Life

The Vanlifers You Should Be Following On Instagram Right Now


best vanlife instagram accounts
Uproxx

Last Updated: December 17th, 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.

Sydney Ferbache – 45.8k Followers

best vanlife instagrams
@divineontheroad

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.

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.

Kaya Lindsay – 23.4k Followers

@onechicktravels

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.

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. An 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.

Reggie Grey – 11.7k Followers

@reggiefromtheroad

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.

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.

Sara Bertagnoli and Luca Sguazzini – 17.8k Followers

@l_e_a_w

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.

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.

Kathleen Morton – 104k Followers

@tinyhousetinyfootprint

Kathleen Morton runs the website Tiny House, Tiny Footprint, which tells the stories of various vanlifers (including many of the people on this list). She’s also the co-founder of the Instagram account @vanlifediaries. A photography and writing enthusiast since childhood, Morton found a passion project in the vanlife movement and is currently an excellent champion for people living the life and a resource for people considering it.

When it comes to her home, Morton has been rocking a 1987 Toyota with less than 40 square feet to occupy. Her Instagram is great for inspiring images of a cool chick traveling solo with her awesome dog Peaches. It’s also a solid place to be notified when a new interview goes up on the website or podcast.

Mitch Cox – 112k Followers and Cleo Cohen Codrington – 133k Followers

@mitch-cox

This is a two-for-one because we couldn’t mention Cleo Cohen Codrington without Mitch Cox, and the reverse is true as well. The pair is traveling through Australia in their third conversion (a Toyota Hiace) and recording the fun on their respective Instagram accounts, as well as their website Forever Elsewhere. Their close relationship means they are all over each other’s accounts and it’s a little hard to determine where one ends and the next begins. Given their intertwined nature, you are advised to follow them both. Maximize your joy!

When it comes to The ‘Gram, Cohen serves primarily as the subject of the pics, while filmmaker and photographer Cox records her in a variety of settings. A self-taught photographer, Cox started by reading camera magazines at the newsagents until he was asked to leave. But, he picked up enough to get started and began taking it seriously a few years ago. Now, he is selling shots to tourism agencies. And don’t worry, Cohen does the writing for the blog, so it isn’t like she is stuck in muse territory. She is shaping their narrative as well.

Check out the Uproxx interviews with Cleo Cohen Codrington and Mitch Cox here!

Lisa Miriam Jacobs – 34.7k Followers

@vacayvans

In November of 2017, Lisa Miriam Jacobs found herself newly single after two-weeks of van-life-ing it with her then-boyfriend. But instead of throwing in the towel, she kept going. Her first post on her Instagram account was about her initial plan to be part of a cute #vanlife couple and the reality of suddenly finding herself a solo traveler. And this foundation is a big reason her account is so fun. Followers get to see her evolve a bit in each post.

Her account is also fun from an aesthetic standpoint. Jacobs’ location changes on the regular, but the images are always filled with bright colors and composed to make the most of the subject. Be sure to check into stories like her Drunk Q&A for maximum love. Or just cruise her pics and get involved in her evolution as a traveler and a woman on the road. It’s totally motivational without being filled with irritating quotes or pandering. This account somehow hits all the right notes.

Jana Schilling and Fabian Menzel – 5.1k Followers

@rideonthewildside

Jana Schilling and Fabian Menzel are a couple from Germany who purchased a 1982 Mercedes Benz 407D they later named Fritz in August of last year and immediately began ripping everything out of it for the rebuild. They literally quit their jobs, ceased their apartment rental, and built out the camper in 100 days. By March, Fritz was being shipped to the United States for the couple’s trip down the Pan-American Highway. He arrived April 10th, and the adventure went into high gear.

The couple’s Instagram account is a fun follow because they document the good and the bad. One day, they are waking next to the ocean with an incredible view, the next, they are towing Fritz because the engine stopped working. You feel very connected to their journey, and rooting for them is fun. Plus, they did a damn fine conversion, so Fritz pics are always gorgeous.

Harriet Carpenter and Dan Ingram – 24.3k Followers

Via @carpenteringram

There are a lot of aspects of vanlife that we covet, but the connection with the natural world is the one that stands above many of the rest. In the US, that often translates into vans camped out in state and national parks, where people spot elk and buffalo and bears. While Harriet Carpenter and Dan Ingram were in Australia, that meant sharing their yard with dingos, kangaroos, wombats, and cassowaries. Though the couple is now in England, during their time in Australia, they were swimming in freshwater gorges, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and swimming with manta rays. We are so jealous.

In addition to living in a custom van, the couple also converts vans for other vanlifers and sells them online. So, a follow on their Instagram gives you a chance to see the places they travel, as well as the work they are doing on new customs. One day you are eyeing gorgeous new cabinetry stained with Danish oil and the next, it’s all about the coast of Wales. People looking for straight van porn will get excited and will those who crave travel pics.

Valerie Muth – 16.9k Followers

@valtheventuregal

Valerie Muth, or Val the Venture Gal as she is known online, is an OG vanlifer with over four years and 150 thousand miles traveled. A native of Big Lake, Alaska (population: 2,600), this back-country hiker and aspiring photographer wasn’t happy being another rat in the race, so she opted for the vanlife and adventure. But, the limited number of trails and roads in her home state didn’t allow her to explore like she needed to, so she sought new escapades in the lower 48 with her partner Benjamin. They consider it an “escape into freedom.”

This is an Instagram account dedicated to the natural beauty of the United States. Followers get a heaping helping of Yosemite, Havasupai Falls, The Wave, Sedona, and other gorgeous locales. Though Muth is often in the shots, they still function primarily as a celebration of the breathtaking exquisiteness of the natural landscape. There is also the occasional van shot, which will make you mad jealous because it’s like a golden, wooden cocoon of happiness.

Jayme and John Serbell – 26.3k Followers

Via @gnomadhome

In addition to helping Kathleen Morton host the first-ever Midwest Vanlife Gathering, Jayme and John Serbell are also living in a van with three dogs and letting their wanderlust lead them across the continent. Just a couple of years ago, they lived in a two-story home. John was getting ready to enter an MBA program and Jayme was working multiple jobs. That felt like success. Then, they discovered vanlife, and the more they learned, the better it sounded. Of course, there are ups and down when it comes to living as a nomad, but they swear the lows are still better than the highs of their old lives.

Their Instagram hits all the happy points: loving couple, adorable dogs and van aplenty. We especially love the mural in the van featuring the couple and the dogs. Recent renovations mean some insight into the nuts and bolts of actual van maintenance. Plus, they run a kick-ass website called Gnomad Home.

Andrew Muse – 86.6k Followers

@andrew_muse

Now, we don’t want to undermine how freaking cool Andrew Muse is. Like the man is a professional multi-sport athlete and photographer whose life was totally turned upside down when a car accident destroyed his truck camper/home and killed his best friend/dog Booter. And, he was able to cope with that and return to a place of happiness and success. It’s inspiring.

But, as awesome as Muse’s photos and his life are, we are equally in love with his doggo Kicker. For real, Kicker is a love and right by Muse’s side throughout his adventures. They go paragliding, skiing, surfing, and rafting. Plus, they live in a really dope van. It’s like if the coolest dude ever had the coolest dog ever and they traveled the world being cool in a cool van. Follow the Instagram for gorgeous pics of a golden retriever living a life that is better than yours. Additionally, there are a lot of action sports shots and spectacular landscape images.

Clint Bunting – 8.7k Followers

@lint_hikes

Clint Bunting, or Lint as he likes to be called, is a trip. He may be one of the most eccentric vanlifers (an already eccentric bunch). Bunting is a long-distance hiker, or “hiker trash” as he likes to be called — living without a traditional address or career. Instead, he has an unorthodox life of adventure. It could just be us, but we think that sounds like the best thing ever. Plus, he has no credit card and has never taken a loan. Appealing? Totally.

Following his Instagram doesn’t mean tons of van shots. It’s more like a diary. You get some van, some hiking, and some personal exploration. For instance, he just reached a sobriety milestone and shared that — his fans, us included, couldn’t be happier for him.

Peter and Shruthi Lapp – 10.2k Followers

Via @holidayatsee

Call us romantics, but Peter and Shruthi Lapp have our hearts because they undoubtedly have the most adorable “come to van” moment ever. When the two were dating for a month, circumstances conspired to push them hundreds of miles apart, but young love would not be denied. Peter found a Westfalia on eBay and it became a way for him to travel to Shruthi, as well as a cuddly nest for the pair while he visited. When the two transitioned from a bona fide single-family home into their 80-square-foot home on wheels in 2016, it was a return to that time.

Followers of Peter and Shruthi get many an eye full of their 1987 Westfalia as the couple travels through South America. In July of last year, the Lapps landed in Colombia and waited for their beloved van to arrive via cargo ship. Since then, their account has been a real travel diary, and it is sublime.

Sabrina and Jimmy Horel – 82.7k Followers

Via @wandxrbus

Take one blue 1973 VW bus and two fit, vegan people and you have the set-up for what seems to be an ideal living situation. Sabrina and Jimmy Horel decided they were tired of chasing after the things and the money that society was telling them were important, so they saved enough to live on the road and start their own business. Now, the nomads journey across America, updating their friends, family, and fans about their progress through their Instagram, YouTube, and website.

Followers of their ‘Gram will enjoy gorgeous photos of the couple, their dogs, beautiful landscapes, and the sort of vegan meals that make you seriously consider it as a lifestyle choice. Plus, they are a legit stunning couple, and we like knowing that love is out there.

Noël Russell – 80.5k Followers

@noel_russ

No lie, we would be completely shocked if there was a list like this that didn’t include Noël Russell. An outdoors person from an early age, Russell and husband Johnnie have traveled in a couple of vans and ultimately started working on a dream adventure rig with a builder. Though they don’t live exclusively in the van, they do spend all of their free time exploring in one.

When she isn’t in the van, Russell is working full-time at California’s largest homeless youth shelter, something she references quite a bit in her Instagram captions. That perspective gives her philosophical musings a resonance that is moving and important. Coupled with poetic descriptions of her immediate and extended family, these moments are truly beautiful.

Check out the Uproxx interview with Noël Russell here!

Alison Turner – 51.2k Followers

@alisontravels

Do we love Alison Turner? Hell yes. And we also love her dogs, Max and Cooper, and Campy the Van. She is another vanlifer who grew up camping and taking road trips with her family, which gave her a taste for the freedom of the open road. If you take that appreciation for nature and nomads and combine it with her mad photography chops, you have a social media “must follow.”

We aren’t just talking about her taking some nice shots, by the way — Turner’s work has been published in AFAR magazine and on National Geographic’s website. Plus, Dog Fancy, y’all. She predominantly makes her way through the United States, but her travels have included Switzerland, Italy, France, and Iceland, as well.

Jessica Perez and Nick Cahill – 33.6k Followers

@bluebusadventure

We hate to compare van conversions with skoolies, but we might be even more into school bus living than we are into van living. They just tickle your inner child so hard.

Jessica Perez and Nick Cahill legit have a sweet place to live, and though it’s only 100-square-feet, it looks super spacious in images. The best part is that they did most of the work themselves as a place to stay during Burning Man, and it just evolved from there. Now, they travel around, which allows Cahill to indulge his addiction to outdoor sports and take the photographs — which is how he earns his living. It’s no wonder their social media is so nice to look at.

Jax Austin – 30.5k Followers

@jaxaustin

Jax Austin is an awesome dude in a sweet skoolie, who sold everything he owned, blocked his boss, bailed on his job, bought a bus, converted it, and went full nomad to document his life on the road. He is also a challenge because he announced a few weeks ago that he was selling the bus and quitting the vanlife (didn’t he know we were working on a list and were desperate to include him?).

Luckily, he recently announced he purchased a new bus and is starting on a brand spanking fresh skoolie conversion. This is amazing because his YouTube account does a wonderful job of walking viewers through van living with total transparency, and this means his audience will get to witness the whole process from shopping around to remodel to hitting the road.

Marco Calara – 11.8k Followers

Via @immarcoo

Ah, Canada. Our neighbors to the north have really got it all going on when it comes to the outdoors. If Marco Calara’s Instagram is anything to go by, there could not be more pristine, soul-meltingly beautiful sceneries on Earth. Based in Vancouver, BC, Calera travels the country living in a 1984 Westfalia. And, he seems to do it with a lot of really attractive friends, who feature prominently in images seemingly pulled from an advertorial. This is another young vanlifer showing everyone else how it can be done. Simply. Stylishly. Sublimely.

Images of campfires, canoe rides, hot springs, sunsets, and starry nights are standard fare on this Instagram. And, every one of them makes your heart beat a little faster and the call of the road sound a little louder.

Matt and Megan – 9.4k Followers

Via @thedirtydarlings

We see a lot of photographers living in vans and beautifully documenting their lifestyle, but, we don’t see a lot of accountants ditching a San Francisco life to hit the road in a 2006 Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter 3500 named Vanna — making this follow a breath of fresh air.

Matt’s photography really makes their Instagram a must follow. With vanlife accounts, it’s pretty much vans, cool people, and nature. But, he manages to use a lot of unique angles and compositions that make the whole thing fresh. The awesome pair has logged over 250 days on the road and hit 18 states — we can’t wait to watch them get to the rest of the country. Check out their website, where they update readers on their goal of visiting all 50 states.

Sara Teigan and Birk Haaland – 7.4k Followers

Via @surftripping

Sara Teigan and Birk Haaland are a Norweigan couple who opted for a life of travel and surfing after Haaland got sick from a parasite. The experience changed their perspective and priorities and living situation. Now, they are riding waves around Europe and living in a converted 2007 Volkswagen Crafter.

It seems to be working for them, as this is one of the happiest damn couples. They are clearly loving their lives and each other’s company. The pair run a limited YouTube account and a great Instagram with plenty of pics of the couple surfing, hiking, and chilling in the van. Plus, you get to peep Lazy and snag some insight into European surf life and landscapes.

Genevieve Jahn – 11.9k Followers

@joie_de_vieve

How do we properly express our love for this brash, bold, hilarious vanlifer whose Instagram account includes a pic of her squatting above a rock and peeing on it while grinning with her nose scrunched and her tongue out? Well, we could tell you all about the caption that accompanied the photo; it was entirely about proper disposal of your poop while living in a vehicle (something we have never seen on another account). Or, we could tell you about her awesome adventure blog for women: Lady Adventures. Her post “How to Quit Your Full-Time Job and Live Full Time in a Van” is required reading for any gender.

Check out Jahn’s Instagram, with its subtle palette of faded blues and greens and action shots of this bad ass living her best life. Also, her co-pilot Sailor the Dog is the stuff.

Parker Hilton and Jenelle Kappe – 11.3k Followers

@togetherweroam

When Uproxx writer Parker Hilton outfitted a vintage van with 20-square-feet of living space for occupancy, he didn’t necessarily plan to share it with girlfriend Jenelle Kappe and an Australian Shepard mix named Emma. But you can’t plan love, so even though it felt early in the relationship to broach the vanlife, his big ask was met with nothing but enthusiasm. Now married, the pair are both writers and photographers, meaning they can craft a visual narrative like few others. Before marrying, they lived for several months in the van, touring America from New Jersey to the Florida Keys, but recently, they have gone international and can be found chilling in exotic locales like Jamaica.

Though both have individual accounts, for vanlife ecstasy, we recommend their shared Together We Roam Instagram account. It alerts you to the present location of the pair and shows locals and scenery in addition to the couple, the van, and Emma.

Mili and Marcos – 95.5k Followers

@panamericanbus

It’s time for another awesome couple in another awesome skoolie. Mili and Marcos met in high school when they were 14-years-old and formed a tight friendship bond before getting together as a couple in their final year of high school. When they made everything super legal and official with a marriage in February 2017, they decided to travel across North and South America by driving from California to Argentina in a converted school bus they scored on Craigslist three days after they tied the knot.

The duo documents their adventures thoroughly on their Instagram account, which features captions in both English and Spanish (we love that!). We are also all about their bus and their active lifestyle. If you are looking for inspiration to hit the beach and connect with mother nature, follow them ASAP.

Sara and Alex James – 55.1k Followers

@40hoursoffreedom

We have love in our hearts for just about every van or bus serving as a dwelling. We like the plywood ones draped with Indian tapestries and blacklight posters as much as the ones done with reclaimed wood and modern fixtures. But, we have to say Sara and Alex James have one of the most gorgeous vans we have ever seen. Bonus: the photographs they take of it are excellent. The pair has a background in marketing and business coaching, so people looking to build a revenue stream while living in a vehicle would be wise to follow them on social media and their website for benefits beyond the van porn.

Yes, yes, we love their pics, but we also follow them on Instagram for their great captions. They share a lot of information, and you grow to feel like you know them. Plus, they ask a lot of questions and jump into the replies to connect. And, a big shout out to their dogs Bambi and Nugget.

Breanne Acio and Lacey Meyer – 23.3k Followers

Via @theladiesvan

Do we love girl power and humorous account names? Yes. Yes, we do. So, we are big fans of Lacey Meyer and Breanne Acio, who document their life on The Ladies Van. Both teachers, the couple purchased a 2016 Ford Transit 250 high roof van and spent a total of three months making it into their ideal home. Since then, they have traveled over 10 thousand miles in it.

One of the goals these partners have is to challenge the stigma that people who live in vans face. They object to the labels like “dirty” and “helpless” that are stuck on those who choose a nomadic life. We can’t imagine anyone looking at their social media and thinking anything other than, “Those are some loving, fulfilled women with a bitching home.”

Followers of the ladies’ Instagram will enjoy seeing the usual: gorgeous landscapes, a super cute couple, and a truly gorgeous van. But, it’s extra special to see so much female energy on display. Further, they recently got a new rig and are talking about renting their old one out on their account, so that’s a conversation worth getting in on if you wanna give the old vanlife a whirl.

Mikah Meyer – 70.4k Followers

Via @mikahmey

If you are into vanlife, and you aren’t following Mikah Meyer, we are about to change your life for the better. Days after his father’s funeral in 2005, a nineteen-year-old Meyer hit the road to take his first independent road trip. It was so healing and cathartic that he has taken an annual trip every year since to honor that transformative experience and his father.

In 2016, Meyer took the concept and turned it up to eleven, embarking on a journey he is still traveling today. He is attempting to be the youngest person to visit every one of the National Park Service’s 417 sites in one continuous trip. Vanlife? Check. World record? Check. National Parks? Check. This is the Uproxx trifecta. And he is doing it all in Vanny McVanface. So far, he is two-thirds of the way there, and we can’t wait to watch him work through the rest.

One thing that makes Meyer’s Instagram so much fun is the volume of images he takes at landmarks while holding a rainbow flag. A proud member of the LGBT community, he is not only breaking records, he is raising visibility in a big way. Meyer is aiming to be a new type of role model — which is incredibly freaking cool.

Christian and Aubry Matney – 28.2k Followers

best vanlife instagrams
Via @thematneys_

Most vanlifers are older than Christian and Aubry Matney, who got married and on the road before he was old enough to buy booze. It’s incredibly impressive and inspiring, which is why the pair is a bit of a go-to for people on the fence about living in a van. Seriously, they seem like they have everything figured out. With digital careers, a sweet van, a loving relationship, and unlimited data, they can’t go wrong. Plus, they have a thriving YouTube channel where they discuss various aspects of their life, so people with questions can count on them as a reliable resource.

Currently, they are renovating their van, so it’s a great time to start following them — as they explain their plan and cover the entire construction process. It’s like a legit tutorial (and, again, pretty inspiring).

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