Hi I’m Lisa and welcome to my van life! I’m here to help you follow your van life dreams!
My Vanlife Story
When I was five years old, my family took a month-long camper van trip from Chicago to the east coast. My older siblings watched the movie Vacation on repeat and I spent my days marking off license plates in kids car game book and playing with Barbie coloring books. I fell in love with this free-flowing, easy long-term mode of travel.
When I was 10, I missed out on an opportunity to travel to Europe with my best friend because my parents couldn’t afford the trip. I promised myself that once I was an adult, I would travel as much as possible regardless of how much money I had.
In college, I found exchange programs and scholarships and was able to afford to study abroad twice. I spent six months in Adelaide, Australia, six months in Cork, Ireland, and a summer in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Once I left the country for the first time, I realized I was an “American girl.” Leaving home gave me a totally new perspective of the world, my home country, and myself.
My first solo trip was in 2013 to Argentina for a month. I was going through a break-up and I needed a reset. I had a part-time remote summer work gig and I worked while I explored South America. This was my first taste of being a solo digital nomad and I loved it!
Rather than pursue my dreams of being an actor, I did the “logical” thing and went to law school instead. Surprise, surprise: I did not like being a lawyer. It wasn’t my passion and it didn’t feed my soul. The end of 2014, my mom died from breast cancer. Losing my mom lit a fire inside of me to live life now because nothing is guaranteed.
Taking notes from Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week, I asked the company I worked for if I could move to a part-time remote role in their accounting department. Once they agreed, I used the remaining hours in a week testing out different types of projects including renovating and flipping houses and event planning. I started a sustainable interior design company in Austin, Texas and became enamored with tiny homes and vintage Airstream trailers.
That’s when I found van life. I never imagined that you could fit all (or most) the essentials of a tiny home into a van that fits into a regular parking space! I put up an automatic search on Craigslist for “sprinter van” and 48-hours later I found Freebird. She was a 2012 Nissan NV2500 high roof with 50K miles being sold for $11K by a repo guy. She was a former chicken taco catering van and was covered in chicken grease.
I started my vanlife journey as one-half of a couple, but once we hit the road, we realized our relationship wasn’t meant to be. Suddenly I found myself alone with Freebird, completely solo. Solo travel was never the plan. But after a few months of marinating in doubt, worry, and fear, I decided to hit the road solo full-time. That was March 2018 and I’ve never looked back.
For me, vanlife is about freedom to choose. The freedom to choose where to be and what to do and how to do it, regardless of all the so-called “rules” society imposed on us.
Since hitting the road, it’s been quite a whirlwind! My story has been shared on Buzzfeed, Refinery29, Uproxx, The Daily Mail, Playboy (not like that, haha), Outdoorsy, and videos, publications, and radio stations all over the world!
So far I’ve experienced vanlife in the United States, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Bali, Indonesia!
Now I’m a full-time digital nomad and travel blogger, sharing my adventures on Instagram, YouTube, and here on my blog! I love sharing about the real stuff: mental health, dating, loneliness, life-changing out-of-this-world experiences, and practical information to help you build your dream camper van and life a life of full-time travel.
In addition to sharing about vanlife, adventure, and storytelling, I love yoga, dancing, sewing, cats, and rainbows.
I’m here to help you follow your van life and solo travel dreams! Whether it’s how to choose your perfect van to mapping out your ideal travel route to facing your fears and living your best van life, this blog is here to guide you towards the life you’ve always dreamed of!
Questions? Send me an email at email@example.com.
See y’all on the road!