Even though I’ve been full time in my van over a year now, I feel like I’m just getting started. In the next couple years I would like to get a piece of property with a small cabin to have a place to get off the road at times, but for now I’m happy in my van.
What’s your name?
Where are you currently based?
I’m currently in Southern California. When I’m not on the road I’m usually parked somewhere in San Diego county.
How did you first become inspired by Vanlife?
I wanted to document my travels on my YouTube channel so I resigned from my job of 11 years. That ended my steady income so it became important to save money. I knew I couldn’t afford to travel as I did before so I had to use the resources I had available, which was my car. I started by living/traveling in my car at the end of 2019. I loved the lifestyle so when the pandemic hit, I bought a van and my dad and I converted it during the lockdown.
Do you live in your van full time?
How long have you been living in your van?
I’ve been living full time in my converted Chevy Express van since December 2020. So a little over a year now.
Why did you choose this lifestyle?
I wanted to travel while also staying on a budget. Hotel/Airbnb costs have increased and it’s just not feasible to book rooms every night. Plus the check-in/check-out times are ridiculous. The time you get to stay in the room is getting shorter and shorter. Living in a van, I can park in beautiful locations and come and go as I please.
What do you do for work?
I’m a full time creator on YouTube.
What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had whilst living in your van?
I spent a few days on Jackson Lake Island in Alabama. The island is where the movie “Big Fish” was filmed and the town facade movie set is still there. They also have lots of goats that roam freely around the island and I even saw a goat give birth to a baby goat right behind my van!
What is the most difficult challenge you’ve faced living in your van?
I’ve felt extremely lonely many times while living the nomadic lifestyle. Because I travel so much I haven’t been able to spend much time in person with friends. I decided I had to make this a priority so this year I went to some van life gatherings and made some nomad friends. It’s made a huge difference and I feel more connected now.
What is your favourite product you’ve purchased for your van
There are many but one simple product that makes me smile is the Lil Sucker drink holder. It attaches to a cup or travel mug and suctions to a flat surface. It keeps my water bottle secure on my countertop so it doesn’t spill while I’m driving.
Have you had any negative experiences?
Several! One major issue was my roof leaking. During my van build, my dad and I cut the roof off my van and lifted it to make it a higher top. I got on the road and at the first rain storm my roof leaked all over my mattress. I tried several different solutions and none worked so this issue went on for a couple months. Finally I had to seal my whole roof with roof sealant and that resolved it.
Have you saved money by living in a van?
Yes! Since I’m not spending money on a mortgage or a car payment I’ve been able to put money into my savings account.
Tell us about your blog/channel/business?
YouTube channel: Travel Snacks (it’s about traveling, vanlife and food)
What piece of advice would you give to other women who aspire to live in a van solo based on your experiences?
Don’t let fear stop you from living a nomadic lifestyle. Fear is just an emotion, danger is real. If you aren’t in immediate danger, then many of the ‘fears’ in your head are just thoughts that can be managed. Also, don’t wait until everything is perfectly aligned. Use the resources you have now. You can always adjust and upgrade later.
GOAL = Get Out And Live!!!!
What are your future Vanlife plans?
if you mean my immediate plans… In the spring I’m planning on exploring the mountain states (Idaho, Montana, Colorado, etc.) I’ll spend the summer near the west coast or at higher elevations (to avoid the heat). I haven’t planned for the winter yet, but I may head east to connect with some of my friends in Florida and Georgia.
How can our readers keep up with your adventures?
YouTube: Travel Snacks