Next month, Amanda and Matt are organizing an amazing vanlife gathering in one of my favorite places, the Teton Valley in Victor, Idaho. We're stoked to bring this community to a location that has incredible rock climbing, fishing, biking, rafting, horseback riding, and just phenomenal views. Before the event took place, I wanted to introduce you to these two. Here's the story of how Amanda & Matt met, their unique adventure mobile and why they choose to travel even when it gets difficult to continue.
One of my favorite things about these stories is the ripple effect they have on people throughout the world. Three years ago, I met Kyle through mutual friends when I was living in a camper trailer outside of Denver. We shared our love of photography and travel, and discussed how we could make it a full-time job. Now, Kyle, his partner Jodie, and their three dogs are living in a renovated 1955 Flying Cloud Airstream, and have found a way to make their passions sustainable.
Jayme and John have an infectious positive energy. They can make you laugh by merely looking in your direction and want to help you in any way they can. I was fortunate to spend two months living on a farm and working alongside them. And now, they are helping me co-host the first-ever Midwest Vanlife Gathering May 18-20. As we gear up for this event, I thought it would be a great time to share their story and learn more about how they are using their knowledge from living on the road to make a difference.
Andrew Muse, a professional multi-sport athlete and photographer, has been through a lot in the past three years. After a devastating car accident, Andrew lost everything, including his best friend (his dog Booter) and a truck camper that was his tiny house on wheels. He thought his life was over and wondered how he could get back everything he lost. In this story, Andrew takes us through what his life was like before the accident and how he's rebuilt it from the ground up.
Abbi and Callen, a husband and wife photography team, have been calling home to some of the most incredible places in the western U.S., such as Moab, Utah, and Yosemite National Park in California. I asked Abbi to share their process for building out the van, some of the hardest moments on the road and navigating a small space with a dog and another human. Get a glimpse into why they live and run their business out of their van and what's next for the two of them.
Meet Noël Russell. Growing up, Noël found her community through the outdoors. Her favorite memories as a child include camping trips and traveling in their Winnebago to reservoirs and swimming holes. Now, she travels with her husband Jonnie in a van on the weekends to relive these experiences. During the week, she works full-time at a youth homeless shelter.
For Peter & Shruthi, vanlife was a way to be together throughout their long-distance relationship. It was also a safe haven and a free place to stay when visiting disgruntled parents who disapproved of them being together. Little did they know that over the years the van would become a permanent home and a vessel for adventure.
A vida Fausto means "the luxury life." This phrase is what Lynn embodies but in a hands-getting-dirty kind of way. She left the city life to move beyond modernist ideas and materialistic visions. Together with friends, she has built a self-sufficient community farm and retreat. Although, she is still in the early phases of this project, she is sharing her story to inspire city people to connect with nature and themselves.
I took a little break from the blog to focus on some projects. But setting the blog aside weighed on me considerably. During that time, I missed sharing stories. But I wanted to present stories in a new way. Instead of interviewing subjects with questions, I wanted them to give you a look at their lifestyle from their perspective. My hope is that it will connect you to the storyteller. So, on that note, I'll let Matthew tell you a little about his Toyota van and what The Haircut Sessions are all about.
Katch & Ben live a simple life in their van, a 4WD 2016 Mercedes Sprinter Sportsmobile. As full-time photographers, they travel to shoot couples and edit their photos inside their van. With so much equipment, it was important for them to choose a rig that could safely store their gear, while also giving them the comforts of a home.
Bradley & David met each other on a road trip and became fast friends. While they were driving through Oregon, they talked about converting a school bus. So they bought one for $6,000, and with zero mechanical or construction experience, they spent around $300 and installed flooring and added a bed frame to the interior.
Growing up, Kyle and his family hit the lowest of lows moving in and out of homeless shelters and standing in line at food and clothing banks. It led to frequently moving, attending 14 different schools, becoming one of the worst kids in the school district and finally dropping out after being told by teachers that he'll "most likely end up flipping burgers, in jail, or dead." Tune in for this podcast as we talk with Kyle about his path from being homeless to home free.
Josiah is a photographer and designer who solves product problems on behalf of users and explores on behalf of his soul. He believes that how you do what you do is as important as what you do. So he chooses to document people and places with tourism boards and magazines. And he does all this in a green Westy.
Kat Carney lives out of a built out Chevy Suburban which took her just seven days to construct into an adventure mobile. She has traveled with her fiancé Craig in the past, but currently she is spending a several months on her own. I spoke with Kat about what it was like to live this lifestyle both with someone else as well as alone.