In May of 2017, I bought a used Ford Transit Cargo Van and began converting it into an off-grid mobile home named Casper. The process took about 2 months while working on it part-time and cost about $3,480.
2017 could easily be the most life-changing year I’ve had yet. From quitting my job in New York, backpacking around Asia and the Middle East, moving into a van, pursuing my passion of writing as a career, and entering into a new relationship–it has not been uneventful.
It is no secret that travel can be as cheap or expensive as your personal preferences require. Just know, that if you’re on a tight budget and can’t suppress your wanderlust, travel is still obtainable.
As I pulled up the driveway of Gardenripe Farm, I saw a middle-aged man with a blue cap appear on the porch of a modest white house. He walked up to my driver side window to greet me, “you must be lost,” he said smiling.
Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side, the mountains are taller, the sky bluer, and the wind more musical. At least, that’s been my experience living in a van for the past five weeks.
I lay in the warmth of the thick wool blankets I’m cocooned between, hoping to prolong the moment. If I stay put, I can maintain the shield of body heat I’ve created during the night. I decide to take a peak outside, and let whatever is waiting for me determine my next move.
Imagine a 5’2” twenty something peeking over the steering wheel of a white cargo van, winding through Navajo Nation with distinct red hues gleaming off pillar shaped rock formations in the distance, 80’s pop blaring through the speakers, and a miniature sheep peeking out the passenger window.
Cardboard rocketships, home-made science projects, and hunting for artifacts Indiana Jones-style filled my afternoons growing up. So naturally, when the time came to declare a college major at 18, I was a bit stumped.