Roll with Madison & Cees in a Toyota Motorhome

Roll with 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.

Roll with Alexandra in a School Bus

Roll with 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.

Roll with Lara in a Chevy Van

Roll with 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.

Roll with Anthony & Colby in VW Buses

Roll with 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.

Roll with Amanda in a Toyota Van

Roll with 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.

Roll with Julien in a Safari Condo Van

Roll with 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.

Roll with Alyssa & Brian in a Truck Camper

Roll with 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.

Roll with Jace & Giddi in a Sprinter van

Roll with 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.

Roll with Adam in a Custom Truck Camper

Roll with Adam in a Custom Truck Camper

Today marks Adam's 611th day on the road. He's traveled more than 75,000 miles, and so far, there's no end in sight.

Adam was born in the belly of the south, and after mastering the art of charm, he set his sights on the American West. He now travels full time, with the goal of capturing the things that capture him.

As long as Adam has gas for his truck and food in his belly, he won’t give up on this life, for this life has given him everything.

Roll with Lynelle & Matt in a Mail Van

Roll with Lynelle & Matt in a Mail Van

Lynelle & Matt spend a lot of time searching for gems on Craigslist. So when an ad for a 1978 retired mail van popped up, they saw it as an opportunity to turn it into a treasure. They drove down back alleys and visited the Goodwill Outlet to salvage materials for their build out. After a few months of planning and renovation, they are ready to hit the road.

They leave Sept. 1 to begin their journey of chasing 72 degrees, meeting new people and living on the road with their cat, Brain. They plan to keep living this way until the funds or the fun runs out.

Roll with Micah in a Chevy Van

Roll with Micah in a Chevy Van

Micah bought a van on Craigslist two years ago in an effort to live cheaply and travel more. He saw it as a way to pursue his creative talents: graphic design, music and photography. His Facebook page is filled with poetry and songs he's performed in his mobile home.

So far, he's spent more than a year living on the road, and he plans to continue until the van stops running or he finds a girlfriend with an apartment.

Roll with Atticus & Lina in a Ford Van

Roll with Atticus & Lina in a Ford Van

Atticus & Lina were almost halfway through their eight-month trip across America in their van when Atticus had a health crisis. They woke up in the middle of a national forest to Atticus having a seizure and rushed to the nearest hospital. They spent the next few days flying from Pensacola, FL, back to their family in California.

A week after Atticus was in the ER, he was in and out of brain surgery like a champ, having three small tumors completely removed. They have spent the past few months reminiscing on the last three months of their adventure. Atticus has had a few weeks of treatment, but the plan is to be back in the van soon to resume their journey.

Roll with Mo & Gracie in a Sprinter Van

Roll with Mo & Gracie in a Sprinter Van

Who wouldn't want to work remotely? That was Mo's thought behind finding a rig that would allow him the freedom to escape but also give him some of the luxuries of everyday life.

Mo & his girlfriend Gracie chose a Sprinter van with the intention of building it out on the weekends, but life got in the way. So they hired an architecture company to help them out. With Mo & Gracie's vision and the company's expertise, they created a tiny house that has already taken them to amazing places.

Roll with Gianna in a Chevy Van

Roll with Gianna in a Chevy Van

Gianna is using a van as a tiny home and an art installation. Last spring, Gianna and her friend Cheyenne transformed the van into a mobile photography gallery. They toured the west for seven weeks setting up pop-up shows in unexpected locations. The online world is saturated with photography, but they wanted to create a whole experience between the van, photos, artists and viewers.

Currently, Gianna and her partner, Andy, are splitting time between a van, school bus and house. This allows Gianna to explore her passions of photography yoga, art and hiking, either in one spot or on the road, while also having a home base to return to whenever they need to.

Roll with Savannah & Brett in a VW Van

Roll with Savannah & Brett in a VW Van

Last month, Savannah & Brett began a 4,000-mile cross-country trip in their van named Jolene. Their goal: to make this trip last three months so they can spend time in the areas that they find the most influential and opportunistic.

Savannah is using this trip as a way to practice being present, to create long-lasting memories and to help those in need, especially through massage therapy. In turn, Brett wants to take as many pictures as possible, learn more about himself and others and, most importantly, make a positive impact on those who cross his path.

With their combined passions and dreams, they plan to offer their services and create connections. Every photo tells a story, and after a month, these two have several to fill their collection.

Roll with Jason & Nikki in a Chevy Van

Roll with Jason & Nikki in a Chevy Van

I haven't spoken to Nikki, but I've heard her soulful voice in her songs. While Nikki sings and mixes tones from her guitar and clawhammer-style banjo, her husband and musical partner, Jason, adds harmony with his guitar to complete the duo. They book gigs in areas they want to explore more.

As long as their fingers work and the van is running, they will keep going. As Nikki sings, "Life is one big rodeo. So hold on tight. We'll be alright."

Roll with Emily & Corey in a VW Van

Roll with Emily & Corey in a VW Van

Emily & Corey are experimenting how they can blend their nomadic lifestyle with a traditional career. Together, they are sharing the ways they are redefining work while still following their passions.    

They keep following what they feel, through the discomforts, risks, mysteries and the unknowns. Emily, Corey and their dog, Penny Rose, continue to live in a van because they love moving and feeling free.

Roll with Gonzalo & Jor in a Custom Camper

Roll with Gonzalo & Jor in a Custom Camper

Gonzalo & Jor are an Argentinian couple who decided to travel around the Americas with no precise route or even a destination. After more than one year on the road, they have already driven about 18,000 miles, which is almost double the distance from Alaska to Ushuaia (the beginning and end of the Panamerican Highway).

When they like a place they visit, they stay another day, week or even month or more. Being in one location helps them create a routine, meet locals and experience the way they live. To fund their trip, they try to get a job or sell scrapbooks, postcards and fridge magnets that they make. Staying in one place decreases their fuel expenses and increases their funds to travel further.