Woman Leaves Family To Be A “Vanlife” Influencer, Demands They Let Her Back In After It Goes Awry
Being a vanlife influencer might seem glamorous from the outside, but the lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Sleeping in a cramped vehicle with limited access to running water and a minimally equipped kitchen is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re young and have no obligations tying you down to a specific location, why not enjoy the ride?
One woman even decided that it would be worth it to abandon her spouse and children to pursue a life on the road, but now, she might be realizing how many bridges she burned. Below, you’ll find a post that her ex recently shared on the “Am I the [Jerk]?” subreddit, detailing why they won’t allow her to stay in her former home.
This parent’s ex-wife abandoned their family a few years ago to become a “vanlife” influencer
Image credits: evablanco (not the actual photo)
Now, she doesn’t understand why she can’t stay in her former home while her van is being repaired
Image credits: qurlson (not the actual photo)
Image source: Background-Rise958
The “vanlife” trend has become increasingly popular in recent years, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy
Image credits: Geoffroy Hauwen (not the actual photo)
The idea of traveling around the country while living in a van is nothing new, but it has become increasingly trendy over the past few years, with social media causing “vanlifers” to become incredibly popular. Searching #vanlife on any social media platform will bring a flood of photos of stunning young couples and solo travelers with their vans parked amongst gorgeous scenery, seeming to have the time of their lives visiting different national parks and beaches every week.
The lifestyle no doubt looks exciting and might be particularly intriguing for a parent of two young children who may feel like their life is suddenly on hold as they’ve become a caretaker. But traveling around in a van is not always sustainable, especially without the ability to keep a full-time job and without enough connections to survive off brand partnerships. Like all influencers, many vanlifers make a living by sharing sponsored content and posting ads for their many followers.
It can be very challenging to gain a following on social media, however, and when there are already hundreds of others competing to share the same content, it will never be easy to make an impact. Not to mention the practical challenges of maintaining and living in a van, such as keeping the vehicle and yourself clean, finding free places to camp, having to spend so much time on the road, dealing with unexpected vehicle issues, dealing with unpredictable weather, and having to leave friends and family members.
Fathers abandon their families more often than mothers, but the result is the same impact on their children
Image credits: Liza Summer (not the actual photo)
In this particular case, it’s not all about living in a van. It’s also about the fact that this woman abandoned her family. When we imagine a parent leaving their spouse and children, we often picture fathers deciding to pick up and leave. Apparently, 10.3% of all dads in the UK don’t even live with their children. But moms are just as capable of becoming estranged from their families, even if it happens less often.
Single fathers make up 20% of all single parent households in the United States, and there are 2.4 million mothers in the US who don’t have custody of their children. And while it’s always painful for a child to have to accept that one parent will no longer be in the picture, moms tend to be judged much more harshly than fathers for choosing to leave their families.
On the brightside, however, many experts believe that it’s better for children to accept that one parent is absent than for the parent to be around yet neglectful or abusive. And children raised in a single-father home fare just as well as those raised in a single-mother household. But that doesn’t make it any easier for their wounds of losing a parent to heal.
Losing a parent can be confusing and traumatic for kids
Image credits: Pixabay (not the actual photo)
Whether it’s due to divorce or one parent abandoning the entire family, seeing parents separate can be extremely painful and confusing for children. According to one study examining how divorce disrupts the lives of Canadian families, children are likely to regress, display anxiety and depressive symptoms, become more irritable, become demanding and noncompliant, and experience troubles in social relationships and school performance following the separation of their parents.
Meri Wallace, LCSW, writes for Psychology Today that children often feel like they’ve lost a sense of self when they lose a parent, leaving them with trauma that they can carry for the rest of their lives. They can even blame themselves for their parent’s decision to leave, which can cause constant pain or depression and lead to trust issues in future relationships.
Clearly, the parent in this story was simply trying to protect their children and do what they felt was right, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy decision. We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this parent made the right choice? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing similar themes, we recommend checking out one discussing a teen whose parents suddenly decided to reappear after being gone for 7 years.