Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things you really need. Minimalists maintain that there are benefits to minimalist living, like reduced anxiety, lower expenses, increased productivity, and living a more fulfilling life. But not all minimalists go so far as to reduce their possessions to live out of a van … for years … intentionally. My guest today is author David Soto Jr. and he is (or maybe was) one of these van life minimalists.
David Soto Jr. is a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant who didn’t realize until reaching his forties that he was a writer. He has contributed to The Good Men Project, Task & Purpose, and Your Tango. His debut novella, “Los Chocolates de Esperanza Diamanté,” has changed the course of his writing career, sparking a series of follow-up books based on the characters he created.
In a future episode we will discuss his literary pursuits, but today I wanted to focus on his extraordinary life to get a better glimpse into the world of minimalism. Is it really as great as some claim it to be? How do van life minimalists, for example, deal with boredom and the potential demons that will inevitably haunt you as you spend hours and hours a day in silence with your own thoughts? How does one become a minimalist? And what kind of person becomes one?
David Soto Jr. and I spoke back in July, and today I share that conversation. Join me as we explore van life minimalism on today’s episode.
The Nasiona Podcast shares stories that explore the spectrum of human experience and glimpse into foreign worlds. We focus on stories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López.
Julián Esteban Torres López is a Colombian-born journalist, publisher, podcaster, and editor. Before founding the nonfiction storytelling organization The Nasiona, he ran several cultural and arts organizations, edited journals and books, was a social justice and public history researcher, wrote a column for Colombia Reports, taught university courses, and managed a history museum. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee and has written two books on social justice. Torres López holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from University of New Hampshire and was a Ph.D. candidate at University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.