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Experts share why young professionals are switching to a 'bucket list' lifestyle

This shift is happening due to high interest rates, first-time buyers' mortgages for more than 30 years and high renting costs.

Experts share why young professionals are switching to a 'bucket list' lifestyle
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Jeremy Bishop

Haven't we all dreamt of being able to travel the world, going for a hike in the mountains or wanting to live close to nature? These things have probably lived on our bucket list for a long time, but this might be the right year to pursue them. According to The Independent, young people would be focusing on ticking things off their bucket list and, as they call it, living the "bucket list lifestyle." Joanna Feeley, the founder and CEO of forecasting agency TrendBible, said there will be more people who will switch to a nomad lifestyle in 2024. She added that this shift is happening due to high-interest rates, first-time buyers, having mortgages for more than 30 years and high renting costs. These things have made young people not wait for their retirement or a sabbatical and are ready to fit work around it.

Image Source: Pexels | Batin Ozen
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Batin Ozen

A 22-year-old Tia Forster, when she saw a picture of a van made into a compact living space with modern décor on Pinterest, she just fell in love with the idea. After a lot of research, she decided to convert a van into her mobile home. In 2006, she took her 2006 Mercedes Sprinter and started making changes to it. In a few months, she was ready to travel to coastlines, find hidden waterfalls, and enjoy sunsets in her van while working remotely.

"I've watched endless hours of DIY videos on YouTube and have been researching every night until I fall asleep," she told the outlet. She wants to travel to parts of the UK and some parts of Europe. "It's easy to get caught up in the routine of life, and Van Life is all about stepping out of that comfort zone and seeing something new every day... I just can't wait to explore, travel, and follow the warm weather," Forster said.

Image Source: Pexels | Alex Azabache
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Alex Azabache

Feeley said that most GenZ are looking forward to the nomadic life, focusing on their adventure goals. "Whilst not everyone is going to take off in a camper van around the world, #vanlife searches have increased 216 percent since 2018," she said. "And there is evidence of a trickledown effect of people living more purposefully and going after their dreams." Moreover, the young generation wants a better work-life balance, unlike their parent's generation. She added, "Lots of data shows that Gen Z and younger millennials are very purpose-driven and that they're looking for careers that are flexible and not something they will want to give up."

The pandemic paved the way for flexible working and the number of digital nomads has increased. Feeley said that more companies are realizing the advantages of providing flexible working to their employees. It is said that the global number of digital nomads will go up to 40 million this year and increase to 60 million by 2030.

Designers Edden Ram and Nicola Suna, owners of the US-based company Ananda Living Experiences, had an opportunity to work with a professional van builder. According to Ram, social media glorifies all aspects of life, and "it's no different in the van life movement." He said that the reality is quite challenging, from disposing of feces to fixing the water system to driving for hours to reach a place where they can park overnight. He added that many people could make decisions that they regret. He said, "I recommend everyone to experiment short-term with living on the road before deciding to jump into Van Life and invest large sums or make huge life decisions."

Image Source: Pexels | PNW Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | PNW Production

Monica Humpries shared about her experience living in a rented van for two weeks. She shared with Business Insider, "I saw how small charges could quickly add up if I ever decided to live in a van full time," she wrote. She had to somedays pay $60 for parking and on other days, she found places that allowed free parking. "In two weeks, I spent a little more than $400 on eating out—more than I would in my everyday life, and more than I thought I'd spend while living in an RV," Humpries added. She talked about how she ended up paying $170 more than she had planned for gas.

Also, she relied on RV parks and gyms for toilet and shower. "To save money, I just avoided showering. For the 13-day trip, I took three showers. One was included in my RV-park stay, the second was my free Planet Fitness shower, and the third was the $10 Joshua Tree RV-park shower," she wrote. "But I could easily see how these hidden costs could result in hundreds — if not thousands—of dollars if I took on the lifestyle full time."

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