Starting in January 2021, I will attend Austin Community College. I will be taking photography, graphics design, and studio art. I will also be getting a new computer, the MacBook Pro 16. Over the summer I will attend driving school. This is step one in preparing me for my ultimate goal: living in a van as a digital nomad.
After getting my driver’s license I will begin the search for my first car. Likely an old Camry or something of that ilk. I will start working on the side as a delivery driver. Once I can afford it, I will start the search for a Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia. I’d like to find a 4×4 Syncro model, but more likely I’ll get a 2WD and convert it to 4×4 sometime later. It won’t be easy to find the van as I have to find the right one. Once I’ve found and purchased the van I will spend the following months making it livable; documenting the process on my blog along the way. Once it is livable I will move into the van full-time. I will attend work and school while living in the van.
Walmart has an open boon-docking policy. Even without that, there are neighborhoods I can park at. I will also be getting a gym membership so I have somewhere to shower.
Cooking will be done with the built-in two burner stove. I need to be making my own food, so no frozen dinners.
The van is gonna need work. I’ll first replace the fuel lines as they are old and worn out. Modern fuel will further add wear and tear which leaves the risk of fires. I will also add an extinguisher tube over the engine bay for good measure.
The mattress will need to be replaced probably. I’m thinking memory foam, but it might be too expensive.
Then I’ll need to setup the electrical system. Gonna need some solar panels. Also gonna tear out the side-loading fridge and replace it with more storage. I’ll get a top-loading one and put it between the two front seats. Side-loading fridges use too much electricity because they need to recycle every time you open them.
I think that’s all I’ll need to do to make it livable.
The van will probably cost between three and ten grand. Making it livable will be another few thousand. Over time I’ll be adding to it. I wanna make it ready for overlanding/offroading. I’m expecting to spend twenty to twenty-five grand on the project overall. Keep in mind it’ll all be done over the course of four to eight years.
There’s the possibility I’ll add automotive to my classes at ACC, as these van tend to be high maintenance.
While I’m in college, I will be building my portfolio and career as a landscape photographer and digital artist.
Once I have completed college I will begin my journey. I intend to travel everywhere and work while I do so. I’m expecting it’ll cost between $900 and $1,200 a month. This is a very affordable lifestyle. I’ve had this dream for many years and I’m finally on my way to making it happen.