Who We Are

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. We’re…

 

Chris 300

Chris

Age: 36

Loves: Sci-fi, board games, Bob Dylan’s music, golf

Profession: Owner of the Handlebar Shaving Company and Stealth Mode, property manager

Favorite Place: Tulum

Types: ISTJ, Virgo

Tamara

Age: 32

Loves: Young-adult fiction, black coffee, sun, tennis

Profession: Communications consultant, author

Favorite Place: Tasmania

Types: ESTJ, Libra

Holly

Age: 16

Loves: Naps, treats, eating things she shouldn’t

Profession: Retired show dog

Favorite Place: Her food bowl

Types: Cairn Terrier, Capricorn

Rest in peace, Holly


 

In October 2013, we left our home in San Francisco, California to travel Latin America with nothing but our backpacks — and our dog, Holly. We called the trip Our Leap Year, because it truly was a leap: we took a chance that we could set up new lives, learn bravery and new cultures, and manage to not starve to death. It was a transformational experience.

Toward the end of our year, we asked ourselves, where should we live now? And we couldn’t think of a single place — we thought of every place. There’s still so much to see and experience. So we decided to become digital nomads, working from the road while traveling North America in our converted minivan camper, Red Delicious. It’s an exhilarating and terrifying experiment!

Get in touch with us at contact [at] nomadswithavan [dot] com — we love helping people do what we do.

 

Seth Godin Quote

 

  19 comments for “Who We Are

  1. 2015-02-18 at 8:14 pm

    Hi! This is my goal in a year or two. I am a writer but have only one steady monthly job now writing. What are ways to find work on the road…and/or other writing jobs that need writer and ghost writers besides Elance that is flooded with writers who work for pennies. Thank you!!!

    • Tamara & Chris
      2015-02-19 at 6:36 am

      Hi PJ! Thanks for following along and for your question. The first thing I’ll suggest is checking out the site http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com. She has some great general tips for working on the road in a financially sustainable way. However, that doesn’t really get to the meat of your question! Chris and I talked about it and here are some ideas:

      – You should definitely make it your goal to get one or two more “anchor clients” — folks who you establish a relationship with who have steady writing needs. Maybe you have a monthly retainer with them so you can be on-call to write articles, edit materials, etc. It’s not easy to set this up, but it’ll have a better payoff in terms of earnings and stability. You’ll need to think about how you want to position yourself — do you do technical writing? SEO writing? Reporting? You could come up with different content packages (e.g. 10 1000-word articles for $3K or something) and market them to your network.

      – Then, look for supplemental gigs. If you’re good at technical writing or SEO, Chris suggests a site like http://www.textbroker.com because you don’t have to bid against other people like on Elance. Instead, you’re part of a pool. You can also look for gigs on Craigslist. You could even create some passive income by writing a short how-to book that you sell on Amazon, etc. If you’re traveling abroad, you could offer informal translation services in the places where you’re staying. For example, a lot of tour companies want English versions of marketing materials/web pages in addition to the local language. You’d do better than Google Translate because you’re a native speaker and can make sure the info sounds credible. Again, this is to supplement your anchor client work.

      Hope these ideas are a good starting point for you! Best of luck and let us know when you hit the road. 🙂 – Tamara and Chris

      • Van
        2016-04-09 at 6:35 pm

        @Tamara & Chris: Thank you for the Professional Hobo site info.

  2. Klaus Anhaus
    2015-03-31 at 8:39 am

    Hallo Tamara and Chris, my Name is Klaus, I`m aged nearly 62 years , retired and I´m living in Germany in a village named Kleinostheim (Littleeasthome) 40km south from Frankfurt in North-Bavaria. I myself travelling also with a little van Citroen Jumpy (Dispatch). Inside I have done it also very cheep and easy, but very handy, I can sleep inside of course, cooking in- and outside, I have a chemical toilette, a cooler, a desk for in and out, a campingchair and a locker out of plastic with drawers, normaly taken for tools. On the rack I have always my bicycle with me , and my newest hobby since last year is riding a kickscooter, that´s very funny and very fine for visiting towns and villages. I often hear children shouting: Oh look, the grandpa with the scooter, cool!! In Germany I mostly spend the nights in natureplaces or on parkgrounds where ever I want, that´s no problem. Dear Tamara and Chris, sorry for my bad english, but it`s nearly 50 years ago, since I learned a little bit in school. I am sad that your lovely dog passed away, I know whow hard it is because my wife Maria and I we always had cats and the lastone named Helloween passed away 2 years ago. But now, and wish you all the best and meeting many kindly people on your trip.
    Kindest regards Klaus

    • Tamara & Chris
      2015-04-02 at 9:56 am

      Hi Klaus! Thank you for your kind note and for sharing your story with us. Are you still traveling in your van? It sounds amazing! Your English is very good; there’s no need to apologize. Best wishes to you and Maria on your travels and thank you again for the kind note! – Tamara and Chris

      • Klaus Anhaus
        2015-09-01 at 3:51 am

        Hi Tamara & Chris! Sorry for answering so late, but I was on my way very often this summer, also it was so hot here in Germany and Europe, many weeks! more than 30° Celsius, puuh. I was 2 times at the river Rhine, I love this big river, in my earlier working life I was captain on river vessels, driving from Rotterdam to Basel, on the river Main (where I live) or on the river Neckar (Heidelberg!) and also on the river Moselle (Luxembourg) etc. Next week I will drive to a meeting of historic trucks in the near of Rothenburg and than to Munich and the lake Starnberg in South-Bavaria to a meeting of historic Volkswagen Beetle. Than, the indian summer is gone and I will do daytrips. Dear Tamara and Chris, I would like to go to USA, it`s my dreamland since childhood and one of my favorite books is “Travelling with Charley” from John Steinbeck, but my beloved wife Maria has to work 5 more years and so I must wait for this. Otherwise, my brother in law Todd is an american guy, retired from th army and living with my sister in Germany. Our idea is, one day riding through America on Harley Davidsons, maybe…
        So I wish you furtheron a good travel, stay in good health and beware always your open heart to all kind of live.
        Kind regards Klaus

  3. Melanie J.
    2016-03-16 at 3:32 pm

    That Seth Godin quote is amazing. And your site is fabulous! Keep on truckin’. (You’ve probably heard that a bezillion times by now.)

    • Tamara & Chris
      2016-03-16 at 3:57 pm

      Thank you, Melanie! 🙂

  4. sternrep
    2016-08-24 at 7:31 am

    I am so happy to find your blog as this is something I want to do. Do you know which minivans are best to turn into camper vans? Is there a list of which have flat seats or ways of removing seats to create room for a bed and storage? Thank you if you can help.

    • Tamara & Chris
      2016-08-24 at 8:41 am

      Glad to help! There are really 5 main minivans out there: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona (what we have), Chrysler Town & Country and Nissan Quest. There are also smaller, discontinued ones like the Mazda MPV or Toyota Previa. It’s tough to answer your question about flat/removable seats because nearly all brand new vans have a removable second row and a third row that folds flat. But, you may not be buying a brand new minivan. (They’re expensive when brand new!) But those five vans I mentioned have similar cargo area — you’ll just have to research the year of the van you’re considering to know the specific features.

      Here’s what I think you should consider when looking at vans:
      – Fuel economy: older vans are cheaper, but newer vans get way better gas mileage so try to find the right balance for your budget
      – Cargo space/configurations: Being able to remove/fold down seats is important. Consider whether you have a place to store seats you remove. Also, look up the measurements so you know whether there’s room for a bed.
      – Reliability: An older van with 190,000 miles on it might be cheap, but you might have to do a lot of repairs and it might have problems on long road trips. So try to strike a balance based on your budget and willingness to invest in repairs. Good luck and happy travels!

  5. 2016-09-27 at 7:17 pm

    Hey, My boyfriend & I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2014 and ever since we keep bopping around to different areas. We get laid off for the winter & we are going to van travel for a month or two. Really glad to stumble across your website 🙂 We’re just started working on ours too.

    • Tamara & Chris
      2016-09-29 at 12:18 am

      What a great way to spend your winters! Thanks for reading and happy travels. 🙂

  6. 2017-02-12 at 9:21 am

    Hi Tamara and Chris! Thanks so much for all the energy and information that you’ve put out into the world through this blog. I love the layout in Red Delicious and the idea that you don’t have to put months of time and energy on some intensive conversion to have a comfortable space to live on the road, because honestly, there are SO many things I’d rather do than build out the interior of a vehicle.

    I also really appreciate all of the lifestyle-type articles, and the positive but not sugar-coated perspective. I have a full-time 40+ hour/week remote work situation and would like to incorporate more travel into my lifestyle. I read your “day in the life” post, and a half-time work schedule sounds idyllic – morning work and afternoons to explore – but I don’t have that much free time. I know freelance work can be boom or bust, and I’m curious if you have had longer periods with 40+ hours of work and how that works out for you from the road. Thanks for any insights you might have!

    • Tamara & Chris
      2017-02-14 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! We are totally in sync: it’s a lot more fun to travel and enjoy than build out a vehicle. 🙂

      Your question about handling long, 40+-hour work weeks is very timely, since last week was one of those! Usually we don’t work that much, but deadlines and shipments and meetings all just happened to collide. The only reason it worked is because we’d booked an Airbnb for the week.

      If we were both working full time (or even just more hours), I don’t think we’d travel by van. It’s hard to travel slowly by van and have consistent access to internet. Instead, we’d do what we did during our sabbatical: pick a location and stay there for 1-2 months, renting a room or Airbnb. Maybe we’d feel differently if we had a more sophisticated setup, like an RV. But if you need to be really, really productive, it’s easier to travel slowly.

      Hope this helps! Good luck and don’t hesitate to let us know if we can help with anything else.

      • 2017-02-19 at 7:29 pm

        Congratulations on making it through the sprint cycle, and thanks so much for the response! Being able to be super productive and efficient at work is really important to both me and my husband, so your recommendation of choosing a spot for a month or two really resonates. I like the idea of a series of travel sabbaticals, especially since we own a home in a pretty amazing spot (Yosemite NP), and also want to take advantage of that.

        Again, thank you so *so* much for sharing your experience!

  7. 2017-03-14 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Tamara and Chris!

    This is Kai and Justin from Lincoln Hills farm! Please shoot us an email at kaimos300@gmail.com

  8. Gina
    2017-06-08 at 12:55 pm

    Hey Tamarack and Chris!Carlo e your blog! My husband and I are new to van life. Right bow we are staying lolocals my husband has a full time job but will be traveiling in the near future. I would like to know how I would be able to work from the van. I tried looking into things but they seem like scams. I too worldwide to start my own blog on vabdwelling and living the good life but other than that I wanted to know how I could make money on the road doing things online. Thanks for your help! Much love, your fan Gina ✌

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