When Van Life practitioners speak of living out of their VW Westfalias, custom Sprinters, or converted school buses, they do so in reverent terms, as if they’ve achieved a sort of nirvana on black- top. The realities, of course, are much less sub- lime, full of breakdowns, showers in Starbucks bathrooms, and more than a few nights in Walmart parking lots (the rare guarantee of free overnight camping). And yet the dream still has plenty of romantic appeal. Van Life, a new book from photographer Foster Huntington, one of the original Van Lifers (his Instagram and Tumblr accounts helped kick off the craze), will no doubt provoke a heavy dose of wanderlust in readers. Full of retro vans parked gratuitously in dreamy locations — in California’s redwood forests, atop Bolivia’s salt flats, underneath Alaska’s northern lights — Van Life is, more or less, a photographic ode to the ve- hicles that make this way of life possible. There are Q&As with the owners, but it really is all about the vans, an American Muscle calendar for vagabonds. And for those of us still saddled with office jobs, mortgages, furniture — all of life’s stuff — the book is a welcome addition to the living room. It’s armchair inspiration, a heavy dose of vicarious freedom at your fingertips, and you’ll never have to worry about fixing a blown gasket. Take a peek inside at some of the stunning images that will make you want to pack up and hit the open road.
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