Meet the ‘Vanwives’: Barrie, the couple who is famous for traveling the world in their 92-square-foot van.
With a pressurized water system, built-in thermostat and solar powered electrical — the 2006 Mercedes Sprinter Jazmyn Canning, 28, and Crystal Drinkwalter, 27, now call their home is hardly without its perks. But with just 92 square feet to share between them and their two Australian shepherds, Bella and Izzy, Canning says it can definitely feel “cozy.”
The pair wouldn’t give it up, though, now three years into an adventure exploring places they would never have imagined. “It makes it worthwhile, like all the lows, and then you reach like this beautiful spot that you get to call your backyard … you get to enjoy the entire thing and just really be present,” Canning said.
“We tend to hang out at spots where we can have the doors open and the dogs can run free,” Drinkwalter added. “It’s not so much about being in the van. It’s about being outside and enjoying our time in nature.” “We can do it, too’: Ottawa-area couple ditch city life to live in a van by the ocean”. The duo started their travels on Feb. 8, 2019, buying and retrofitting a van to drive out west.
They landed in Tofino, B.C., where they worked as waitresses, pocketing every penny thanks to their vehicle-turned-home (and a kind woman who offered them a cheap parking spot).
“I’ve had people say they’ve always wanted to travel and were too nervous to travel to certain countries and that we’re two females doing it, they think they can now,” Canning said. She says their adventures have also been an inspiration to others in the LGBT community. She tells about a girl who actually put a note on their van and on which it was written ‘Thank you for being present in the LGBT community of traveling.'” “And being public about it,” Drinkwalter said.
The couple says they hope they continue to inspire through their photos and videos encouraging others who might be interested in making a lifestyle change. Something potential travelers might be curious about, the duo said — how to turn a van into a comfortable place to call home.
The women combined their funds and spent about $14,000 on the vehicle itself, then added another $10,000 in retrofits. The price is worth it, Drinkwalter said. “You want to be comfortable when you’re living like this. You need to have everything that you need.”
Using other YouTube videos as guides, they added all of the essentials: a kitchen with a built-in cooktop and fridge, benches that convert into beds, and plenty of storage. Ensuring comfort for everyone, the dogs got beds too.
The couple now is showing an activeness mainly on three social media platforms which happen to be YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. People have the chance to see their lifestyle, to learn from them different travel tips and become a part of their quite a big community.
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