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Ditch the Office, Dude—the #VanLife Commune Is Calling

If you’ve got a strong case of wanderlust (and disposable income), Kift’s Silicon Valley-style RV park subscriptions mash up Airbnb, WeWork, and co-living on wheels.

relates to Ditch the Office, Dude—the #VanLife Commune Is Calling
Illustration: Jinhwa Jan for Bloomberg Businessweek

I arrived at the van-life commune just in time for the group sound meditation. The other 20 or so other meditators—mostly committed van dwellers, plus a few van-curious visiting for the day—had already splayed out in eyes-closed Savasanas on the concrete patio, so I was greeted, shushed, and directed to a blanket in the corner. It was 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday in Joshua Tree, Calif., a 15-minute drive from the national park full of its namesake anthropomorphic yucca, and the warm desert wind was flapping a shade sail and dusting our faces with sand.

Our host told us to picture a glowing ball of golden light traveling through our bodies, then spent the next hour sounding a small army of bells, chimes, and crystal bowls. Two free-range pet dogs snuffed around, while a third snored through somebody’s cellphone alarm. When the final bell stopped ringing, everyone migrated inside the property’s two-bedroom house, which had a reasonably swanky kitchen, to cook dinner together. We all held hands around the dinner table and gave thanks for the spread: grilled bell peppers, gluten-free pasta, sunflower-seed-based sauces. Then, at night, the house went dark. The residents ambled outside to sleep in their individual vans, which were parked in a loose circle, like a cluster of covered wagons on the Oregon Trail.