What Vanlife Taught Me About My Body

Hi guys! Morgan is back today! Enjoy.

The day after I finished all my hours for my dietetic internship (#PRAISEJESUS), I jetted off to Salt Lake City, Utah. One of my best college friends (who also completed her internship but decided against becoming an RD) works as a wilderness therapy guide and lives full-time in a van. Yes, you read that correctly – A VAN. A Ford E250 that she ripped apart and renovated into a cozy paradise that allows her to live freely.

I am beyond thankful that she let me be her roommate for five days as we tried to adventure to Denver (where another one of my soon-to-be RD friends lives!). On our first day, we were driving through the snow-covered mountains in Price, Utah. I told Julie that whenever she felt safe to stop so I could take some pics, I would be so grateful. We pulled over to get an incredible view of the mountains and there was some extra space on the side of the road covered in snow. And let me tell you – this Texas gal gets PUMPED when I can spend some time in snow.

I knew I wanted a picture of myself because #letsbereal, who doesn’t want a picture in snowy mountains? But then I realized that I hadn’t changed out of my pajamas and I was feeling extra confident so I pulled out a black crop top and olive green jacket.

I flashed back to a few days before when my friend Blair and I were in Target and we both tried on (and bought) a crop top. I asked her “where the heck am I ever going to wear a black crop top?” but it was too cute to pass up on. That’s how Target gets you, man. It ended up in my suitcase because I love packing clothes that I just bought – opening up my suitcase is like opening up a present when I get to a new place. And I ended up throwing it on when I wanted pics on the side of the mountain. It was such an impulse decision, but one I’m so thankful I made.

Later that afternoon, I opened up my laptop to edit the pictures and had a mini panic sesh when I remembered that I would be editing pictures of me. In a crop top. That was tight. And my stomach was showing. But those thoughts passed incredibly quickly when I reminded myself that this is the body that I’ve had so much personal growth in the past few years. The body that would allow me to complete a 4 mile hike in Moab National Park. The body that would allow me to repel down two canyons on that hike. The body that I got to fly and explore and swim and climb mountains in. The body I should be so proud of because I’ve been fueling it properly and honoring my cravings and hunger and fullness. The body that I have learned to trust would be the size it needed to be in order for me to live the most fulfilling life I ever imagined.

As I sat in McDonald’s (the only place we could find with WiFi), I think back to all the work I put in to get to this place mentally. I think of all the shame I had when I was younger and all the confidence I have now. While accepting this body doesn’t necessarily mean I LOVE this body every moment of every day, it means that I no longer have to seek others’ approval of this body that I love to call home.

Other Things Vanlife Taught Me:

  1. I can easily go 5 days without showering. Like whaaaa? As my friend Julie puts it, you just kind of forget about how you smell when everyone around you smells the same way haha.
  2. The thing I missed the most about a “real” home (and really the only thing I missed at all) was washing my face everyday – her van didn’t have any water system built into it.
  3. Our world is freaking BEAUTIFUL. Holy smokes I had never been to Utah before and it was absolutely amazing driving through all the national parks and seeing landscape that is foreign to this Texan.
  4. Driving that much allows some really great and honest conversations to happen and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

Have you ever heard of someone living in a van? Would you ever be able to live in a van full time?

I stumbled upon people on Instagram and always was in awe of their life. Then Julie told me she was building out a van and I got SO PUMPED because I knew I’d get to spend time in it. It was absolutely awesome. And while I definitely would love the van life for road trips with friends, I don’t think I’m cut out to do it full time. This awesome couple I just ran across actually runs their online business out of a solar powered Sprinter van, like what?! Okay, okay… maybe I could do it and travel the world with my own little company ;)

PS: Have no clue who I am? Well, it’s so great to meet you! You can read more about me here :)


  1. Sadly, I think the main things I’d not like about living in a van is the lack of wifi! LOL

    The pics look great – you look cool and confident, and for an outfit you just threw together, it looks super good!

  2. Vacation is the best opportunity to focus on what your body can DO and not how it looks. Moab is perfect and Arches is one of my favorite places. Im glad you found confidence there.

    • YES! I couldn’t agree more. Getting to take a chill pill from the real world and remind ourselves of how awesome our bodies are is the best. I’ll definitely be going back to Moab and Arches again!

  3. Wow! Thanks for your honesty and for sharing this Morgan!

  4. LOVE THIS! Such an interesting post, and I never even THOUGHT about what it would be like to live in a van. I’ll bet you really need to let go of a lot of controlling tendencies to be able to do that. Also, you ROCK that crop top, girl!

    • Yes, absolutely! There is so much unknown like “where am I going to park the van to sleep tonight?” that in my previous years would have freaked me the eff out. But controlling tendencies is a constant work in progress and you just helped me realize how much I’ve grown!

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