort of almost really almost going to be here soon, flannel sheets and piles of wool blankets just aren’t necessary, and I felt that the bed needed a new character. Yesterday I bought some new sheets and they’re AWESOME!!!! 500 thread count per inch, cool blue and slippery (they also come in a burgundy that perfectly matches the window panels but I didn’t want to overdo the sex-mobile effect, ha ha), not allowed-for in my budget at all but totally, totally worth the cheating. Also swapped the pile of wool blankets for this lovely light soft stripey furry thing and I now have the perfect summer bed, in a van or anywhere. In fact last night it felt so good just to keep moving my legs around that it took me a while to get to sleep!

I can’t wait for bed-time tonight.