How awesome would it be if you went on a road trip that never ended? Matt & Josh are two brothers on a self-funded trip. They stop when they find places to work odd jobs. Most of their jobs are found through social media, particularly their Facebook page and sometimes even as simple as starting a hashtag. Who they meet determines what they end up doing each day.
What started as one van for the two brothers has now morphed into two vans, one for each of them, as they race each other from coast to coast.
Square Feet: 90
Make, Model, Year: 1990 Astro Tiger Provan
Josh and I just traded in our 2008 Econoline bus for a 1990 Astro Tiger Provan and a 1987 Astro Allegro RV.
Years Living Mobile: 3
Josh and I still live on the road full time, but we visit our seven-year-old little brother, Adam, in Oregon every year for his birthday for a couple weeks. Unfortunately, we didn't get to this year due to the long board trip.
Currently Living: Oregon
For the first time in our three years of traveling, we're working two different jobs in two different places, and it's weird to be apart. Josh is working at a glass studio in Portland, while I am doing maintenance at a hotel on the Oregon coast.
What were you doing before you went mobile?
When I was 17, Josh and I moved to California where we worked a bunch of different sales jobs including door-to-door sales for home improvement and solar companies and mall kiosk jobs. We're very sociable dudes.
We then worked for three different windshield repair companies across California before finding an investor and starting our own company at a young age. We ran it for a good year and even bought a van to start transporting our employees, which is where our first van came from.
Why did you make the change?
For no other reason than the van was comfortable and that we had a job that we could do anywhere—so why stay here? We just didn't think that we would be living a life on the road.
What was the process like to move into your mobile home?
At the time we were moving into a smaller van, so things were crammed. As you live on the road, you begin to find out what you really need, so you end up getting rid of a lot, even in the first couple weeks. Things slowly start dwindling away.
The process and transition was easy for us because we were unprepared for it all and were so chill about selling our stuff and moving into a van.
How do you get Internet?
Josh and I have actually done a lot of our travels without a working cellphone. Instead, we've had smartphones only when we have Wi-Fi, which our family and friends hate. But after doing a job for a lady in Oregon, she offered us a phone that to this day she still pays the bill on. Blessed. So we use that and mobile hotspot networks everywhere to stay connected to our online friends and to keep people updated on what we're up to the best that we can.
Where do you shower?
Ahhh...the most commonly asked question when I tell people I live in a van.
YMCAs are a huge help! Most of them offer a free day pass to people new to the area. Technically we're new everywhere we go, so showers are mostly always free. We also use showers at jobs we work, people's homes, truck stops (you don't always have to pay if the doors to the shower are just open, which they usually are). If none of those work, we just go to any local gym, tell them our situation, and we get a free shower. If you're willing to pay, you can always find one, but we're cheap.
What are your hobbies on the road?
Josh and I have been skateboarders our whole life. We never did any sports in school or even went snowboarding because of how much it cost. We would be the kids shoveling snow off of the skate park when we were little just so we could skate. Growing up in Montana, there's a lot of snow.
We also disc golf, attend music events, chase waterfalls, hike and kayak, and we're known to hit up good local spots for food. We love food.
How do you balance work and living in a small space?
Having a small, mobile space actually helps with some of the jobs we find ourselves doing. Josh and I are pretty unique travelers since we do it by just finding work along the way. No backup plan of having a plan. So we find ourselves working a ton of different jobs. When we work events, the bus becomes the storage for beverages. When we're painting, we can and have stood on the bus to paint. The bus is our excuse to sleep in as long as possible before any job we're working because we can be parked right by the job site all night.
What's it like maintaining relationships on the road?
I met a girl halfway through our travels and kept in touch with her, which was hard to believe as time and my travels went on. Many messages and Skype calls can maintain an understanding with someone, but not a relationship. So you need moments to stop and remember who you're with. I got lucky and had a girl who wasn't afraid to drive out and meet me at places for a weekend of camping, and she even joined us for some stretches of our travels together, including the entire longboarding trip.
We hopped out of the leaking van and into a warm bed this weekend! Its crazy to think that I met her on the road, just a year and a half into my travels when she was working at a coffee shop on the Oregon coast and i was just passing through. It sounds like something straight out of movie, and it feels like it to this day. Even though we knew we lived opposite lives and that i that i wouldnt be there long, we didnt hesitate to let our crazy weird connection grow stronger and stronger. I dont think either of us had an idea how strong that connection would come to be over such a short period of time, but naturally, we just accepted the time we had and embraced every minute, but I didn''t live there, or anywhere in particular, and i still dont. So, at the time, I felt it was almost wrong to grow so close to someone youre gonna have to say goodbye to eventually, for my sake, and hers. We juggled ideas of how this would ultimately come to work and it all came down to her coming on the road with me because we both knew that the now-and-then calls and facebook messages weren't enough! :) Sarah joined me and 6 others March of this year for 3 months and we crossed the country from LA to NY in a bus. She has always had an adventourous spirit, and i feel we were meant to meet to experience these things together to really thrive in our youth. We're soon to be on the road together, and that is a big thing, but its all the little things led to this and the little things that will ultimately make up the joyous travels we will have together now :) #whpthelittlethings #vanlife #ontheroad #finditliveit #livefolk #nomadnotes #welltraveled @urbanoutfitters
What are your top three go-to items in your tiny home?
Stanley Thermos: I don't go anywhere without my Stanley thermos; Josh doesn't either. It's essential to always have cold water.
ENO Hammocks: If we're bored—which is often—we'll just go set up and soak in the views from our hammocks.
Repaly XD Cameras: Almost every picture we post is taken with a Replay, and we don't go anywhere without one. You never know.
What has been the most rewarding thing about living small?
The most rewarding thing is that by living small, you're thinking big. Your mind becomes less cluttered. Things around you that you normally wouldn’t think about are constantly inspiring you.
Also, the fact that you're somewhat forced to be more sociable benefits people in such a massive way.
What is the most challenging thing?
Dishes. I hate them. Wash them when you're done with them—this is the downfall to having two skater dudes living small together. Dishes...ughhh.
What is your advice to future homeowners who want to live small or hit the road?
Try it out. Give it a test run. It could be like us where a road trip turns into a lifestyle after jumping into it and figuring out that it's what you want to do. If you're not feeling it, try it a little longer. Then, if it's just really not working for you, give it two more days. After that, if you're just done, bored, wondering what to do and miss home: go back.
Do you plan to go back to your previous way of living?
Not even a little bit. Maybe never.
What's next for you guys? Any news you want to share?
We are splitting ways after three years of being on the road together to make a film about us going coast to coast with close to nothing. We are both starting with a full tank, food and $100.