A Van Life Couple Gives Their Close Quarter Tips For Dating On The Road

Parker & Jenelle Hilton

Parker Hilton had been dating Jenelle Kappe for about two months when he asked her to live in a van with him. A travel writer and photographer, Hilton had built out and outfitted a vintage van for an epic adventure across the country. Still… it was a little soon to talk about moving in together. Especially into a 20-square foot-space with no end date in sight.

Parker knew it was a big “ask,” but he was crazy about Jenelle and didn’t want to lose the chance to be with her. At the same time, he’d been planning his trip for years. It became a moment of truth… What would she say?

“Her response was, ‘Can my dog come?'” Parker says with a laugh. “That’s all she was worried about.”

“We’re kind of a package deal,” Jenelle explains of her Australian Shepard mix, Emma. “Leaving her wasn’t an option. I said, ‘I will definitely come if my dog comes too.’”

The negotiation didn’t get any tougher than that. The adventurous trio (Emma included!) set off across the country to take photographs, sleep under the stars, and fall ever-deeper in love.

Parker & Jenelle Hilton

Jenelle and Parker — who recently married — have always been drawn to travel and adventure, both separately and together. Both photographers, they met through social media, following one another because they were fans of each other’s work.