Adventure is a great way to bond with your partner and create lasting memories. This February, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day by highlighting some couples within our “Pak” who love getting outside and adventuring!
First up, we sat down with Melanny and Evan, the couple behind @outofthisvan, and picked their brain on their van-life journey, favorite memories, and advice for other couples considering the move to “van life.”
How long have you been living out of your van?
We moved into our van in the summer of 2019 and have been on the road since. The idea of van life, for us, was sparked after we did a celebratory college graduation summer-long camping trip in our rooftop tent in 2015. After that trip, living in a van and traveling for a year quickly became one of our goals in life. A few years later in 2019 we decided to take a sabbatical from our full-time jobs and try out life on the road for 1 year. With the pandemic hitting shortly after and us realizing how much there is to see in North America, our 1 year quickly turned to 3 years and counting.
What types of adventures do you have with your partner, and what's your favorite?
We love hiking but our favorite activity right now is mountain biking. Experiencing trails and landscapes from our bikes enables us to see and cover more ground. Plus the rush of coasting downhill is a lot of fun! We love exploring new trails and pushing each other to develop more skills on the bike - though let's be honest, Evan is definitely faster and more daring than I am. Our dog, Penelope, is even faster than both of us. She loves running ahead to scout the trail.
Any advice for couples considering van life?
Try it before committing, and start small! Many companies now offer rental vans that allow you to get an idea of what it's like. We also encourage people to have an outdoor activity they enjoy doing together. Whether it be hiking, biking, or visiting national parks - it's nice to have something that guides your travel plans.
Once you commit and you're on the road, we believe the “Divide and Conquer” method works best. Vans are small, and tripping over one another can get frustrating, fast. We each have specific chores and tasks to complete while on the road. I take on the role of keeping the van clean and organized while Evan takes charge of cooking our meals. When working on our laptops, we each have our own space as well. I normally sit in our passenger seat that swivels and Evan sits on the bed.
Now that we've been in our van for over 3 years, we can't imagine ourselves without a ready-to-go home on wheels. It's been a life-changing experience getting to travel the country together and explore new-to-us trails all while having the creature comforts of home.
One thing we've learned is that it's okay to slow down the rate at which we travel. There are so many possibilities for adventure when living on the road but constantly moving locations can be exhausting. These days we “try” to take our time in the places we love and are more strategic with our travel plans. There’s still so much to explore! We’re not sure what the future holds, but continuing to adventure will always be part of our lives.
If you’re looking for more van-life tips from Melanny and Evan, follow their adventures on social media.