I entered my apartment at 7:00 pm, tired from a long week of work during the day and moving all night. This was it, June 30th, the final day of my Chicago apartment. The mattress and a few odds and ends were the only items left to go. Oh, and I still had to paint the walls back to their original white. Knowing I had a long night ahead of me, I laid down for a quick nap. That’s when I heard it.

Six gunshots echoing off the buildings and up to my window on the 17th floor.

“That’s strange”, I thought to myself. “I’m pretty sure that was a gun. Isn’t this supposed to be the nice part of town?” Regardless, I continued to fall asleep.

About two hours later, I woke up and moved the van around back so I could load it up. As I walked around the building I noticed police cars and ambulances with their lights on about a block away. “What’s going on?” I asked the girl at the front desk as I entered the lobby.

“Someone was shot.”

And that’s how my two year city adventure ended. Turns out there was an argument in the street and a man was shot and killed. It happened right in front of the entrance to the Red Line underground train I rode every morning to work.

On a more positive note, I shared an elevator with three stunning women going out to party at midnight on a weekday. It was a happy, yet sad moment.

How was the first night in the van?

By the time I unloaded everything and set up the bed, it was around 1:30 am. I was wiped out. I found a spot to park and went to sleep. The bed was extremely comfortable, but I was woken up around 6 am by a car that parked right next to me. The sun was coming up, so it was completely bright inside the van. My windows are tinted dark, but you could still see in if you put your face near the glass.

van_interior_pano

It was a very strange feeling, laying under the blankets in my underwear knowing this person might glance in. I can’t imagine what they would think seeing some guy just laying in there. It was at that moment, creating window shades became a top priority.

The strange feeling turns into awe.

I slept extremely well the first few nights in the van. It was a weird feeling going from a nice apartment to a van in some parking lot. But I got used to it pretty quickly. Unless you are possessed, I would imagine you sleep with your eyes closed. So what difference does it make if you’re in a van or a mansion? You can’t see anything!

The next day I toured my new gym (and home) for the first time. Wow, this place was incredible! Three stories tall, full basketball court, indoor and outdoor pool with water slides, spa, salon, restaurant, etc. It was like a miniature city. The bathrooms were straight out of a fancy hotel. I’m talking marble counters, tile floors, towels ready to use, free shaving cream and razors.

Wait, how much does this cost?

$110 a month?! And it’s open 24/7? This can’t be real. You’re telling me I can have access to this amazing facility for only $110 a month? Why in the world was I paying 16 times that amount for my apartment!? Other than a place to sleep, this facility has everything my apartment had but 10 times better.

My first full weekend of Urban Vanning was complete and it felt like a vacation. But there was something bothering me. A question.

Why didn’t I do this ten years ago?!