polaroid photo collage of Anna French

Hi, I’m Anna, the storyteller behind Spin the Globe Project. I’m a dreamer with an appetite for adventure, and a passion for social justice and sustainability. Hence why I backpacked around the globe solo, traveled in a tiny home on wheels for 4 years, and now I’m based out of a small off-grid house.

My solar-powered house is located on 5 acres in southern Colorado, where I live with my fiancé Ryan and our rescue mutts Nova and Juniper. We are slowly using our land to build a sustainable farmstead and glamping resort.

Spin the Globe Project is an ethical adventure travel & alternative lifestyle blog. It’s the place where I share travel, outdoor adventures, van life, off grid living, backpacking and expat life tips and stories from the last decade living on 5 continents, visiting 50+ countries, and all 50 U.S. States.

How it all began…

Growing up with a single mom who was an Army nurse and MedEvac helicopter pilot, it was probably inevitable that I pursued a career that combined travel and humanitarian work. By the time I graduated from high school, I had attended 10 schools and was no stranger to the nomadic lifestyle.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainability and Global Health in 2012, a few things were true about my life. I was more lost than ever, I felt relatively unqualified to start any type of job, and I had an itch to know more. So, I booked a one-way ticket to Australia to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Development. I graduated with a solidified passion for women’s and children’s rights, an internship at Save the Children and a life-changing month-long volunteer experience at a community development organization in Uganda under my belt.

I knew I wanted to make a positive difference in the world, but hadn’t fully worked out the “how.” I spent five years trying on professional titles at international organizations and non-profits like Sustainability Assistant, Project Support Officer, ESL Teacher, Executive Assistant, and Operations Associate.


Through cost-saving travel hacks, studying abroad, volunteering and working internationally, I had managed to backpack around Africa, South America, North America, Oceania, Europe, Asia and the Middle East on a budget. I crossed off and simultaneously added bucket-list items, taking me through Incan Ruins in the Andes, to the thin air on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, swimming with crocodiles in Australia, diving with giant Manta Rays in Thailand, and eventually working a “9-5” at an international nonprofit with headquarters in New York City.

I explored 6 continents and countless cultures, seeking growth, connections, and love. I fell for people and places, pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, and occasionally stumbled into pessimistic lows about myself and humanity.

So, how did I go from being an international aid worker & frequent traveler to a full-time nomad in a van?

Girl and dog in converted camper van

My decision can’t be attributed to one thing. It was a series of events, leading up to a dramatic moment when I could no longer ignore the fact that something needed to change. As an executive assistant to the CEO of an international non-profit, my job was emotionally draining and complex. I failed to create boundaries, and the job seeped into my personal life and took a very real toll on my health and mental well-being.

I burnt out at 26-years-old, after five long years of working in the nonprofit and international development sector.

Even though the diverse cultural melting pot of Manhattan was a dream come true, I needed a break from the rat race, I needed to do some soul searching, and I used this opportunity to jump into a new life.

Casper Version 1, Before & After

On January 15th, 2017, I put in my two-weeks-notice, packed my backpack, and on February 1st, I hopped on a plane, Asia bound. I spent two months trekking my way through a Thai jungle, finding my zen inside the stones of ancient ruins in Cambodia, floating down the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, climbing The Great Wall in China, and marveling at marine life while learning how to scuba dive. Somewhere between the coral reefs and heart-to-hearts with fellow wanderers, I was inspired to pursue my passions of human rights, environmental conservation, traveling, and writing.

With nothing left to lose, I decided to build a career around a lifestyle I am passionate about. So, I bought and converted a Ford Transit cargo van. Then I hit the road in my new tiny home and slowly started learning how to leverage my skills and earn a remote income.

After traveling for a few months in my first DIY build, I felt called to go home to Arizona to work on my mom’s local political campaign. While there, I decided to completely remodel Casper the van, before hitting the road again.

I traveled for two years (on and off) with my dog Cagney, who has since passed away but remains forever present in my heart. He was my loyal copilot, hiking buddy, and best friend.

girl and her dog in converted camper van

While on the road the second time, I met my now fiancé (a fellow solo van lifer) and we began caravanning across the U.S. together. Check out my video about how we met and fell in love.

Eventually, after four years together, I sold Casper.

And bought a (slightly bigger) shuttle bus…

Our bus name is TBD

Now my fiancé and I are based out of southern Colorado on 5 acres in a small 760-square-foot off-grid home with our two rescue mutts Nova and Juniper. We are currently fixing up our house and slowly trying to become completely self-sufficient by building a sustainable farmstead. You can watch our Off-Grid Cottage Series on YouTube.

When we’re not there we are traveling in our shuttle bus camper with our pups.

You can find the ups and downs of my story on these pages, Instagram and Youtube. I share it all with you in hopes that my journey will inspire you to follow your own truth, take more risks, and travel with a purpose.

If you’re new to the blog, start here:

Explore my Van Life Journey or check out My Van Details.

Learn How I Make A Remote Income (and you can too).

Discover 10 Cost-Saving Ways to Travel the World on a Tight Budget.

Browse my Travel Tips and Guides blog posts or my Travel Resources Page.

Check out my Van Conversion Kit or my Zero Waste Kit.

Browse my Adventure Gear, Hiking Apparel, or my Backpacking Packing List/Guide.

Read from My Favorite Books list.

Check out my Camera Gear.

For dog parents, check out my dog travel gear.

Check out my tote bags or cards for a good cause.

Don’t forget to join my mailing list for random doses of inspiration!

Follow along on social media!

Most importantly, I want to send a warm thank you for stopping in to explore the pages of my website.

I hope you leave feeling inspired and refreshed.