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Vince Van Go! Aspiring Actor Embraces Van Dwelling Lifestyle

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What would you do to make your dreams reality? Are you willing to do the complete opposite of everybody else to build your dream lifestyle?

For the last year Vince has been living in his van in the sprawling city of Los Angeles. In his blog, Vince Van Go, he shares his true-life experiences while van dwelling in the city. When we first heard of Vince we were curious. So we asked him, “why did you start living out of a van? How has his life changed since doing it? And now that it’s been a year, what’s the rest of the plan look like? Have the benefits of living in a van been worth the challenges? And do you recommend this lifestyle to others who also want to pursue their dreams?” All of these questions, and more, are answered in the interview with Vince Van Go-Go below.

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Vince Van Go! Aspiring Actor Embraces Van Dwelling Lifestyle

Vince Van Go

Please enjoy our exclusive interview with Vince Van Go below:

Why did you decide to start living out of a van?

There are many different reasons that I moved into my van, but, at the end of the day, the decision was based on the fact that I was not happy with where my life was at.

I didn’t have a car at the time and I found myself in a very lackadaisical situation. Sitting around my apartment in my underwear, waiting for something to happen.

Watching my roommate work and pursue her dream of directing. I was in a funk. It was brought on entirely by myself, alone, and I wanted to change it.

The only thing I could think of to reverse my situation was to reduce the amount of expenses that I had. I didn’t want to work 40+ hours a week in order to save up enough to buy a car. That would kill my time to pursue my acting, so reducing expenditures was the best way I could go.

I moved out of the apartment and onto a friend’s couch for 2 months and saved up. I found a 1979 Chevy G-20 and decided that was the best one for me. It was old enough that it would be fairly easy to keep up. Simple repairs and replacements.

Aspiring Actor Who Is Van Dwelling

How has your life changed since downsizing into the van?

The simplest way I can put it is this: I have never been as happy in my life. I have tons of time to audition and to write, hence the blog. I also have been able to really search myself and soul. It’s made me stronger in so many capacities. And my love life has never been better!

You have been doing this for a year now. How long do you plan on living like this?

My plan is to live in the van until I’m a working actor and can afford a place on my own. It’s a deal with myself. I don’t want to live in a van forever, so it keeps me on track to make a career out of acting.

What are some of the benefits and challenges of this lifestyle?

I think I touched on the benefits, but to go further: living in the van has opened my eyes to so many things within myself and within the world. I am astoundingly more self-reliant than I have ever been and more confident, as well.

Just reading some of my blog entries, one will see the trials and tribulations I have endured. Yet, I never cease to see the silver lining.

I appreciate life way more than ever before. In Los Angeles, I see people on a daily basis living out of their cars and on the streets. I am face to face with some of these people.

neighboring van dweller

Some are like me, just trying to get their life together. Another way to put it, they made a choice. Some, however, did not have a choice to make. And that can be heartbreaking.

But, I can tell you another thing about my experience…I have become tougher. Tougher in life and that is not such a bad thing.

I still feel empathy for others, more than ever. But I have learned that life can be simultaneously beautiful and ugly.

In a way, I have learned to embrace the ugly whereas before I ran away from it.

I think I mentioned some of the other benefits: lots of time to pursue what I truly want to do with my life, self-reliance, appreciation for the world around me, appreciation for people.

Oh, and I have never been in better shape. Living in the my van keeps me outside and I find myself exercising in the park on a regular basis.

Great tan and a nice body! Well, I’m getting there;)

As far as challenges go, I’d say the weather might be the biggest. Summer in Los Angeles can be mighty cruel and my van does not have AC. Nor does it have a heater, so the winter isn’t all that great either. But I make do. I stay parked in shade when I can find it and, during the winter, I wear double long-johns and wrap up at night. It sounds worse than it is. Most people ask about where I shower and use the restroom. I have a gym membership at a 24-Hour Fitness and that takes care of those needs.

Would you recommend it to others?

The only thing I can say to others that might be thinking about taking this path is: Do your research and don’t think yourself out of it. It may seem crazy to others, but if you have the means to do it, do it. Believe in yourself that you can do it and you will. Most importantly, be open to change and to whatever the world offers. That’s what will make your experience truly life-changing. Oh, and find a good place to park!

Aspiring Actor Who Is Van Dwelling2

Learn more: http://vanvincego.blogspot.com/

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Kelly Libert
    August 26, 2015, 7:01 pm

    Wow. You are very angry, Lucian.
    Could you please show me examples of your tiny house and tiny house blog where you have done a better job of it?
    I would love to understand your perspective.
    Yes, the guy is a stereotypical out of work actor. In NYC we called them “waiters” or “waitress”. 😉 But, you can’t fault someone for following their dream. It is really none of your business what he does with his life. I wish him luck.

    • Sabine
      August 26, 2015, 11:29 pm

      Beautifully stated, Kelly.

    • Vince Van Go
      September 7, 2015, 2:52 pm

      Thanks, Kelly!

  • Angela
    August 27, 2015, 2:31 am

    I am constantly amazed at the number of bitter, judgmental and whiny comments people make on these articles. The tiny house movement is starting to feel like an elitist, group of self-centered folks who pretend they have made some grand contribution to the world by living in tiny homes that absolutely don’t go above the “tiny” category (as if “small” isn’t a significant improvement for so many!) pointing the finger at those who own too much, or own too little. Stop being complainers and start being encouragers. It’s pretty hard to persuade others to do do/join something if they are constantly feeling judged. I have no plans of living in a van, so it doesn’t Apply to me, but sheesh!

    • Angela
      August 27, 2015, 3:10 pm

      I wish I could edit this comment. I was half asleep and sounded way more agitated than I should have! I just meant to say that the judgmental tone of so many comments I read go totally against the heart of the concept of going tiny or small for at least many of the people doing it, and it would be so much more inspirational to be encouraging rather than hateful. People point fingers if a tiny house is too fancy or not tiny enough, and the people point fingers if the tiny house is not “house” enough, or not nice enough. I am not sure I consider living out of a van to be the same as tiny house living, and it certainly isn’t the kind of thing I am personally scoping out this newsletter for, but we don’t have to be so snobby about the gentleman living in the van, or so snide to the people bringing these newsletters to us. If you have the time to do your own newsletter, go for it. But whining about the posts just seems so grouchy and uninviting…and doesn’t do much to make the concept of living small all to appealing to those of us that are considering it. Hope that sounds more constructive than my half-asleep response. :-/

  • SJ
    August 27, 2015, 2:53 am

    If you don’t like the article then leave and peacefully. I for one would not like to see this blog disappear. I get too much inspiration from it to see it go simply because of the actions of some blowhard who can’t be nice. Keep up the good work Alex.

  • Elle
    August 27, 2015, 4:32 pm

    You succeeded in denigrating a wonderful newsletter, both if it’s hosts, those who read it, an entire nation and a man (Vince) you’ve never met who sounds focused, determined, resourceful more intelligent than you could ever hope to be. It sounds like he already has more going for him than you’ve ever had in your miserable life. You present yourself as an an angry, hateful, psuedo-intellectual; incapable of original thought and lacking in a vestiage of social acuman or human decency. I’d guess you were horribly abused mentally and emtionally as a child and I suggest seeking help in the psychological community rather than trolling public forums to vent your personal issues. Indeed, perhaps there is a mental health forum that would welcome a confused individual like yourself …or perhaps a hotline you can call.
    As far as ‘dropping in from time to time’, thank you in advance for the warning but please don’t. Your ‘contribution’ is unenlightened, unwelcome and contributes absolutely nothing to the constructive, respectful, insightful and positive spirit of this particular genre.
    I hope you find some peace in your aimless and confrontational life.
    …while Alex doesn’t strike me as violent man I’m guessing that you’re lucky you made your despicable insult to his wife in writing.
    Just sayin…

  • Elle
    August 28, 2015, 1:21 am

    Vince, thank you for sharing your cozy little abode with us. It takes a lot of courage to follow one’s heart and make the difficult sacrifices you’ve made to pursue your dream. I believe it takes a tremendous amount of fortitude and creativity to separate oneself from the security of the herd and refuse to conform to the status quo and in doing so, risk the judgment of those who only wish they had the courage to do so. You’re in good company with the likes of Matthew McConaugh whose chosen TH-RV lifestyle (post fame!) was even featured here in the TH newsletter. No doubt the many celebrities who were living in their cars (Susie Orman, in her van :D) when they started out were mocked and jeered by cowards like Chaput because like you, they ‘had the nerve’ to believe in themselves despite their humble circumstances. Hillary Swank called a car ‘home’ even as she was making the movie (Boys Don’t Cry) that would earn her, her first Oscar and propel her to superstardom. Among others who believed in themselves even while living in cars were Oprah, Danial Craig, Halle Berry, Jim Carry, Sylvestor Stallone, Tyler Perry, Kelly Clarkson, even Charlie Chaplin, and too many others to list here. You all share a critical trait, believing in yourselves. I believe your perserverance will be rewarded and one day we can all say, “hey we ‘met’ this guy when he was living in his van, and look at him now!”. You have a great look of your own but also remind me a bit of 2 gorgeous and successful men; Roy Scheider and Liam Neeson. I wish you all the best in your admirable journey and thank you for inspirational courage.

    • Vince Van Go
      September 7, 2015, 2:50 pm

      Thank you, Elle!

  • Elle
    August 28, 2015, 1:23 am

    …McConaughey … Sorry bout that Matt. 😉

  • Jane on Whidbey
    December 1, 2015, 12:50 pm

    Wow, from the reading here, it looks like I missed the kerfuffle of the posts that are missing. It seems that the anonymity afforded to commenters has led to some very bad manners and beyond, even here. Thanks for removing the obnoxious ones Alex. I do the same for trolls on my Pinterest boards. Delete and block.
    And, thank you for providing a place that any alternative living arrangement is featured. I so enjoy reading of the journeys that the not rich and famous take, because abundant funds are not available to most, and these people are the creative thinkers for the future. That’s the spirit we need.

  • Jane on Whidbey
    December 1, 2015, 12:56 pm

    Vince, I salute you. I wish I had done likewise sooner in my life, but I was chicken. I’m better now, having done something similar later in my career.
    Knowing I wasn’t alone was a comfort to me at the time, and the worry about people judging me was worse than the reality. Pack mentality is the hardest thing to fight in life. Congratulations for finding a clearer path.

  • RozieLand
    February 16, 2016, 3:37 pm

    I really enjoyed this article. Small houses and transportable homes are a great interest of mine. Strongly considering van dwelling as it looks like a lot of adventure. Thanks for Sharing!

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