Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 124 > THE REAL WORLD OF #VANLIFE


Anna Cipullo lifts the lid on the realities of spending a dream holiday in a camper van across Canada with an adventure buddy… and a whole load of damp clothing.

As I scroll through the endless reels of glossy photos on social media, the ‘vanlife’ movement is in full effect with hipsters taking to vans for touring and alternative living like the ‘60s are back in fashion. Blogs are awash with perfectly framed images of vintage VWs parked up on beaches with bikiniclad women contentedly performing yoga in the doorways, or parked up in Moab with an Evil Wreckoning hucking off the roof. These glamorous images conjure up aspirations of fun-filled lives free from the constraints of fixed abodes and nine-to-five jobs, with trails forever on your doorstep and jawdropping views at your bedside.

I had stolen a moment to indulge myself in Instagram’s bottomless slide show of inspiration, but the view behind my phone was a much less filtered reality. There I was, sitting in a converted Ford truck with a shed-like caravan on top, sticky plastic seats and turd-coloured veneer cupboards, but at least I was in Canada. My adventure partner looked a little shellshocked after a night parked up in a layby near the Vancouver Island ferry terminal and he was sporting a hairdo inspired by Doc from Back to the Future. There was no bikini yoga here, only shapeless jumpers and the occasional stretch to reach for the porridge oats that had rolled to the back of the corner cupboard yet again. This is #vanlife alright, but not as the media-hungry millennials would have you know it.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Singletrack - 124
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 124
Or 399 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only £ 3.66 per issue
Or 1099 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 3.33 per issue
Or 1999 points

View Issues

About Singletrack

Editorial: The wider we travel, the more narrow our focus… Travel isn’t going to broaden your mind if you keep travelling to the same damn place. Interview: Dan’s Secret Forest Dan Atherton has made his home in a far flung corner of Wales. He’s teaming up with the locals to give you a lot of reasons to make the trip there. Behind The Scenes: Filth Camp Chipps gives a West Coast American a lesson in UK weather. It’s not (just) about the rain. Classic Ride: I Love Wight Dean Hersey escapes the grips of winter by going south to the Isle of Wight. Still Going: Keep Pedalling It’s not a review, it’s a relationship. Hannah’s DMR Vaults have been given some TLC. Interview: Grayson Perry: Bloke On A Bike Hannah finds that fun is in the eye of the beholder – and artist Grayson Perry sees things differently to her. International Adventure: Getting High in Colorado Rich Rothwell is seeing more than stars as he battles altitude sickness and injury through the wilds of Colorado. Bike Test: Rackpacking Antony de Hevenigham checks out three mountain bikes that come ready for the long haul. Bikes with racks, from Mason, Salsa and Trek. Behind The Scenes: Bounce Cycles Barney admits to being a little bit boggled by those who aren’t afraid to look at something and say ‘Give me a minute with this lathe and I’ll make that better for you’. International Adventure: #vanlife, Canada Anna Cipullo finds that the camera might lie, but the smell of mould does not. Pete’s Pros: Joe Barnes Pete Scullion catches up with the enduro racer and van dweller as he moves back to Orange Bikes and starts his own team. Last Word Hannah pushes up a hill just to ride down it again. Sound familiar?