Jon & Janessa in a Casita Trailer

Jon & Janessa in a Casita Trailer

When Jon & Janessa were 17, they fell madly in love with each other and with the goal to explore the world. Now, they are living out of their Casita trailer with the freedom to be anywhere at any time. They follow a four-hour workweek and the rest of the time they spend writing, reading, surfing, hiking and laying in the sun. To them, time will always be greater than any amount of money.

Kati & Jody in a Ford Transit Van

Kati & Jody in a Ford Transit Van

Kati & Jody and their three dogs have traveled across the country and back in a built-out Ford Transit. Kati teaches yoga and is an organic lifestyle consultant. Jody is a carpenter and handyman with a passion for horticulture and music.     

They have discovered several lessons from a life on the road. One of the biggest ones has been learning how to dedicate their lives to living purposefully and consciously in honor of Earth and all its elements.

Anik & Tom in a VW Bus

Anik & Tom in a VW Bus

Before Anik & Tom moved into their rig, they had a simple life. And although it was simple, they found it boring. Doing the same thing every day of the week had them on edge and restless. The small trips they were doing each year were never enough.

So in the summer of 2015, they decided to hit the road in their vintage van. In between van travels, they live in an off-the-grid trailer that acts as their home base and keeps them warm in the winter months.

Brianna in a Ford Van

Brianna in a Ford Van

Brianna and her husband Keith live in a 1990 Ford E350 van named Bertha. I first learned about Brianna through Instagram. I was drawn to photos of her two dogs, Bucket and Dagwood, going on amazing adventures. Whether they are repelling down a canyon wall or cruising down the road in their van, these two dogs seem to be living quite the life with Brianna and Keith leading the way.

Abe, Kate & Jonah on a Sailboat

Abe, Kate & Jonah on a Sailboat

I usually don't feature people living in more than 500 square feet, but I was inspired by this family who is sailing away from the traditional home. Not only are they living on a sailboat, they are also sustaining an off-the-grid lifestyle.     

Now, after six months living at anchor around the Orcas Island, they are taking a break on land as they await another child and offer others the sailboat-living experience.

James in a VW Van

James in a VW Van

James has been living in his 1976 VW van for a little more than two years. Before he moved in, he was camping in it about five times a week. Inside, he put a wood stove in place of his passenger seat as a way to stay warm in the winter.     

Currently, James' schedule revolves around people, waves and projects. He chases swells and freelances as a photographer. And as for the van? James sees it as a means to an end. It's a vehicle to accomplish and do what he loves.

Madison & Cees in a Toyota Motorhome

Madison & Cees in a Toyota Motorhome

Madison & Cees got engaged in Yosemite National Park a little over two years ago. In the course of this last year, they decided to chase their dreams and see every national park through the windows of a 1989 Toyota motorhome named Vie. Just before setting out, they adopted an adventure kitty, Vladimir Kitten. He goes with them hiking, kayaking and even, on mountain bike rides.     

It just so happens that this year is also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service as well. I caught up with these two to talk about their rig, the build and where they have been on their trip.

Alexandra in a School Bus

Alexandra in a School Bus

Alexandra is traveling the U.S. solo in a vintage school bus. Armed with knowledge from watching build out videos on YouTube, she tackled the conversion process almost entirely by herself.     

Since leaving San Diego two months ago, she has already explored Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. During her year-long journey, she will be visiting schools that are lacking the resources for an art program. She hopes to raise money through donations to gather supplies to donate to classrooms, along with a free art lesson.

Lara in a Chevy Van

Lara in a Chevy Van

Lara grew up overseas in Beijing and spent most of her childhood traveling the world. She had the privilege of visiting Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, London, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala and plans to continue to add to that list. Since she spent her younger years exploring an international playground, she did not travel much of the U.S., so now she's making up for it as an adult.     

I caught up with Lara to ask her about building out her van, and traveling and living on the road by herself.

Anthony & Colby in VW Buses

Anthony & Colby in VW Buses

Anthony & Colby, two good friends, started their adventures on opposite sides of the U.S.: Anthony on the west and Colby on the east coast. It wasn't until Anthony drove from Portland to New York that the two of them began their journey together. From there, they took their time to Colorado and now, they are back home in New England, sipping hot tea and watching the autumn foliage.     

When we met these two at the van gathering in Colorado, we immediately hit it off, parking our vans in a circle together. Not only does their music make us smile, but it makes us think about why this lifestyle is challenging, yet so worthwhile.

Amanda in a Toyota Van

Amanda in a Toyota Van

Before Amanda turned 11, she had set foot on every continent. But for the past few months, she has been exploring one (North America) a little more in depth, traveling solo in her '97 Toyota van. Along the way, she shares illustrations to represent her current mood, experiences or locations. She also creates designs for clients and custom #atwildwoman portraits.

Life is one big experiment, and Amanda plans to experience it fully and encourages others to do the same.

Julien in a Safari Condo Van

Julien in a Safari Condo Van

Julien, originally from Quebec, grew up traveling to Maine and New Hampshire to surf. These were long road trips, and being trapped in a small car had its limitations. So he bought a van to be more comfortable. His first van was a 1989 GMC Vandura, but in April he upgraded to a 2015 Safari Condo. Even when Julien owned an apartment, he would still stay in his van, so now he lives in his van full time.     

He funds his adventures through the online magazine Go-Van and partners with tourism bureaus and brands he supports. This weekend, he will be hosting a van meetup in Quebec. Be sure to check it out if you're in the area.

Alyssa & Brian in a Truck Camper

Alyssa & Brian in a Truck Camper

In March, Alyssa & Brian gave up their San Francisco apartment, quit their full-time jobs, sold their belongings and hit the road in their truck camper with all their essentials—bikes, boards, boots and beer. Since then, they have been exploring North America, from San Francisco up to Alaska, and now they are currently in Colorado.     

They plan to make their way to Austin by November to complete their route, Northbound and Down.

Jace & Giddi in a Sprinter van

Jace & Giddi in a Sprinter van

We're here in Jace & Giddi's 2003 Dodge Sprinter van. I'm sitting at the desk, Blaize lies at my feet and Jace & Giddi are sitting together on the bed. Even with all of us there it still feels like there's enough space. And surrounding us is everything they need: A toilet, fridge, bed, workspace and tons of gear and food storage. Together, the cost of the van and the build-out was less than $10,000.

Jace & Giddi are five months into living on the road with their dog, Lotus. But soon there will be four. They are expecting a baby girl in November who will join them in their travels.