Life is full of endless choices, and society has created an image of what lifestyle is acceptable and what we should strive to attain, down to the clothes we should wear, the jobs we should have, the way we should look, and even the way we should feel. College, family, leisure, friends, vacations, vehicles, diets. The list goes on and on.

Although there are vast differences and choices within the images of life that are catered to us, there are many more options beyond the boundaries that we’re constantly shown each day through television, ads, and the internet. Alternative living is something that’s being explored more and more. You create the life you want, despite the endless stream of “stuff” that is presented to us, telling us the kind of lives we should have down to the most minuscule of details.

Wandering Via Van

Listen to yourself, not the world and what it wants from you. What do you want from you? People are constantly finding new ways to achieve a lifestyle that gives them what they desire most; the freedom of choice itself. The one aspect of freedom that comes to mind the most is travel. People want to see the world, to explore, to experience new cultures and landscapes… But often, so much stands in the way of that kind of freedom. Jobs, debt, payments. It all builds up and manifests a barrier that seems to grow larger the harder you try to overcome it.

Alternative living is the way so many families, couples, and individuals have been able to create the life they want. It’s not impossible to live out the dreams we have, more often than in just a vacation or a fleeting few days away from our normal schedule. But what is normal? It’s an image we’ve been groomed since birth to believe. It’s just a word. Our lives are anything we make them to be, and they can be anything we can imagine. But these lives start at the end of any comfort zones and come with many trials and errors.

Wes and I have chosen to push our limits and take the chance of making mistakes in order to learn from them and recreate our lives from the ground up, so we can truly have what matter the most to us, not what we have been made to believe matters. It comes with choices that feel scary because they’re not the ones we’ve been told since we were children. It’s not the life that society has given us a step by step path to create, but figuring it out for ourselves is worth the risk. I believe that any amount of risk is worth it, if it’s on the way to finding my true self.

Making a huge life change is not some well kept secret. There are so many ways to connect with people who have successfully changed their own lives… to paying off debt, to seeing the world, to experiencing whatever it is that we always dreamed of, to simply waking up with a smile on our faces because we know we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. There is so much information at our fingertips to help us get on the right path to what is ultimately our own definition of happiness. Escaping the ordinary has become our motto for life. We aren’t interested in living life on anyone else’s terms, and we continuously strive to break way from the norms of society. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s far from impossible. So take that first step, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it’s a step in the right direction.

A step towards unapologetically being yourself.

Stephanie Ann


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