Since I was little, I’ve wanted to travel. It’s been this dream of mine to live the life of a nomad, on the long road with my two dogs.
I don’t actually have two dogs, and it’s a weird goal, I’ll admit. But I do have a plan on how I will make this happen.
Right now, I’m working on getting my driver’s license. Once finished, I will purchase a car. It doesn’t need to be anything special; just something affordable and gets good gas mileage. Maybe a Corolla, or a Civic.
Once I have the car, I will begin delivering for services like Door Dash and Uber Eats. I’ll save that money towards the ultimate purchase: a van. This is where things get tricky. I could buy a Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia, and I wouldn’t need to convert the van, only fix a few things here or there and add solar panels, etc.
Or, I could get something else, like a Chevy G20. In that scenario, I will need to not only make any necessary repairs, but I’ll also need to convert it as well. I’ll need to build the bed, counters, walls, etc.
Ultimately, I’d like to get a Vanagon, as the versatility and utilitarian nature of it is more appealing. It also helps that the interior is also premade. The issue lies within the reliability factor. Live Work Wander for example had one, and they got tired of having to work on it all the time. Not all of them are as bad as theirs, like Living the Van Life for example. But the risk is there. You don’t know what you’re gonna get.
While yes, I could theoretically get something off of TheSamba, which has had all of the issues taken care of; but spending $30,000 on a van that I’ll need to spend more on to make it my home is not exactly something I can afford.
Because of that, I am currently unsure of whether I’ll get a Vanagon or something else. Yeah, the Vanagon is awesome, but it has its fair share of problems.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let us move on to the big question: how can I make money as a van-dweller?
While that’s an easy question, the answer is far from such. Currently, I am working on getting into the community college here in my hometown of Austin Texas. I’m hoping to start in January of next year. The classes I will be taking are:
Photography: I’m gonna take the entire course in this. This will be the primary career.
Videography: I intend to capture lots of footage in many creative ways for the YouTube channel.
Graphics Design: Mainly for logos and such.
Studio Art: I hear fan art is big money these days.
Creative Writing: I have so many great ideas for stories I’d love to write. I just don’t have the skills necessary right now.
Automotive: Only gonna take a few semesters of this. Mainly just so I can work on the van. I don’t need to learn how to swap an engine or rebuild a transmission.
Acoustic & Electric Guitar: ’cause why not?
As a professional photographer, I could be making $60,000 a year. Now, I’ve done the math, so I’m expecting it to cost me roughly $700 a month to live in the van; so I can totally afford that, and then some.
While living in the van, I will travel the country and document my experiences fishing, camping, hiking, and more here on my blog.
See Long-Haul Trucking for my backup plan.