Do you ever just want to get away from it all, sell your belongings, pack your life into a car and leave? Well now is probably not the time to do that. Staying home is our modus operandi for the foreseeable future.
Travel has been put on hold, parked in the driveway until we get the signal to hit the road again. But what if home is the road? While scrolling through an endless Instagram feed of quarantine productivity competitions and living room TikTok performances, we’ve come across a few trail blazers (and their dogs) in the art of #vanlife. Campsites and borders may be closed, but these nomads are inspiring us to always keep our eyes open.
Max M. Schneider
Max Schneider is a German engineer living in a clunky white van that's called many Canadian provinces home. His journey began in Montreal, and after a series of odd jobs, endless repairs and long nights huddled around a space heater or campfire, he is now taking up camp in British Columbia.
Armita and Soheil
Amrita and Soheil began living in their van while they were still working full-time in Toronto, but they had their sights set beyond Walmart parking lots. They both dreamed of exploring “the beautiful, scary and vast world outside, and the complicated, amazing and strange world inside.” The two wrote in an Instagram post.
Their entire van build is documented on YouTube along with their adventures from Nova Scotia to the Mojave Desert to Vancouver island, where they are currently isolating in the woods with their golden doodle and other van-lifers.
Sydney has been travelling solo since September 2018... unless you count her co-captain golden retriever. After graduating college, Sydney decided to hit the highway instead of a midwestern office cubicle.
Her “girly-rustic” van/office-on-wheels has taken her all over the United States, from Yellowstone to Lake Tahoe (where a bear broke into her van) and even through the Grand Canyon. Her van also doubles (triples?) as a recording studio where she hosts a weekly podcast sharing van-life advice and stories from the road.
Nikki Bigger and Ben Waugh
The van that Nikki and Ben share is decorated better than most Toronto apartments (and probably around the same size, too). Their van looks like a luxe mobile log cabin complete with wood paneling, tiled kitchen backsplash and a gold faucet – but looks aren’t always what they seem.
While Nikki’s and Ben’s photos are beautiful (both are photographers), they try their best to record life honestly in their YouTube videos. It was a struggle for them to find somewhere to live (or shower) during the start of the COVID-19 crisis, but they managed to get some land, friends and running water along the way.
Abigail and Natalie
What started as a one year honeymoon turned into a way of life. Abigail and Natalie drive their giant, blue former prisoner transport van and two pups anywhere that has a road. So far the two have covered 23,220 miles, 23 national parks, 18 states and three countries.
From creating pop-up restaurants outside their window to dancing on their van’s roof in inflatable dinosaur costumes, Natalie and Abigail are always up to something fun. Even during a global pandemic the two have found ways to stay positive and shelter-in-place without losing their sense of adventure.
Eamon and Bec
This Toronto-based couple have spent the past three years driving their self-converted Sprinter van all over the world (and documenting their journey on their YouTube channel). They started their adventure travelling across Canada in their home-on-wheels, then it was down to Mexico, Sprinter conversion número dos, quick rip around the States, Euro trip, and then off to Northern Africa.
The two were living on a beach in Morocco when they had to suddenly abandon their beloved van to board a rescue flight to Toronto amidst the COVID-19 crisis. They're back on Canadian soil, but they're already on to a new adventure renovating a van during a pandemic and finding home wherever they park it.