The Vanlifers You Should Be Following On Instagram Right Now

09.08.18 3 months ago 6 Comments

Uproxx

Last Updated: September 7th, 2018

The internet has allowed people living (and loving) the vanlife to connect with one another in ways that weren’t possible in the past. Instagram, in particular, has become a community hub where digital nomads and people wanting to mainline a dose of wanderlust can form a community. It has also allowed people who would otherwise have no idea how to turn their vanlife dreams into vanlife realities to do exactly that.

There are a lot of awesome vanlifers making the most of Instagram, but we decided to round up some of our absolute faves. So here are the “best” #VanLife Instagram accounts you should follow right now.

Hadley and Kahlil Fuller – 10k Followers

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This time last year we embarked on our maiden voyage with Moby. Our sink didn’t work, we hadn’t built our overhead cabinets, our propane hose was the wrong size and we were too weary of our @dometic toilet situation to use it but DAMMIT we were gonna make it to our family vacation at Crystal Lake in the thing! 〰 Today we are caravanning with my parents to the lake again – 12 short hours on the road – and it’s crazy to think how much more comfortable we are in here. Sure, there are a few things that could use a little TLC but Moby truly feels like home to us now 🖤 _________ #nature #adventure #outboundliving #vanlife #vanlifers #sprintervan #camper #thisisvanlifeing #vanlifedistrict #projectvanlife #womenontheroad #conversion #roadtrip #camping #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlifediaries #vandweller #vanclans #vancrush #sprintercampervan #outdoors #neverstopexploring #ontheroad #vanliferevolution #diycamper #customvan #exploremore #fromourvantage

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Although both Hadley and Kahlil are a married couple living in a converted van named Moby and both have Instagram accounts, for the most consistent vanlife and travel-oriented images, we recommend following Hadley’s account. This married couple spent three months and $12,500 dollars converting a Sprinter van they purchased for about $15,000 on Craigslist. That isn’t the kind of money most of us have at our ready disposal, and neither did they. The pair were only able to swing it by trading in their car and financing the rest. And, as Kahlil is the CEO of a company called NBA Math Hoops — which partners with the NBA — they have an income that is sufficient to maintain a life on the road. We like their transparency about all of that.

One of the things that makes Hadley’s Insta a stunner is that she comes from a background of educational and professional activities that focus on poverty alleviation, and her photography is often a form of visual storytelling she uses to institute change. But she isn’t preachy or anything. You get a ton of beautiful travel photos with a healthy dose of Thisbe, the couple’s adorable dog, and her husband, Kahlil, included. The traveling family unit feels so authentically happy that it’s a real boost to be part of it.

Bonus: if you want to see more of Hadley’s photographic work, she has an awesome website.

Sydney Ferbache – 21k Followers

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Many people find stability from staying in one place and that’s awesome. But every time I come home, I’m asked if I’m tired of constantly moving around and feeling “chaotic”. I think there’s just different types of people in this world and we all find stability in different ways. The truth for me is that I feel more stable, more me, and the most balanced when I am constantly moving and seeing different places all the time. I don’t know why but I feel more anxious at the thought of sitting still 😩 Do whatever brings you stability no matter what that looks like. You can have the picket fence you always dreamed of while I have the van of my dreams. And we can both be equally as happy. ❤️

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A certified Yoga instructor, Ferbache has been living the vanlife since October of 2017 and she currently moving on from her 2011 Mercedes Sprinter to a Ford Transit. Instagram followers can watch as she goes through the conversion. With both of her vans, Sydney discovered it was less expensive to buy them outside the Midwest and have them shipped to her rather than buying one locally. Initially, her plan was to live on the road for eight months, but now that she’s immersed in the vanlife, she can’t imagine living any other way. She can’t even imagine returning to living in a house or apartment. Her newly developed minimalism makes rooms full of furniture and extra stuff stressful.

Ferbache’s Instagram feed is more focused on pictures of her and her van than the average vanlifer’s is. Because of her yoga flexibility, she contorts herself quite nimbly in her small living space, as well as in gorgeous travel destinations. But she isn’t all bikinis and athleisure. She also posted a pic of her on the toilet and a story showing where the toilet is placed when the van is on the road. Point being: Syndey is keeping it real. Real real.

For followers who want to learn more about living as a digital nomad, she keeps a great blog full of tips for every stage of van living.

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Trust me when I say coming out of this pose was drastically less graceful.. 😂 The past couple years I lost a lot of my practice. I haven’t talked about it much recently on here. But I got into a serious accident that lead to surgery and a good portion of my left arm being re-created with lots of metal. Then months of daily physical therapy, learning to hold a pencil again (literally), followed by depression, and slowly working my way to where I am. Shit happens to all of us. And that whole phase of my life taught me more than I could’ve ever seen at the beginning (it was pretty dark at first). I’ve come a long way since then and I worked through hell to get here. I’m happy to be on the other side of it now and appreciating every day that I have with my body. No matter what it looks like, feels like, or even the days my arm swells up which inevitably brings on a terrible mood. Be thankful for the body you have no matter what limits it brings. Move what you can, when you can because things can change very quickly. 🙏🏼🙆🏼‍♀️

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Kaya Lindsay – 23k Followers

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Reunited and it feels so good. 🧗🏼‍♀️❤️🚐✨ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Transmission has been replaced, TCM has been replaced and my bank account has been drained💸 It looks like I also need a new drive shaft 😢 but that’s not pressing and will be a problem for two-weeks-from-now-Kaya. Thank you to everyone who felt like donating, I’ve read all of your messages, they were beautiful and heartfelt and really touched me ❤️❤️🙏🏻 Thank you. To everyone who just sent good vibes, I appreciate those too! They helped @mikehatesbolts and I send #Medicineman up sentinel tower in Colorado National Monument! 🏜 🚐✨🤙🏻

A post shared by Kaya Lindsay (@onechicktravels) on

Social media manager Kaya Lindsay and her partner Michael Baba transitioned from living with Kara’s parents into their 2006 Dodge Sprinter named Lyra because they simply could not make the amount of income needed to afford an apartment in Santa Cruz, CA. As both worked remotely and were committed to a simple life with a lot of time in the outdoors, a van suited their needs — providing an affordable way to travel to the places they wanted to see. They grabbed their van for $11,000 and spent five months converting it to the tune of $5,000 bucks. But with an estimated monthly “rent” between 198.49 and 378.49, the long-term savings balance out the monthly cost. Kaya and Michael have been able to continue working full-time and been able to travel to Vermont, Canada, Illinois, California, Colorado, and more.

Vanlifers on Instagram tend to be avid outdoors people, but it’s mostly the men photographing extreme recreation. The women tend to do yoga or stick to hiking. Kaya breaks that mold in a big way. And avid climber, this wanderlust wonder often posts images of her hanging from cliffs and staring across the vista from atop a mountain peak (in some cases naked except for climbing gear). It’s exciting and motivating. Followers can look forward to van pics, as well as a ton of action shots and selfies. This is less of a pro photographer situation and more of an insight into the life of a person it would be awesome to know.

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I thought #Viaferrattas we’re dumb, until I tried one…

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Reggie Grey – 11.6k Followers

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Nothing quite like a bum in a sunset…

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Reggie Grey was a successful member of the Toronto film industry and the owner of a spectacular home, but he wasn’t happy. So he sold all his possessions, gave his clients a heads up, and hit the road in a 1970 trailer he named Frances, and though Franny is not technically a van, the dude is totally living the vanlife. And it’s given him satisfaction his life lacked before. It also gave him a shot of creative adrenaline that led to a series of short documentaries nominated for best non-fiction web series in his native Canada. It has also hooked him up with new friends all over North America and a hefty number of followers on both Instagram and YouTube. And, given that he has no plans to stop his travels, Grey should be making even more in the future.

As Grey comes from a creative place in the visual arts, it’s no wonder that his feed is so bomb. Artfully composed and rendered in muted tones, his images all feel like they came from a magazine with a very good idea of its readership. Whether it’s scenes from a trailer park, shots of the puppy he shares with partner Eileen, shower selfies with his great big bushy beard, or nature’s vistas, his images all feel fresh and slightly counterculture. It’s like a photographer for Nylon was planted in the Pacific Northwest and had a real hard on for the seventies. Sincerely, it’s worth checking out.

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Just another day at the office…

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Sara Bertagnoli and Luca Sguazzini – 18k Followers

Alright, admittedly, a truck camper is not a van, but long-term travel living in a refurbished ride feels pretty damn vanlife-y. And this Italian couple is so freaking charming that not including them would feel like kicking a puppy. When Bertagnoli and Squazzini met in 2015, it didn’t take long for them to begin traveling together. But to fully embrace wanderlust the way they really wanted to, they knew that they had to quit their jobs and live in a completely new way. That’s where their Learn Everything and Wander (LEAW) philosophy comes into play. They are particularly interesting because, despite having successful careers pre-vanlife, they only had enough to buy a 1990 Ford F250 and a rotting camper. They DIYed the whole thing and hit the road for considerably less than a lot of digital nomads throw down on mobile digs. Their rig carried them more than 14,000 miles through Canada and Alaska and is getting them through the continental States right now.

What wins followers of Bertagnoli and Squazzini over is that their Instagram account is chock full of couple pictures that feel natural and full of fun. A traditionally attractive pair, they don’t give off the hardcore influencer vibe that some people find irritating. You won’t catch them looking smoking hot and talking about dieter’s tea. Instead, you get a lot of landscapes and activities that feature bedhead and silly faces. It’s charming and impossible not to like.

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