Van Life with Chaz Powell

I’ve been travelling the world now for around 16 years, and the more I’ve travelled and explored, the further I’ve pushed myself into wilder and more remote areas. My most recent journeys have mainly consisted of walking the length of some of Africa’s wildest rivers: The Zambezi, The Gambia and The Mangoky.

When I return to the UK from my explorations, I find myself gravitating towards a simple life in my van, which enables me to sleep and wake up, immersed in nature; pine fragranced, cool air surrounded by forest trees, the flow of the streaming rivers, tranquil lakes that catch the stars in reflections. Wild places beyond our wildest imagination. The lifestyle that I’ve created allows me to continue living in a nomadic and exciting way, whilst also enjoying the freedom to continue planning further expeditions and living a fulfilled life of adventure and exploration.

I find myself deeply enjoying living this way, having the freedom to explore and spending as much time in nature as my heart can muster; unattached to places and yet capturing their beauty through deep appreciation. It draws me closer to becoming more comfortable within myself and what it takes for me to truly feel human in the beautiful natural parts of the planet. My closeness with nature gives me the clarity to observe my mind. It amazes me how the deeper I resonate with nature, the deeper I appreciate my own nature.

Van life is a life of pure freedom. A release from the stresses and strains of a modern “norm” and “acceptable” society. It’s a way of life that frees us from the bounds of paying excessive bills, being tied to a place or becoming restricted with the place we can call home, rather that seeing home as the very presence of our existence. The freedom I feel from being able to roam around and spend more time in nature and be amongst the wilder parts of the world allows me to feel more deeply as my true self.

This life on the open road has taken me to some of the most magnificent of places and, most recently, it inspired me to drive along the magnificent coastline of Scotland’s North Coast 500. A route that ticks all the boxes for living amongst nature and seeing the true beauty that van life has to offer. It inspired me to continue living this dream lifestyle choice while venturing further into more natural and unique parts of the planet .

One of the greatest gifts of living in a van and being outdoors is how healthy it is for my mental well-being. I am grateful for the opportunity of being in tune with my true nature and, simultaneously, the one that surrounds me. I feel more grounded than ever on this unique planet. Grounded, yet free. I realized that home is everywhere I am. It is who I am. I plan on living this lifestyle for many more years to come, pushing ever-more towards an ever-growing nomadic and adventurous way of life.


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