Starting van life/ Dealing with parents

I am currently in the process of starting my car dwelling journey. I feel like this is the right year to start and I have even purchased the right gear and materials to start. My parents, particularly my mom thinks otherwise. My mom has always been guided by fear (it runs in her side of the family), she is fighting me any chance she gets and throwing these aggressive comments here and there that really dig deep under my skin.

She will pull up tragic news articles to scare me and will try to guilt trip me.

The thing is, I totally get her concerns (I have a few of my own about car life) but I don’t want to let her fears and worries become my worries and I certainly don’t want to live by her fear.

She sees my desire to leave the house as an act of defiance and against Gods will. I don’t mean any harm by wanting to leave my childhood home, I simply want to be on my own and travel. The desire has only increased as I’m nearing 27.

Has anyone else had to deal with difficult parents?

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I’m kind of a firm believer that if your plan is solid, people will approve.

I left home right out of high school, in a vw camper van, headed for a full time job on the other side of the country. I’m sure my Mom was worried, but since my plan was solid, with backup plans & savings, I got her approval & blessings provided that I promised to call home immediately if I got into trouble, and when I arrived at my destination.

To please her, I always carried emergency contact information, and until she became comfortable that I was safe, I called home once a week. Sometimes we just have to prove that we are making the right decisions.

It’s always hard leaving our family & friends behind, but today it’s easier to stay in touch than ever before. Maybe let people track you via Facebook, a blog, etc. Take them on your adventure with you, so they can live vicariously through you, without leaving the comfort of home. Invite them to join you occasionally. Take a picture of a delicious dinner so they know you’re eating well.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible." ~ Einstein


I’m aged far beyond having problems with parents and I don’t live with any. You have to push forward with what you want to do. You are, after all, 27 not 17 1/2. What @Van_Dweller says about considering the feelings of your mom and maybe giving her a way to contact you on the road is good. However, for your own mental and emotional health, you have to develop and run your own life.

Also, if the difficult treatment from anyone at home is worse than you are letting on and is abusive, you need to get away ASAP. Don’t stay in abusive relationships with family members any more than you would with strangers.

Most parents don’t ever treat their children any differently whether they are 5 or 50. They’ve managed our entire lives from birth, for 18-21 years. That’s a long time to be controlling someone. It’s too hard for most of them to change and it’s difficult for parents to see their children as anything other than children. Once you become legally an adult you deserve to live your own life and live it however you want. I’d say that you’re well into the right to do this.

That’s why I don’t think it’s good for children to live with parents well into adulthood. The children usually feel constricted and restrained. It’s also only fair that grown children live by the rules of the home in which they live. Another thing, when people perceive that you may be dependent upon them, they can always take advantage of you. They can take out their frustrations on you, their weaknesses and their own dissatisfactions about life. As you said, they can continue to press their own fears on you.

It may help you to look up the definitions of aggressiveness and assertiveness. Learn to understand the differences between the two. Learning to become more assertive will greatly help you to accomplish your desires where ever you go.

Note: It took a long time for me to understand that I have to love most of my relatives from afar, if I want to keep the sanity that I have left.


I really like your post. I guess it’s difficult for me because I’ve kinda been a people pleaser in the past and it’s easy for me to compromise my own dreams and desires when I see someone upset. I’m working on not being a pushover. But your absolutely right about adults living with parents and I feel the need to move on from my childhood home.

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It’s normal & healthy for kids to get out on their own, and learn how to fend for themselves. Parents aren’t around forever, and the sooner you can learn to be self sufficient the better.

We’re not young forever either, and working your butt off when you’re young is a lot easier, and the best time to build a firm foundation for your future. I was lucky, my full time job involved traveling the country, but I still put in a lot of 80+ hour weeks, and I never got overtime either. After my first 6-8 months of 80+ hour weeks, I don’t think I ever needed to really worry about money again, until I was forced to retire early.

You have a lot more opportunities than I did, we didn’t have cell phones, laptops, or the internet. Today, you can spend your spare time building additional forms of income, and before you know it, you’ll be free to travel the country or the world, and have the money to actually enjoy it.

It’s no fun struggling to survive, adventures are much more enjoyable when you don’t have money worries. Life isn’t free, and it’s only going to get more expensive, but luckily money is one of the easiest things to get if we put our minds to it. With the internet, we can make big money with a minimal amount of work. Money making websites can make you money while you’re sleeping, or off adventuring. Regular jobs can support you until you get your internet income built, or a regular business that doesn’t require your presence or constant attention. These are called absentee owner businesses. Either way, that’s how you set yourself up for the good life, with a lifetime of income. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be free to really enjoy life.

With the resources available today, if I was starting from scratch, I would get a full time job to take care of my immediate needs, then immediately start building a couple of nearly foolproof absentee owner businesses. Within a few months, I’d be set for life, and never have to work again, while giving others good, above average, living wage jobs. That’s how we’re setting up the disabled & elderly homeless people for life. Within months, they’re making $10k+ per month. There’s a never ending need for a plethora of homeowner & business services, and they’re practically fool proof. People always need lawn care, houses & businesses cleaned, drains unclogged, junk removal, and the list just goes on & on. Businesses also need advertising, which is one of the ones I’m involved with, online only for me. They also need websites constantly built, updated, or repaired. Your manager runs the business, your workers do the work, and you make a percentage of the profits. Many of these can be started with almost zero financial investment.

About a month ago, we started a toilet & drain unclogging service for an elderly homeless lady. The equipment for the first worker was ~$200. (The workers buy & own their own equipment, but the business will supply them in the beginning.) No plumbers license is needed. Already it has expanded to 5 workers and a work from home manager. Each worker is making $75/hr, and the manager is making $20/hr, but she is the manager for 5 separate businesses @ $20/hr each. The old lady made over $5k profit in her first month, after all expenses were paid. The only ongoing business expenses are a $25/mo cell phone, $250/mo insurance, and $40/mo for advertising. No office/shop rental or utilities needed. The workers & manager are self employed contractors to keep things simple. Due to the constantly increasing workload, it will probably double in the next few months to 10 full time workers. A never ending supply of clogged toilets & drains. The service is the lowest priced and fastest responding one in the area. Workers from similar companies are only making $15-$20/hr.

Done right it can be a win/win for everybody involved. The new business owners and many of the workers for these businesses were homeless to begin with, and the businesses are started & funded through an outreach program, then the startup funding is repaid. Anybody could do the same on their own. Here in the twin cities these programs have gotten hundreds of people off the streets and onto their feet again. In this scenario, the new owners are those who are unable to work to support themselves.

Start an online business directory, and let 100’s or 1,000’s of businesses pay you $20/mo to be listed in it. A friend does this and is making $500k/yr just from the businesses in his city, and it’s all fully automated. The opportunities are endless. It’s not that hard to have both money & freedom, nomad or not. Find a need and fill it, and you can be set for life. While we’re taught & expected to be good worker bee’s, following and duplicating the more successful can be a great shortcut to financial freedom.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible." ~ Einstein

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It’s difficult for most of us. Know that many of us do understand. You’ll feel great relief and a new respect for yourself as you grow in asserting yourself and learn to better love others while standing your ground. It gets easier with practice. :blush::+1:t4:

My son is your age. Geez im old.

So, my parenting style is quite different from others. Im hands off. Your life, you have to deal with the consequences of your decisions. Good and bad. I am here to assist. Not dictate your life. Im here if you need me. But I am not going to tell you what to do. What is right for you is for you. Be selfish. Dont forget to love those around you. You come first. You have no business taking care of anyone else if you cant take care of yourself. Your needs come first.
I told this to both my kids. Son will be 27 in September. My daughter turned 18 in February.
I dont know if my words had anything to do with it. Both my kids, no drug and alchohol problems. No cops calling me or showing up on my door. Both graduated. Knock on wood.
Observing other parents and my own parents…some of them have a hard time letting go. Admitting there kids are not kids. They are adults. Some parents are controlling. Some parents use their kids. (I was the second income in my parents home. It was NOT well received when I moved out) I had to actually remove myself from my family and keep them at a distance because they were holding me back.
Theres a difference between leaving the nest to spread your wings and distancing yourself.
My son has been on his own for 2+ yrs. Daughter has a move date in January. I strongly encouraged my kids to move out. Not once told them no. I advised them to stay until they had money saved. That was their choice. Not enforced . And advised them to keep saving. (my advice on saving is even if u save $5 per week and dont touch it, it adds up fast). They both have great jobs. They dont ask for money. Yes, we have helped them, but it was offered by us.
Would I ever let them come back home? Yes. Under the right circumstances. Such as health reasons.

My advice to you…
Your life, live it. Be selfish. Dont forget to love those around you.

I hope all that made sense.