A Maverick Experiment: Help me choose a shirt to wear for 3 months!

I believe utilizing extreme minimalism for a specific amount of time will directly improve personal optimization and result in more fulfilling experiences!

Written by: Daniel Osterman|IG: Dan the van Man

Calling All Mavericks:

What color and type of shirt do you find to be most neutral? What do you never notice….

Here’s the deal…I plan to wear just 3 shirts for the duration of 3 months — from start through completion. I work as a Barista 7 days a week so people will definitely notice, but that’s not the point.

I’m downsizing!

I just tore everything out of the van and am building out my micro home on wheels. Yesterday marked 11 months of vandwelling but I feel like I’m just getting started.

I have HUGE aspirations to travel the world…I want to circumnavigate the globe…and the opportunity floats in the San Francisco Bay only 9 months in front of me. A year ago I left Michigan in a Van I’d built with my brother, Makwa Bear, and drove 2,500 miles to Mill Valley, California.

I left with an unshakeable will and although I didn’t know what I wanted for my life I knew exactly what I didn’t want!

As a boy I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up; I remember idolizing Emmitt Smith and planning to be another Dallas Cowboys star running back; in 3rd grade I wanted to be a “drywaller” just like my dad — and even today I dream of soaring into space.

I’m convinced one day we’re going to wake up to the news that some dude has been floating through space for “x” amount of years — just saying, whether it’s tomorrow or 70 years from today…I can feel it.

And if not…maybe I’ll volunteer my services.

I remember my dreams from childhood but also feel the pressure society throws at us overtime, creating the culture we have today. I have a lot of questions but how I want to spend my time is no longer one of them.

I cherish experiences and moments over anything given…it doesn’t matter how shiny or fast it is.

I get that there are benefits from having things because they are ingrained in some of the experiences I enjoy, but they also bring forth baggage I’ve found weigh-down my life in un-affirming ways! My life is a living process of trial and error! In many ways I view my life as a social experiment where I’m constantly testing new theories, gaining new insights, and striving to grow. I’m a curious soul yearning to share! I view myself as an open book wanting to share what I find because our journeys are navigated through perspective. I want to continually grow in perspective and share my experiences.

Does this make me homeless?

My current theory is “things” are taking away from my ability to raise my standard to a new level toward optimizing my life; I believe by owning the absolute minimum in personal belongings it will also help improve my writing; vastly accelerate my growth potential toward financial freedom and ability to travel the globe; as well as turn my already colorful view of existence into a much more full bodied and vibrant snapshot of life.

I want to wake up every morning in the van ready to walk into whatever adventure the day has in store for me. I want to create and I want to explore. “Things” tie me down and keep my OCD personality cleaning up around the house rather than outside and in the dirt. I feel most alive outside and in the wild. I want to reconnect to the natural world from where we came — when you step back a moment and think about it all, the lives we’re living are more fantasy than natural — from the buildings we see to the forks we eat with, they are part of the fantasy world in which we’ve created.

I’m not saying it’s bad — I’m just saying we’re a little unbalanced. Let’s go for a walk and step into nature!

People have the freedom to choose happiness and take on a beautiful state at moments notice, but we’re living during a time when no one believes this truth. We are the creators of our story — we are the authors of our book — and we are driving the vehicle we’ve created.

It’s time we take ownership of our lives! No one can make the change but OURSELVES!

I first moved into a van because I knew I didn’t want to join the masses. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew living in a van without rent while working and living in a beautiful area would be the perfect way for me to start from a grassroots mentality, en-route to building a foundation and creating my life.

Looking back on the van with eleven months behind me the path looks more curved than the windy roads atop Mt. Tamalpais—my naively Midwestern personality has taken me into scenarios I probably wouldn’t have went through if I’d know the details; am I grateful—hell yes!

I’ve found my lane and know my mission — I’m planning a round the world trip to interact with the cultures which make up the globe, bringing awareness to mental wellness while inspiring individuals to live a beautiful life. I’m passionate about mental wellness for more reasons than alleviating the sick — it’s more about creating strategies, frameworks, and concepts to help empower individuals to take action toward the dreams they own

But first, we’ve gotta shake off the cobwebs and dig through the bullshit you’ve endured through years of settling in the rat race.

It’s time to free yourself of the burdens of mind and get back to the person your childhood self would be proud to live with.

But only after you tell me your thoughts on my shirt question—although chances are I’ll scoop up 3 identical Hawaiian shirts to wear everyday anyway. I’m just curious and wanted to give you a teaser into an experiment I’m setting out to accomplish.

The idea behind minimalism goes beyond the t-shirts but I wanted to pick your brain while structuring the rest of the plan. I intend to do this for 3 months and am currently using my belief in experiences over things as the core mantra to buildout my van and lifestyle for the road ahead.

Follow my journey to awaken your soul. You and your dreams matter! I want to be your teammate and encourage you to push-on the road less traveled — aside from learning about life by living in a van down by the river you can find me mostly on Instagram!

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