You Meet the Nicest People In a Van Life

The saying used to be “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” And it’s true — I’ve made some great friends while riding my previous Honda motorcycles. Last night had nothing to do with bikes, though, and was all about the van.

We had a short, pleasant drive to Chattanooga, Tennessee. For the first time in weeks, I was actually enjoying the roads I was driving. They’ve been perfectly fine throughout Florida and Georgia, but flat, straight, and fast isn’t particularly interesting or fun to drive. As we approached the Tennessee border, the roads got more hilly and twisty, to the point where they were engaging me in ways I haven’t experienced since the go-kart track in Bushnell. We rolled into Chattanooga and had dinner at a Dos Bros across the street from the Bass Pro Shop where we spent the night.

Precision parking.

This was an excellent place to spend the night. It’s fairly quiet. A gentle breeze keeps things cooled off nicely. It’s a low-traffic area. Lister loved the grassy areas, as well as the concrete curbs that were cooler than the pavement. The police pass through and don’t bother you at all. Best of all, the TopGolf across the field has open WiFi with maximum signal strength. Hook up your devices and stream Netflix or Prime Video all night.

That was exactly our plan after a beautiful sunset. Plans changed, though, when an employee leaving work stopped to ask where we got our Star Wars windshield sun blocker. We got talking, and continued for hours. It turns out he’s not only a fellow nerd like us, but also an aspiring van lifer, with dreams of building a place where people like us can park and work on our vans with the help of onsite mechanics, woodworkers, electricians, etc. Clearly we had a lot to talk about, and so we did. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping in touch. If this becomes a reality, we’ll tell you all about it.

One aspect of van life I’m enjoying a lot that I didn’t expect to is the people you meet. Sure, I know Vancity Vanlife has talked about this a lot, but it’s not just for YouTube videos. It’s true. You meet fascinating people out here, just by living the life we do. I was looking forward to the movie I’d lined up for us to watch, but I’m not the slightest bit upset that we spent the night chatting with Stephen instead.

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