The #Vanlifers Behind These Must-Follow Instagram Accounts Are Living the Dream
View Photos

The #Vanlifers Behind These Must-Follow Instagram Accounts Are Living the Dream

Add to
Like
Share
By Marissa Hermanson
Their souped-up vehicles and dreamy destinations will inspire you to hit the road

Have you dreamed of leaving behind your brick-and-mortar lifestyle and venturing out on the open road? Great news: you can travel the world from your couch, living vicariously through these globetrotting Instagrammers. We’re building upon our first installment of #vanlife and #buslife accounts with eight new road-tripping adventurers—buckle up!

Noël Russell / @Noel_Russ 

Noël Russell is traveling with her husband Jonnie and two dogs in a 2009 Ford E-150.

Noël Russell saw potential in an old, beat-up 2009 Ford E-150, which is now her "mini dream home on wheels." She sketched up plans for the former medical transport vehicle, and her friends at The Vansmith gutted the interior and converted it into a part-time residence that she shares with her husband, Jonnie, and two rescue dogs, Fin and Lhotse.

When they aren’t on the road, Noël and Jonnie live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Based out of the Bay Area, the duo and their mutts have been adventuring in the mobile home since 2015. "When we’re out on the road, we have everything we need within arm’s reach," says Noël. "What we lack in living space, we make up for in experiences." Noël just returned from a trip to New Mexico, stopping in Utah on the way home. The couple plans to spend time in the Sierra Nevadas until it gets too cold, and then they’re heading to the coast for the winter.

The Good Life Griffiths / @thegoodlifegriffiths

Melissa and Sam Griffiths are traveling Australia with their three daughters.

For now the family is planning to live on the road for two years, but they’re quick to consider extending their trip. After all, Mel and Sam have been embracing van life for over a decade now. "If all goes well, we might even buy a bigger bus and make it a longer experience." Next stop: Tasmania for summer 2020.

Slow Car Fast Home / @SlowCarFastHome 

Danielle Boucek and Tommy Krawczewicz, along with their two dogs, have been living in their 1992 Toyota Odyssey full-time for the past two years.

Denver’s pricey cost of living drove Danielle Boucek and Tommy Krawczewicz to embrace life on the road. The duo found a 1992 Toyota Odyssey on Craigslist and gave the chassis a complete overhaul. "We took a few camping trips in our first van, and we convinced ourselves that we could travel in a van or RV long term," they write from the East Coast, where they are visiting family for Thanksgiving. "And then, we asked ourselves ‘Why not try out life on the road?’"

They stripped down the chassis and gave the vehicle’s interior a whole new look and feel.

On the road full-time for the past two years with their canine companions Missy and Trip in tow, the couple is on the hunt to buy land to create a place to rest and recharge for a month here and there—and also to use as an income rental property for the rest of the year. This year the couple’s favorite stops have been Baja and Nova Scotia. Next they are heading south to Florida to soak up the sun for the remainder of the year.

Home Is Where We Wander / @homeiswherewewander

Bryant and Hillary Jaquez live part-time in a souped-up school bus with their five kids.

How many people can live on a school bus? Seven, to be exact: Bryant and Hillary Jaquez, along with their five kids. "We love to travel, and we wanted to find a way to travel with our kids—but the cost of buying seven airplane tickets makes many trips unaffordable," writes Hillary. "Traveling in a tiny house was a creative way to continue traveling without breaking the bank."

The Redding, California–based family has traveled all over the west in their Thomas Built Bus.

Based out of Redding, California, the family gave full-time #buslife a spin this past summer and they are currently weekend warriors, making short trips during the school year. Wanderlust has taken them down Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway, over the Continental Divide, and through Zion, Utah. "It was a breathtaking experience," writes Hillary. The Jaquez family bought the remodeled Thomas Built Bus from friends, and they are planning to add their own special touches to the chassis in the future, transforming it into an Airbnb.

August In The Woods / @augustinthewoods

Angie and Silvester Marangoni-Resch fixed up a Mercedes Sprinter and are traveling Europe with their two cute pooches.

Angie and Silvester Marangoni-Resch are traveling Europe in a renovated ambulance with their adorable companions Pippa and Boo. The couple found the Mercedes Sprinter through the Austrian online marketplace willhaben, and aside from a few cupboards, the chassis was bare. Silvester gave the van a DIY makeover, installing an electrical system, solar panels, and a bed frame and shelves. "We love it and I feel it keeps us wild and adventurous," says Angie.

The part-time roadies save van life for the weekends and a few longer trips throughout the year.

Based in Austria, they work a few weeks or months and then take an extended vacation. On their last trip they spent three weeks touring Southern England, and they’re planning weekend jaunts through the Austrian countryside until the end of the year. "Give me my favorite person, my furry kids, a place to sleep in, and let’s explore the world," says Angie.

A Stray Project / @a.strayproject

Jeweler Sara Dungo uses her 1991 Ford E-350 as her full-time residence and studio.

In her quest to become a minimalist, Sara Dungo was drawn to life on the road. Inspired by her dad and uncle (who built out their own vans), she decided to give van life a whirl. She purchased her 1991 Ford E-350 from Vantastic Mobility (it used to be an airport shuttle), and then she stripped it down and installed new floors, wall insulation, cabinetry, and an off-grid solar system. 

Formerly an airport shuttle, the vehicle was stripped down and brought back to life with a cool, contemporary interior.

Sara lives in the van full-time, and she also uses it as a studio space for her jewelry brand Transient Collective. She’s based in Charleston, and she goes back and forth between the mountains of North Carolina and the Low Country of South Carolina for road shows and markets. "I do dream of the days I can travel out west and explore more of America," she writes.

Fern the Bus / @fernthebus

Mande and Ben Tucker, of Holland, Michigan, scored an old International school bus on Craigslist.

Holland, Michigan–based Mande and Ben Tucker are traveling the country with their 18-month-old son Sawyer. They found their 24-foot 1992 International school bus on Craigslist, and did major work on the chassis, adding a rooftop deck, flooring, framing, cabinetry, and a solar-powered electrical system.

Mande and Ben have traveled the U.S. and Canada along with their 18-month-old son Sawyer.

The part-time roadies travel on the weekends and take longer trips during the summer, visiting places like Banff National Park and Glacier National Park. "We constantly strive for balance in our life," the couple writes. "We find comfort in the stability that a home provides, and also love the feeling of freedom and adventure that we get on the open road." The couple is currently working on building out another bus. We can’t wait to see what is in store!

Where We Travel To / @wherewetravelto

London-based couple Natalia Homolova and Roland Majer turned an old police surveillance van into their home on wheels.

Van dwellers Natalia Homolova and Roland Majer roam Europe in a former police surveillance van. Based out of London, the Slovakian couple acquired their 2006 Vauxhall Movano MWB through a used commercial car dealership, stripped it down, and redid the interior.

The couple is traveling Europe in a 2006 Vauxhall Movano MWB full-time.

"We love traveling. When we went for holidays in the past, we always rented a car and explored the area. We always saw caravans and motorhomes and dreamed that one day we could do it ourselves," writes Natalia. "We decided that if we went on another road trip we would need a van. Fast forward six months, and we bought a van—the rest is history!" Recently the couple traveled the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Portugal, and they’re planning a spring trip to Norway.

Related Reading:

Vans, Trailers, Campers, Oh My! Here’s All You Need to Know About #Vanlife

Pro Van Converters Share #Vanlife Tips for DIYers

10 Van Lifers You Should Follow on Instagram Right Now

Get the Dwell Newsletter

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.

See a sample