I found Travis through his photography, and once you see the photos below, you'll understand why. While I was double tapping Travis's photos, I discovered I was also following his partner, Shay. As a Divemaster, Shay's photos feature her in crystal clear beaches and deep within rainforests. You can't help but want to escape with her into the water and swim among sea creatures and coral.
But for now, I will sit back, camera in hand, while I learn from two of the best on how they are able to live their passions on land and underwater.
Square Feet: 78
Make, Model, Year: 1994 Dodge Ram Van
"Betty" was my grandmother's van before I inherited it and took on restoring her into my dream adventure mobile. It was a few months of hard labor installing cabinets, a refrigerator and new flooring, lifting the suspension and adding new tires but well worth the effort!
Currently Living: Southern California
Home is where you park it!
My partner Shay and I cruise the United States for a living. I am an outdoor/adventure photographer and Shay is a Scuba Divemaster. Home is wherever certain projects take us.
We are currently in Southern California soaking up a little sun before heading out to Utah for a few fun adventure projects.
Years Living Mobile: 1.5
I started this adventure on my birthday in 2014! Shay has been roaming with me for about six months now, and we both live on the road full time.
What were you doing before you went mobile?
I went through a series of pretty awful jobs before I discovered the joy of being a photographer. The hard moments pushed me to reach for what I truly wanted to do and stay dedicated.
Why did you make the change?
Choosing the van life allows me to consistently travel and meet with other adventurers/athletes around the U.S. as well as carrying all of my gear (surfboard, skateboard, slackline and snowboard).
What was the process like to move into your mobile home?
Making the transition from a full-sized house to living out of something that's the same size as the average walk-in closet definitely takes some adjusting. Luckily I had been working on the road for a few months prior to choosing the van life full time, so moving into Betty became a fairly easy conversion.
How do you balance work and living in a small space?
Libraries. Loads and loads of libraries. We stop pretty frequently; there is a lot of behind the scenes work that requires Wi-Fi and a place to spread out on the computers to work!
We also backpack as often as possible, which allows us to camp in a tent and take a break from sleeping in the van.
What are your hobbies on the road?
Shay and I are both pretty active, so it's fun to take time trying different sports. We rock climb and backpack together frequently!
I introduced her to slacklining, and we've started trying to walk on the line together while holding hands—something we call "slack dancing."
She recently got me hooked on scuba diving, which opened a whole new world for me. Other than that, skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, free diving and mountain biking are all things that get thrown into the mix when we are at the right locations.
What are your top three go-to items in your tiny home?
Goal Zero Solar Panels: These are on top of the roof! They power not only my refrigerator consistently but also all my electronics that I use on a daily basis for photography.
GPS: I do most of the driving, and Shay is directionally challenged, so plugging in a location makes travel so much easier.
Camera: I don't go anywhere without some sort of camera. Whether it is my DSLR, GoPro or even just an iPhone, being able to document the memories made on the road is very special to me.
What has been the most rewarding thing about living small?
Everything you need is right there with you.
What is the most challenging thing?
I think Shay and I would both agree that showering is the most challenging aspect of living out of a van. We have experienced everything from campsites, truck stops and even rivers to take a quick rinse!
What is your advice to future homeowners who want to live small or hit the road?
Anything is possible with the right mind-set. Build or purchase something you are passionate about and comfortable in.
What's next for you? Any news you want to share?
There are a few things in the works. We've been talking about possibly stepping it up to a larger and even more rugged vehicle. We also might rent a van in a different country to travel for a few months.