The Secret Lives of Vanlifers

Photo Gallery: The Secret Lives of Vanlifers

Pete’s motto is “life is short” and Taylor has a tattoo on her arm that reads “simple” in Thai. Together, with their sidekick Snoop, they are living on the road in an old airport shuttle bus that they transformed into a cozy traveling home. Living in and exploring nature’s beauty all over the world, connecting with people from all walks of life, immersing themselves in new cultures and playing music with strangers are a few of the reasons they chose to live in a van.
Pete and Taylor’s van build took five months to complete, and throughout the process they documented each step in detail. They offer a van conversion ebook through their website ( to help others with their van builds.
In September 2015, with no road life experience other than weekend camping trips, Genevieve packed up her newly purchased Toyota Bandit and left her native Florida for a cross-country road trip with no end date. Her first night on the road, she camped at a Savannah, Georgia-area RV park to get her feet wet. Since that night, she has never again parked the Willie Rose at an RV park or even a Walmart—save for the occasional day use—in more than a year and a half on the road.
This lifestyle allows Sean to discover his true self. He’s found new qualities in himself that he never thought existed. “You begin to appreciate the time you do have with those you love. You become able to really concentrate on topics and have a deep conversation with yourself.”
Does adventure have to stop when you have kids? Vanlife families will tell you that they don’t let anything stop them from living their dreams and sharing these dreams with their children. From their base in the Olympic Mountains in WA, the Sellmeyer family is able to travel all around the West, including the beaches of Neah Bay, WA, right, a frequent destination for surf-lover Ryan. Everyone has a role in this family. Benaiah ensures that Kona always stays muddy. Anela keeps everyone laughing with her sweet giggles. Christina picks the longest, most scenic roads to get to their destination. And Ryan is the main cook, mechanic, and good vibes technician. When asked how they raise a family while traveling, Ryan and Christina say, “Learn to view the world around you in nature as an extension of your little home on wheels, because 80 square feet is damn small.”
Though the natural world provides a near-endless distraction for the kids, Ryan and Christina have devised other activities to occupy them in quiet moments. Anela loves to paint, and the art materials can be easily stowed away when they’re on the road.
Jose Romero’s 2015 Ford Transit van is dwarfed by the landscape at Capitol Reef National Park. When you live in a van, your backyard is ever changing. Reprinted with permission from Vanlife Diaries, by Kathleen Morton, Jonny Dustow, and Jared Melrose, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 by James Barkman

Outside Magazine: All

Related Posts

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *