Living out of a van is nothing new. But when Foster Huntington created the #vanlife Instagram hashtag back in 2011, he spawned not only thousands of social-media posts, but a renewed interest in moving back toward smaller, mobile living.
Now #vanlife has become a community of rambling souls seeking adventure from behind the steering wheel (and on a continuous search for a shower). Here, some of our favorite #vanlife Instagram accounts to help inspire your next road trip.
In their words: “An American flip book as we travel the country in a Dodge Sprinter.”
In ours: Gale Straub is the founder of @She_Explores, a blog all about women on the road and in the great outdoors. Along with her boyfriend, Huckberry contributor John Gaffney of @TheVanMan, they’re flipping what it means to document life from the front seat — by documenting it from the back door.
A photo posted by Dylan Phillip Bellingan (@myamericandreamtour) on
In his words: “I live a simple life, traveling the country in my van Pearl. I work when I need to, but mainly find myself surfing or exploring.”
In ours: When Dylan Bellingan decided to unclutter his life, he took a step beyond cleaning out coat closets and bought himself a 1993 Chevy work van that he converted into his full-time home. Together, he and “Pearl” have been clocking miles all over the country, from the Canadian border to Mexico, catching up with friends along the way.
In her words: “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.”
In ours: Melissa Connell (“Liss” to her friends) gets plenty of questions about how she can afford to travel throughout her native Australia living out of her van-and-trailer setup. Her response? Buy less, do more (it helps that she also occasionally rents out her stylish trailer for photo shoots). She’s a pro at what she calls “experiential travel”; her aim is to enjoy the trip, not just rush to a destination.
For the last 40 years, Adam Dolphin has hitchhiked his way through 5 continents with no more than an external frame backpack and a prayer to fate. – Halfway through his ride with us, he looked us deep in the eye and caught a glimpse of idle theory. “Most people,” he said, “are human doings. But you, you two really are human beings.” – He began to laugh from his diaphragm, a deep hearty sound that filled the interior of the bus. We began to giggle with him, all of us connected by disbelief, a hilarious realization that to be is the most human thing we can do. #idletheory
A photo posted by James + Rachel + Sunshine (@idletheorybus) on
In their words: “Idle: to spend time doing nothing. Theory: to spend our time idling.”
Our words: Each photo from James, Rachel and their van, Sunshine, is accompanied by a long, poetic caption — pretty fitting for a couple who prefers to move at a slower place. If you like stunning photos, vintage vans and anecdotal stories, you’ll have a hard time not double-tapping.
Stuck as fuck in Mexico, 2012. This photo along with a handful of others from my time spent living in my car is available to buy as a print on Tom Adler’s new project @archive.art. Tom is an art director that made Jeff Devine’s surf books as well as books documenting the early climbing movement in Yosemite Valley. It’s an honor to be included in the company of @ed.templeton @kanoazimmerman @umyeaharts @willadlerphotographs @jeffjohnson_beyondandback and to many others to count. Take a look, it’s a pretty amazing collection of photos and a great project.
In his words: “That’s just like your opinion man … ”
Our words: The OG #vanlifer, photographer Foster Huntington’s account is as perfectly curated and instantly inspiring as you might have expected. Or maybe that’s just our opinion.
Waist-high grasslands of the Mojave Trail. #tbt2013 #Unimog #uniblog #mercedes #mercedesbenz #benz @mercedestruckuk @mbusa @mercedesbenz #offroad #lifted #4×4 #backroads #dirtroad #campvibes #adventuremobile #offroadnation #orn #truck #motus @motusworld #natgeolandscape #neverstopexploring #keepexploring #wildernessculture #drivetastefully #frontrunner #frontrunneroutfitters #camptrend #lostincalifornia #lifeintheslowlane
A photo posted by theuniblog (@theuniblog) on
In his words: “Filmmaker/Overlander. These are the adventures of my 1964 Unimog.”
Our words: In a #vanlife landscape filled with Vanagons and Sprinter vans, the rugged Army Unimog (or, in this case, a retired ambulance) turned mobile home is a refreshing sight on our Instagram feeds.
Max (my rescue dog), and I would like to welcome all of our new followers that found us through @gopro ! We are grateful to every person that has liked our photographs and who have taken the time to comment. I can’t keep up with answering all of your questions, but please know that I see them and am overwhelmed by your kindness and positive words. We look forward to sharing more of our seemingly never ending journey with you. 🐶❤️🚐#thankyou #gopro #vanlife #westylife #maxtravels #blmland #oregon #alvorddesert
In her words: “Life on the road in Campy the van with my sidekick rescue dog, Max.”
Our words: Traveling with her scruffy and adorable adventure partner, Max, Alison Turner captures life on the road from a truly unique perspective. Which got us wondering: Is she just master of the self-timer or can you really teach an old dog new tricks?
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