I rewrote this blog post a few times. It seems like I just can't make up my mind! But I ended up choosing people that are authentic, artistic and inspiring. I like to be able to talk to the person behind the camera. Some people on social media are too caught up in what they are doing to respond to my comments or emails. Luckily most people in the tiny house community are more than happy to make connections.
This process made me realize I have a slight (Greg would say, severe) obsession with vans and the people who live in them. Could it be that there are more of them out there? Camper trailer dwellers, where are you? We need more of you.
But there is just something so romantic and poetic about the van community. Every time I'm browsing their photos, it's like they're saying, 'Pssttttt ... trade in that camper trailer for a van. Come live a more simple life on the road.'
Maybe the van community knows this so they just party even harder? They host large gatherings while I sit in the camper trailer waiting for one to pop up nearby, planning to secretly show up, hoping no one will notice it's not in a van.
So if you're like me and can't work from the road, here are 10 of my favorite photographers that will trigger daydreams from your home:
1. Nurturing Soul (nurturing_soul)
I started following Nurturing Soul back in the fall when we bought our lil' camper trailer. Soon, I was swooning over her two beautiful children and their 17-seater minibus, Dragoona. When I saw she was doing a "Home Is Where You Park It" series, I reached out to her and shared our story. She was thrilled and said she loved my photos. What an honor to know that someone I looked up to was supporting our journey! She was one of the first we followed and one of the first to feature us and so, she's at the top of the list.
2. Vegfalia (vegfalia)
#Vanlife, #VWT3, #Westylife
There's something about an Instagram follower who has been supporting you since the beginning. I feel like we're soul sisters in a way, encouraging each other from afar. I've never met her, but through comments, we reach out every so often. I love her photos and I hope to meet up with her someday. Is it wishful thinking to believe we would be the best of friends?
3. She Explores (she_explores)
I found Gale Straub through the van community and started reading her blog posts on women in the outdoors and on the road. A few weeks back, I wrote an essay for her on living in a camper trailer and she has plans to feature it in the next month. Stay tuned on that! But for now, if you just can't get enough, follow her here as well, "She Explores, She Roams."
4. Alison Turner (alisontravels)
#Vanlife, #Westylife, #Betteroutthere
I stumbled across Alison through an article I was reading about a girl and her dog. Then before I knew it, two hours had passed and I had read almost every blog post on Alison's travels. I feel like I can relate to this girl and I love her honesty. Even though I'm not sure I could stop drinking for six years (yes, she did that), I know what it's like to be passionate about photography.
5. Van Life Diaries (Vanlifediaries)
You know what's super cool about these guys? They don't exclude other types of vehicles from joining the force. You don't have to be living in a van to be included in their series of photos; you just have to be living small and adventuring big. They featured one of my Instagram photos and shared our story on their website.
6. Johnie Gall (DirtbagDarling)
#Dirtbagdarling, #DefendersofFun, #Liveyours, #LiveYourAdventure, #vanlife
I was a little intimidated by Johnie because she has more than 12,000 followers on Instagram. But why do we have a perception that those who have a large following aren't going to let in the small? I dropped her a line to say that I loved what she was doing and before I knew it we were chatting on the phone, laughing about how you really get to know your significant other in small spaces. I hope to collaborate with her on something in the future, but until then, check out her different blogs on life, gear, provisions and some of her fellow girls gone wild.
7. Jonny & Jess (rebelonarainbow)
Every time I get a new follower on Instagram, I go to their gallery to check them out. What drew me to Jonny and Jess was an illustration of their van. When I saw that they featured artists, tiny dwellers, bands, etc., I realized we could be a part of something bigger. I have reached out to them and they are supportive about collaborating in the future.
8. Tinder to Sprinter (tindertoSprinter)
#vanlife, #homeiswhereyouparkit, #campvibes, #sprintervan
I think this couple is stealing our identity. I keep asking myself, 'why didn't we think of that?' After all, Greg and I did meet on Tinder (how crazy is that?). We have been chatting with them about working together and if all goes well, you will see them featured in my "Roll with Me" blog series.
9. Our Wandering Rhythm (ourwanderingrhythm)
#newamericandream, #vanlife, #livethedream
Were you getting sick of Westfalias? Let's change it up with a Toyota Travelmaster! I drive a Camry so maybe I just feel like I can relate to this couple in their camper van. Reading through their captions has made me think deeply about how we all have similar benefits and challenges, and it's a reminder that we're not alone.
10. Becca Skinner (BeccaSkinner)
It's hard to know whether everyone is living in a van full-time just by looking at their Instagram photos, but from Becca's website, I know that she did a 32,000 mile stint out of her car. There's also some beautiful shots of her with Heidi and August River in their van home. (p.s. @the_wild_trout is an amazing account you should check out, not for tiny homes, but for photos of her babe hanging with chicks and goats.) It would be something else to meet up with these gals and share our adventures.
Do you have any favorite Instagram accounts we should be following? Please share them in the comments!