The idea of leaving most of your possessions behind to start living (and adventuring) in a van might seem like either a faraway dream or a foolhardy undertaking, depending on who you ask.
Before taking off on a yearlong trip in their van-home, the couple spent time saving up and customizing the van. They gave up their apartments in San Francisco in 2016.
After just four months of dating, Juliana and her boyfriend Richmond decided to build out a Sprinter Van together and travel the American West. They documented the process on their blog, Home Sweet Van, and quickly grew a rabid following on social media. No surprises here: Juliana's openness and love of travel is contagious. She has a great photographic eye which allows you to step into their life for a while.
Learn more about Juliana, the buildout, and the growing pains (and positives!) of moving into a van in the interview below.
On our last day of full-time apartment life, my partner Richmond and I were feeling a lot things: tinges of anxiety, pinches of fear, pulses of anticipation, waves of excitement.
The last year had been leading up to this—our big moment. We were about to move into the Sprinter van that we’d converted into a tiny home.
It was January 31, and dark rain clouds hung above the city. As we put our final boxes into storage and shut the doors, we had a moment. We paused and let out along exhale—the breath that we’d been holding in for months.
“This is our life now,” we nervously laughed. "This is our 50 square feet of living space."
For the past two months, Rich and Jules have been traversing across the North American West in their trusted Sprinter van. Leaving behind the creature comforts of a static home, the couple paired down their possessions to the bare minimum—or, at least, almost—and hit the road for a year-long sabbatical.
As explored in our book Off the Road, the life of a contemporary vagabond is one filled with lush landscapes and thrilling views. Since leaving home, Rich and Jules have been documenting their journey on their blog and their popular Instagram account. We spoke with Jules about what happens when you forgoe an apartment for a four-wheeled home.
TINy house, tiny footprint
My interviews tend to focus on the people who live in tiny homes and less on how people design their tiny homes. But I've had several people tell me that they'd like to learn more about the process of converting a vehicle into a tiny home.
Photography is important when chronicling a process like this, and I knew the couple behind Home Sweet Van would be a perfect fit.
When Juliana & Richie first met, they learned they had a few things in common, including the idea of taking a year off to live on the road. This is Juliana's story that follows their journey from buying a van to living on the road.