Life as Inbetweeners

As we've traveled through life's journey, both before and after we became Vagabloggers, we've been called many things. We've been placed into many social genres and have been identified as being part of many particular cliques. Some of the labels placed on us have been: Rock Climbers, Hippies, Vegetarians, Van Dwellers, Couch Surfers, Coffee Geeks, Drifters and just plain Weirdos. Funny thing is, almost all of these labels have been applied by those outside of these social circles. If you asked the people inside these circles, invariably most of them would reply "They're cool, but they're not one of us."

Recently, this paradox has made itself all-the-more clear while we've been camped out at Miguel's Pizza in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. You see, Miguel's is a legendary "climbers only" hangout and campground smack in the middle of the Eastern United States' climbing Mecca. As we've spent the last several days here, we've come to realize something... Maybe we're not "climbers" after all.. It seems to be appropriately labeled as a climber, one must allow their entire lives and thought patterns to revolve around the sport. We've been climbing for just over a year now and during the past year, have fallen madly in love with the sport. We've been labeled as climbers by both others who's paths we've crossed and by ourselves. That is until now.

While we do love climbing and seek it out whenever/wherever possible, we've allowed other things into our lives and can certainly say that this journey we're on is not just a "big climbing trip". Well, to not label our journey as such and still consider ourselves to be real climbers, we've learned, is blasphemy. All-in-all, after interacting with and being amongst climbing's purists, it seems we just don't fit in to this group.

We've also been labeled (by others and ourselves) as Van Dwellers. In all reality... we are. We live in a van. This is true. But we certainly don't live in a van the way others do or would have us do. We're minimalists. And after being camped out for several days amongst many other van dwellers, this has become abundantly clear.

Van dwellers are a funny bunch. We've discovered that it's particularly common for them to take painstaking efforts to make one's "van home" feel as much like home as possible. This includes, but is not limited to: building custom shelving and/or storage compartments, stripping seats and creating custom sleeping spaces, devising elaborate stove and kitchen and food refrigeration setups for eating, rigging custom air conditioning and/or air flow devices and so on. Please understand, we don't feel that there is anything particularly wrong with these methods, it's just not the way we do it. Over the past 6 months of van living, our "customizations" are as follows: flip middle seat backwards (no custom bracketry, it was meant to do that), black out back windows and hang curtain for privacy and light blocking, purchase $9 clip-on cigarette lighter fan. That's it. Because of our minimalistic approach, when other van dwellers want to see our "setup", they inevitably find themselves disappointed with our lack of customizations and we are then stripped of our title by these van dwelling purists.

If you were to examine our roles in the various groups we "belong" in, you'd again find scenarios that are very similar to the two examples given above.  So at this point it seems we're forever destined to wander the globe as people who are, but aren't. Undefined. Shifting into and out of various social circles along our way. After all, if we hadn't embraced the idea of going against the societal grain, we would have never been able to begin this journey in the first place. So here's to not fitting in and embracing this life of wandering the road as "Inbetweeners"....

Do you share our plight? Just want to share thoughts of your own? We wanna hear from you! Add your take in the comments below.

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