9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life

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By Byron Loker / Published by Dwell
The so-called "van life" is not for everybody, but it's clearly struck a chord with a large group of adventure seekers who crave a life on the road that's free of unnecessary possessions.

Many of these spirited travelers have chosen to turn to some DIY and modify a van, RV, camper, or Airstream—turning it into a tiny yet comfortable dwelling. Take a look at a few of these individuals and their beloved homes on wheels. 

Sarah and Bryan in Pepita the Van

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 1 of 10 - Sarah and Bryan are making their way across North America in their vehicle Pepita—backpacking, cooking, and "goofing...powered by peanut butter." They reminisce about "that face you make when you blend your first solar-powered smoothie in the van."

Sarah and Bryan are making their way across North America in their vehicle Pepita—backpacking, cooking, and "goofing...powered by peanut butter." They reminisce about "that face you make when you blend your first solar-powered smoothie in the van."

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 2 of 10 - A Japanese couple and their fluffy pooch Roy are traversing the heartland of Japan in their stylish, wood-paneled abode.

A Japanese couple and their fluffy pooch Roy are traversing the heartland of Japan in their stylish, wood-paneled abode.

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 3 of 10 - This Australian "herbivore" is making a living off the land, so to speak, from her double-volume van. She traverses the countryside, makes things with plants, and sells them whenever possible.

This Australian "herbivore" is making a living off the land, so to speak, from her double-volume van. She traverses the countryside, makes things with plants, and sells them whenever possible.

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 4 of 10 - Mariel is a Costa Rican stylist, pilates teacher, and macrame lover. She lives in her sweet ride that's decked out in soft, wooden tones.

Mariel is a Costa Rican stylist, pilates teacher, and macrame lover. She lives in her sweet ride that's decked out in soft, wooden tones.

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 5 of 10 - Hatti and Jake are on a roll in their minimalist wagon, in search of surf and soul along the European coast.

Hatti and Jake are on a roll in their minimalist wagon, in search of surf and soul along the European coast.

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 6 of 10 - "Traveling in a van makes you do more with less. You don't have room for big kitchen appliances, gadgets, or even that much counter space. You toast bagels on the stove, brew one cup of coffee at a time, and are forced to get creative with ingredients. Everything takes longer, but that's OK, because those meals sure taste good out here," says Kristen of Bearfoot Theory about her life on the road in her solar-powered Sprinter.

"Traveling in a van makes you do more with less. You don't have room for big kitchen appliances, gadgets, or even that much counter space. You toast bagels on the stove, brew one cup of coffee at a time, and are forced to get creative with ingredients. Everything takes longer, but that's OK, because those meals sure taste good out here," says Kristen of Bearfoot Theory about her life on the road in her solar-powered Sprinter.

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 7 of 10 - New York Times-featured adventurer Zach Both, takes his commercial and documentary production skills on the road in this stylishly appointed camper.

New York Times-featured adventurer Zach Both, takes his commercial and documentary production skills on the road in this stylishly appointed camper.

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 8 of 10 - "Adventure culture isn’t about privilege," says Noël Russell. She continues, "It isn’t about vacation with pay, or sponsored trips to the tropics, or alpine ascents (though, for some, it is). Adventure culture is a spirit of curiosity and awe. It's approaching the everyday—and the fantastic—with boldness and grit. I work at a homeless shelter, and every day is an adventure. My daily view doesn’t fit the aesthetic of outdoor magazine ads or travelogues, but every day I get to explore new corners of people's hearts."

"Adventure culture isn’t about privilege," says Noël Russell. She continues, "It isn’t about vacation with pay, or sponsored trips to the tropics, or alpine ascents (though, for some, it is). Adventure culture is a spirit of curiosity and awe. It's approaching the everyday—and the fantastic—with boldness and grit. I work at a homeless shelter, and every day is an adventure. My daily view doesn’t fit the aesthetic of outdoor magazine ads or travelogues, but every day I get to explore new corners of people's hearts."

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 9 of 10 - Australian adventurer Rob Townsend has been cited by National Geographic for his surf-inspired, van adventuring ways.

Australian adventurer Rob Townsend has been cited by National Geographic for his surf-inspired, van adventuring ways.


We Recommend: FJ & Company

9 Adventure Seekers Who Celebrate Small Space Living Through the Van Life - Photo 10 of 10 - Why not take the path less travelled in your own 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser, completely rebuilt to your specifications? FJ Company's vision is to create a family-friendly traveller that's fit enough for the rigors of driving in the Colorado backcountry and equally as sure-footed on big-city freeways. It's one part classic Land Cruiser, one part "modified monster." Visit the link above for a full range of road-ready special builds delivered straight to your front door free of charge in the continental U.S.

Why not take the path less travelled in your own 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser, completely rebuilt to your specifications? FJ Company's vision is to create a family-friendly traveller that's fit enough for the rigors of driving in the Colorado backcountry and equally as sure-footed on big-city freeways. It's one part classic Land Cruiser, one part "modified monster." Visit the link above for a full range of road-ready special builds delivered straight to your front door free of charge in the continental U.S.

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