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These Little Corners: Van Life & Versatility with Tori Hall
We are surrounded by exceptional humans who create beautiful things (yourself included). “These Little Corners” highlights beautiful areas of their home, and a glimpse into the life of those who created them.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do!
I’m a psychology researcher + yoga teacher enjoying bits and pieces of the open road!
I moved into a self-built camper van two years ago with my partner. We headed out west for some off-grid adventures before heading back to Ottawa.
Working primarily from the van allows me to explore this side of the country in all its sweet glory.
Q: What led you to choose the van life?
Since I was 18, I had a dream of road-tripping across the country in a van. The idea of having everything you own with you and realizing how little you need in order to be happy, really resonated with me. A small space with no internet gets me outside and connected more than ever!
When I do need to be in the city for work, I love that I can choose where I wake up - in front of my favourite cafe, down the street from a friend, or in one of the many hiking trails parking lots.
It’s easy to dream up the ideal life, but knowing what is worth suffering for in order to get that dream is a bigger question. Every time I catch myself complaining about living in a van, I laugh and remember all the freedom I have.
Q: What do you have to consider for your space/what you look for in your purchases?
I like to look for products that are multi-purpose and reduce my carbon footprint. My footprint is small but I like to offset the fuel that I explore with, by purchasing long-lasting, versatile, eco friendly products!
The van gets me outside more often than not, so having quality products that can withstand the elements are a huge plus. Blankets that can be brought to a park and then thrown on the bed might sound gross, but it’s the reality of limited storage space!
Q: What do you love most about your space?
Opening the van doors in the morning with a cup of coffee + realizing that while the space is small, I have many backyards: a beach, trail, campsite, ski hill, or Wal-Mart parking lot.
My favourite part of the van itself, is that I only have enough space to keep things that matter. If it doesn’t bring me joy or serve an important purpose, you won’t find it here.
When I open my eyes in the morning, I’m surrounded by my version of sublime: cedar walls, cozy blankets, good food, and gear that makes life outside a life worth living.
Q: What’s your fave Poko product for van life and why?
Turkish Towels - hands down, for so many reasons! These towels pack so much smaller than any regular bath towel making them easy to store and bring to my next shower. They also repel sand from the beach beautifully so I limit the amount of sand I drag into my living space. In the colder months they are rad scarves!
But also…the Tree Throw. It’s got that nature vibe and makes the nest even toastier when it's chilly.
Q: Do you have any resources and helpful tips for anyone who might be considering a similar lifestyle change?
Get busy living your life - not planning it. While there may be a lot of risk to changing your lifestyle, the rewards and experiences are endless. You will figure it all out along the way. You’ll have to.
Did I mention multi-purpose products? They make the move to a smaller space exciting, rather than daunting. Turkish towels, eco-friendly veggie bags that can double as a laundry bag to protect your sweet goodies in a sketchy laundromat, timeless clothing that lasts and can be used in a variety of situations.
If you’re thinking of living in a mobile home, my favourite tool to help me find safe and fun places to park (for the day or overnight) is iOverlander.
Written by Tori Hall, Psychology Researcher & Yoga Instructor
In the past year, Tori has put all of her love and efforts into her offerings as a mental health and yoga teacher. She teaches weekly classes at Yogatown in Ottawa and runs series-based classes where she dives into the psychology and philosophy of yoga. You can find her at www.thrivewithtori.ca and @torisnature_ on Instagram!