While the collective term vanlife has come to define whole movement, the truth is that no two "vanlifers" do it alike. Here we break down vanlife into bite-sized chunks and find the Instagram accounts and blogs that best reflect the different approaches to living life on the road.
Best For Inspiration
Inspiration can be found everywhere in the vanlife movement. In terms of making a positive impact, it is hard to find someone as inspring as Andrew Muse. The snowboarder, surfer, climber, hiker and photographer had his life transformed when a car accident destroyed his truck (and home) and killed his beloved dog Booter. His response, as detailed on Instagram and his #TinyHomeAdventure blog, is inspirational. With his new golden retriever, Kicker, Muse packs incredible scenery, every action sport imaginable and a sense of adventure into a way of life that will have you ditching your day job in a heartbeat.
Best For Vegans
Veganism and vanlife might be 2018's hottest trends and Sabrina and Jimmy Horel best capture that Venn diagram zeitgeist. The frankly, ridiculously photogenic couple journey across America in their 1973 VW bus capturing life on the road and detailing how to make, and where to find, the freshest, most delicious vegan meals. The self-taught photographers and filmers produce quality imagery and professional edits on their @wandxrbus Instagram account in what is a polished and very 2018 take on the potential of vanlife.
Best For Dog Lovers
And now, we're a pack of 3. Introducing Cooper. He and his siblings were dumped at a high kill shelter and a rescue organization saved him. I casually went to an adoption event last week and he immediately stole my heart. I tried to look away… think of all the reasons to NOT adopt this dog. I've never had two dogs at one time, Max and I have a routine, a young dog is a lot of work, etc. All of these reasons weren't enough. I just couldn't leave him there. So away we go… 2018 brings new adventures with Campy, Max, and now… Cooper. ❤️🐶🚐🐶❤️
Alison Turner describes herself as “Solo Traveler, Van Dweller, Picture Taker and Dog Mom.” Dogs, rather strangely given the cramped quarters, play a big part in vanlife and few capture a woman's best friend better than Turner. Her photography, which has been featured in AFAR and National Geographic, doesn't solely concentrate on her pets Max and Cooper, but also takes in the beautiful scenery on her nomadic travels through the United States and Europe.
Best For Schoolie DIY
The passionate subset of vanlifers that travel in renovated school buses are known as Skoolies. Jax Austin is one such skoolie and perhaps one of the best at providing practical DIY advice on what it takes to A) turn a school bus into a home and B) live life as a fully fledged nomad. Through his Instagram and YouTube accounts he provides an honest and educational take on the sheer hard work, trials, tribulations and the joys that come with a skoolie conversion.
Best For National Parks (and LGBT)
Mikah Meyer is on a mission. In 2016 he turned his previous annual van holidays into a full-time journey. In his home, Vanny McVanface, he is attempting to be the youngest person to visit every one of the U.S. National Park Service's sites in one continuous trip. So far he has visited 347 of the 417 national parks and is on schedule to achieve his goal. A proud member of the LGBT community, he has also flown the rainbow flag at some of the country's most prominent landmarks from Brooks Camp Falls to White Sands National Monument.
Best For Female Empowerment
"Getting Flipper was the best life investment we ever made," say Lacey Meyer and Breanne Acio, aka @theladiesvan, who spent three months doing up their 2016 Ford Transit 250 high roof van (aka Flipper) before hitting the road. The couple gave up their teaching jobs and have since documented the 10,000 miles and counting they have traveled. They’re in the midst of creating The VanLife app, and aim to bring vanlifers together, while also spreading the word that it is a positive and financially viable lifestyle for women. From their pics it looks like they have succeeded.
Best For All-Around Inspiration
Kathleen Morton is a photographer and a journalist who runs a blog, podcast, brand collaborations and events from her 1987 Toyota van through her Tiny House, Tiny Footprint website. The co-founder of the influential Instagram @vanlifediaries, Morton is passionate about sharing stories of those vanlifers who have chosen an alternative lifestyle and who live more in an environmentally conscious way by spending more time in nature. Her combined gifts for writing and photography help her tell compelling stories about what living this life can provide.
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