VANLIFE as a SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER

VANLIFE as a SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER


My name’s Alex and this is my van, Penny.
This is my pup Talkeena. After college I took a year off to go do
some unpaid internships, to explore the world, and discover myself. I ended up
moving to New Zealand for a year. While I was there I was living out of a tent and
I saw all these super cool van conversions. I just got really inspired by what people
were doing with such little material in such little space. After the year was
up I came back to Washington and I moved to Seattle and I got the big kid job. I
got the nine-to-five, the office, big apartment, the whole thing. I
was home for Christmas and one day we were driving through this lot, because my
mom was think about getting a new car at the time, and on the way out of the lot
I shouted, “Stop the car!”. We jumped out of the car and I saw this van parked like
way in the back. My mom encouraged me actually to call the dealer and see if
it was for sale and I was just like, “Mom, you don’t know what
you’re talking about, like that’s not how this works”, and so she called…thanks mom. The dealer said, “It’s not for sale, it’s just in for
service, but we’ll let the owner know that there’s an interested buyer”. So then
about a week later my mom calls me and she says, “Okay, the owners are willing to sell
that van that you saw. Here’s the number”. It ended up being this older couple
they went on one road trip to Glacier National Park and his wife hated it. She
hated van life, she basically said, “I’ll never get back in this thing again”. He
loved the van so he just kept it nice and putzed with it himself.
So I bought it and then I went home the next weekend and looked at it. It had
4,000 miles on it, the plastic was still on the floors, and the fridge had never
been used. I mean it was just completely the find of a lifetime and I wasn’t even
really actively looking, but when Penny fell into my lap I just knew that
it was van destiny. I think it’s really funny how van people really talk about
their vans like they’re people. So this is Penny. She’s my 2000 Eurovan and she’s my 17 feet of home and I love her, but I love you more.
Most days. I bought the van with this all installed. So I get that question sometimes where people will be like, “Did you make this modification?”. And, I didn’t. I worked for REI before I was in the van so all my stuff is like camp oriented. So
I have all these kinda like folding utensils. This is my pantry, got my cutting
board, clap shelf, dishes, folding pans, Aeropress, which is crucial. I don’t
actually know what’s in this fridge so we’ll see. It’s a pretty good fridge
right now. Salsa, a beer, some eggs. I have a freezer though so that’s cool with one
salmon burger in it and a GoGurt. That’s van life. This is my cooking area. I
installed this with my dad. My dad helped me out with a lot of
modifications in the van. This is my spice rack. And then when I’m ready to cook I just pop this open and voila. This is sick, this thing here, cuz it’s really easy just like to
season things as you’re cooking. This is my table. My dad made this for
me, which I like. I just click this in. Dinnertime. Or cocktail hour. When I first
got the van everything was gray. And the first trip I ever took it on, I got sick.
I was in Yosemite and it was raining and I had to stay in the van and just be
sick and watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and I got really depressed because it was so gray. And so one of the big things when I decided to move into the van full-time
was to put as much color into it as I could. I reupholstered my seats. I choose to sleep down here because a lot of times I’m
camped in urban areas and you’re never gonna get away with pretending no one’s in
here if you have a pop-top. I always make sure that my driver seats clear. So, I
have the keys, whenever I sleep, I have the keys right here with my knife. And I keep this pretty much ready so that if something happened or there was a really sketchy situation that I could literally just like hop up
here and go, you know. So I think that that’s something that I do for safety. Oh
I have something else I want to show you guys that’s really cool. I made this. This
is my urban camping modesty sheet. It’s black in the front and then I got
this cool little Mountain tapestry and sewed that on the other side. I just Velcro
this right up here that it like just blacks out everything and then you’re
looking at a pretty mountain. So come back to the van. This means, “The Mountains Call” in German. People ask me all the time. Both my parents are German. That’s
why I rock the Germany sticker so strong. So my solar setup. It is a 120
watt semi-flexible solar panel that I bought on Amazon. It weighs four pounds
and it arcs 30 degrees in either direction. And it’s sick. And so when I
first was thinking about doing solar I knew I had to do it because I knew I
wanted to be kind of off the grid and not reliant on power a lot and I have a
gigantic Thule box that wouldn’t allow me to put the panel on the top. It’s
not really attached to anything so I can move it wherever the sun is. I have
attached it to the back in this very not professional or German way. I just
literally bungee cord this thing to the back. I can just open, open it.
I have 15 feet of cable for my solar panel and then when I’m not using it I
just kind of tuck it in here. I have my charge controller and my inverter. Then I
got my batteries, a battery bank, back there. When I lower the top on the on the
pop the canvas will stick out and I had to replace it because it molded out and
then ripped and I spent a lot of money on it so now I’m really paranoid about it. So
I’m always like tucking this in. This is what I’m talking about. See this.
Don’t want that cause it’ll mold and then you’ll pay $800. You can just stick this in here. You know, sometimes it’s easier than others. So I travel full time in the van
by myself as a girl and the reason why I did this trip by myself was I saw all my
friends getting partners or kind of staying in jobs that they didn’t love. I
didn’t really want to sit and wait around for my job to get better or for
me to find the right person in order to start living the life I wanted. I think
that the biggest misconception about van life for women is that it’s super, super
scary and you always have to be on your guard. And while I would say that you
definitely do have to be more careful, I think that you see couples out there, you
see guys out there, and it seems like it’s gonna be this big scary world. It’s
safer than you think it is and people will surprise you. ♫Music Playing♫ The loneliness of life on the road I
think it’s something people don’t talk about and when you think about the
happiest times in your life, at least I think about, feeling connected and
appreciated and valued. And when you’re alone in your car all the time it can be
really easy to kind of fall into these patterns of not wanting to communicate
with people or just isolating yourself. I think that in our world, at least when I
was living in Seattle, I was always inadvertently numbing myself. You know, I
always had something else to do. I always had another meeting or I had another happy hour and all these things that I think people in their 20s do and you
don’t really realize that you’re kind of numbing yourself to the experience of
your life. To really be alone and to allow myself that feeling was a huge
turning point. Not only in this trip, but also kind of within my own life. To know
that it’s okay to be sad. I think finding home in solitude is a really special
thing and I think that this kind of life forces you to do that. That’s just a gift
of the road.

100 Comments

  • FLORB

    January 2, 2017

    I hope this inspires some of you ladies out there!

    Reply
  • Hans Hoerdemann

    September 12, 2019

    What's the lavatory and shower situation?

    Reply
  • Tina Knight aka Katina Knight

    September 13, 2019

    Cool….this has a kitchen…but I don't see a bathroom. 😐

    Reply
  • Mark Passe

    September 13, 2019

    Nice van, gorgeous girl.

    Reply
  • hmm hmm

    September 13, 2019

    title should be: Rich girl is given a 30k$ Van by mom and dad and acts minimalist but probably goes home to the family mansion every month

    Reply
  • ckryegrass11

    September 13, 2019

    So basically you are still growing up with the support of your parents. It is my opinion they push you to get your butt working instead of playing house in your van.

    Reply
  • fpstina

    September 14, 2019

    smart girl, situationally aware, combat knife, german shepherd…. she's gonna be fine

    Reply
  • R Mc Call

    September 14, 2019

    what would daughters do without super dads..huhh.

    Reply
  • gold dust

    September 14, 2019

    Glad to know you practice safety and have great relationship with your parents 😊. You are most real about female van life. Thanks.

    Reply
  • Gautam Dutta

    September 14, 2019

    I love you girl…please take me with you🤗🤗

    Reply
  • Bobbi Floss

    September 14, 2019

    Let me guess. You don’t shave your cooch and you voted for Hillary…..

    Reply
  • Ben Grimm

    September 14, 2019

    I love when women bring their rape van to me.

    Reply
  • Chuck Dalton

    September 14, 2019

    Whenever I travel alone, up to ten days, with my Airstream Basecamp, my wife (36 yrs) asks if I get lonely. Nope.

    Reply
  • Marta Laura Zayas

    September 15, 2019

    I am inspired but I need to get a van first. I have no idea where I can get one that is already to go. I am in Miami, FL. Do you happen to know where I could get one?

    Reply
  • Eric Simpson

    September 15, 2019

    .neet dog

    Reply
  • Joerg Bosch

    September 15, 2019

    Der Berg ruft !!! :-)))))))))) Dann besteige ihn ……. Deutsches Auto, deutscher Schäferhund, da kann nichts mehr passieren.

    Reply
  • English rhyme pranjal

    September 15, 2019

    Awesome, keep it up

    Reply
  • Official Mail

    September 15, 2019

    I think im in love …😍

    Reply
  • James Canada

    September 15, 2019

    Really cool van. I am dying to know what she payed for it

    Reply
  • emilia

    September 15, 2019

    I LOVE THIS VIDEO

    Reply
  • iridefast1

    September 16, 2019

    You need s gun you need a gun. Crazy ass gun freaks.

    Reply
  • gloriamariadc

    September 16, 2019

    So inspiring!! Such a mature young woman. Clearly she can do this off/on if she wants to.. doesn't had to be forevermore. Huge respect.

    Reply
  • thomas conway

    September 16, 2019

    Hi Alex. Your biggest security issue is exposing yourself by posting on YouTube.
    In your next post you should mention that you are loyal to your German Shepard, parents, Volkswagen AND your semi- automatic Glock !
    Add some detail and add credibility. Perhaps mention having two spare ten round clips OR talk about the fun times you had with your dad at the firing range. Cheers from the Australian boondocks. Stay safe.

    Reply
  • Luke Skywalker

    September 16, 2019

    Wow your beautiful 😊 can I have your phone number.😊 I love the outdoors too.

    Reply
  • Exploring Bucketlist

    September 16, 2019

    Your life is so beautiful 😍.. Thank you so much for sharing about your solo traveler 🙏🏼🙏🏼..Keep traveling ❤️

    Reply
  • Just cats

    September 16, 2019

    Sounds like her dad is the real mvp

    Reply
  • Just cats

    September 16, 2019

    “It’s safer than you think” says the girl with a giant German Shepherd and sleeps with a knife. She feels safe because she has multiple layers of protection.

    Reply
  • _proto_type_

    September 16, 2019

    Terrible idea. This is how you get raped/killed ladies. Do not do van life by yourself. You need a gun or a man to protect you

    Reply
  • Thomas Kurian

    September 17, 2019

    Nice film. Beautifully done !

    Reply
  • Qian Zoey yu

    September 17, 2019

    i always wonder how white peoples can just go on van life for months without income … ironically , the hippies r always grow from middle class

    Reply
  • Battenkill Rambler

    September 17, 2019

    Foolish child.

    Reply
  • HG Fire Warrior

    September 17, 2019

    Sounds great, but what about finances? How do you finance the van life and being off the grid and out of the system?

    Reply
  • Tree Top

    September 17, 2019

    Im no lady but a man. Get rid of the scent sprayer if you want to stay healthy ! I love your van.

    Reply
  • Gareth Jones

    September 17, 2019

    I love meetings and happy hour 🙁 But on another note how do you fund your new happy / alone experience?

    Reply
  • Jean Pierre Moulinat

    September 17, 2019

    Bonjour jolie et belle princesse.. très courageuse, j'aimerais faire la même chose,en plus je suis électromécanicien de métier, peut presque tous réparer, j'aime les voyages,la nature,les animaux, l'aventure.. je rêve de cela.. Cela serait super si nous pouvions échangé , Moi je suis français de France..Mon mail [email protected], je ne parle pas très bien anglais, mais je pense qu'on ce comprendra avec un traducteur..Bon courage et peut être a bientôt.. Pleins de bisous tendres et doux et surtout sincère.. Jean-Pierre 💋👄💋👄🌹🌹🌹🌹

    Reply
  • FREESTYLE FIGHTING

    September 18, 2019

    Better watch out for Ted Bundy type characters. He loved women in Vans !

    Reply
  • Kyle

    September 18, 2019

    She's cute! Hit me up if you are ever in Oregon!

    Reply
  • Wereldreis Jesper

    September 18, 2019

    Who's filming you?

    Reply
  • dvr1337

    September 18, 2019

    She cud do this cuz of rich parents.

    Reply
  • Joseph gyamfi

    September 18, 2019

    u need Someone gentel beside u with same van life…

    Reply
  • tiger talks

    September 18, 2019

    Traveling with no identification on your fog…stupid. put a collar and a phone number on her. Irresponsable

    Reply
  • Chris Ballard

    September 19, 2019

    you live in your van full time, but you don't know whats in your fridge….I find that strange. I would know exactly what and where everything is in my van…..

    Reply
  • Laura Anne

    September 19, 2019

    You are a wonderful role model

    Reply
  • Meister fux

    September 19, 2019

    Yes with the german dog no Problem

    Reply
  • McPuffs

    September 20, 2019

    Poor dog.

    Reply
  • Ros Tini

    September 20, 2019

    enak ya kalo dunia ini aman yg ada org jahat. sebagai wanita sy jg kadang ingin berkelana sendiri walaupun cuma jalan kaki he he

    Reply
  • Pero Peric

    September 20, 2019

    Marry Me!

    Reply
  • robert mitchell

    September 20, 2019

    You're never solo when you have your lovely hound with you! Good luck!

    Reply
  • Safranpollen Goldfish

    September 21, 2019

    The T4 is unbreakable !

    Reply
  • Lancelot du Lac

    September 21, 2019

    Just because you're alone doesn't mean you're lonely..

    Reply
  • john Jones

    September 22, 2019

    I bet she fucking stinks

    Reply
  • fazal khan

    September 22, 2019

    Thanks mom ? ??
    What about you

    Reply
  • Luca Mosca

    September 22, 2019

    Beautiful girl.

    Reply
  • Red Unicorn

    September 22, 2019

    I was super surprised to see the German sticker😂 it was almost as confusing as having people randomly speak German in a movie because I am NOT expecting it😂

    Reply
  • Sun Hat

    September 23, 2019

    I am so sorry that you let such a douche bag into your home to profit off your attractiveness.

    Reply
  • Expatriate Chronicles

    September 24, 2019

    Very cool. Inspiring. Hope you can carry on this fantastic lifestyle for many years.

    Reply
  • Rachid B

    September 24, 2019

    I just saw your video,I wish you having a happy life and I hope you still having that van. Thanks for sharing your experience… I love 💖 to have one in the future so I can travel with my wife only …..

    Reply
  • DanTheMan

    September 24, 2019

    looks gr8 thank u

    Reply
  • Mr. C

    September 24, 2019

    But the dog…if u have to go somehere for a few hours do u leave the dog?

    Reply
  • Rudy Straight

    September 24, 2019

    I would bang alex inside Penny

    Reply
  • IIA Target Analyst

    September 25, 2019

    I could do 'converted schoolie' life as I prefer my own company over the company of others. Introvert. As a Woman. Thanks for insight. Makes you think. Stay safe.

    Reply
  • ปอ ไอ ไป Por i pai

    September 26, 2019

    I love this vdo .

    Reply
  • ☆ CAEN MYLES SINGER SONGWRITER ☆

    September 26, 2019

    Great Video Subbed ,,

    Reply
  • Denzil Mathew

    September 27, 2019

    BEAUTIFUL

    Reply
  • Mick W

    September 29, 2019

    Hund sprechen sie Meooow!

    Reply
  • TAESIA Barry

    September 29, 2019

    Wow she’s awesome

    Reply
  • fojnica222

    September 29, 2019

    nice video.greetings from croatia

    Reply
  • Jenny

    September 30, 2019

    Just great, really really….

    Reply
  • Paddy Flynn

    October 1, 2019

    If you are on your own, who is doing all of the camera work?

    Reply
  • jon loop

    October 1, 2019

    I love vans as well, and people dont seem to understand. You are definitely my dream girl! Down to earth, pretty as can be and super sweet. Marry me?

    Reply
  • Adam Rodriguez

    October 2, 2019

    This is a really thoughtful beautiful video.

    Reply
  • KiryambaBy nononono

    October 2, 2019

    Путешествует одна, видно её никто не ебёт))

    Reply
  • Donald Teuber

    October 2, 2019

    A knife… an alert BIG dog.. and your common sense. You're going to do just fine.
    Being alone does give you time for reflection and contemplation. Long life and much happiness to you. Best.

    Reply
  • Oslec Liedbag

    October 3, 2019

    She is doing her thing! Love you! I'll marry you today and tomorrow

    Reply
  • Iyesus Rastafari

    October 3, 2019

    Don't you want to live with me?

    Reply
  • Bob T

    October 3, 2019

    Good luck with what you do & enjoy.
    Love your dog good company.

    Reply
  • dene Berry

    October 3, 2019

    Wow I will take your dog out for a walk anytime.. If I may add I can travel with you lady..

    Reply
  • YACHTFILM

    October 3, 2019

    Good point about numbing your loneliness vs. discovering it. SUPERLIKE!

    Reply
  • Mark

    October 4, 2019

    What are you doing about income – are you a trust fund baby?

    Reply
  • Peter Burke

    October 4, 2019

    So stinky with that dog in the van.

    Reply
  • Chris Ogley

    October 5, 2019

    6:44 That's exactly why I am doing it. It's not just scary for a single girl, I'm buying my van tmro, and hoping to get the minimums in before winter hits hard. I'm scratch building a Benz Sprinter, and have super limited budget. But I know in the end it will pay off.

    Reply
  • Plastic Symptoms

    October 5, 2019

    Yes! This is awesome! Good find!

    Reply
  • Marie Jess

    October 6, 2019

    4000 that’s it💀💀

    Reply
  • Kayla Curtis

    October 6, 2019

    I'm out here watching these videos like I'm about to just uproot my life and do it. I have a 5 year old and I'm currently 7 months pregnant LOL. Love the aesthetic of Van Life.

    Reply
  • patrick jensen

    October 6, 2019

    You guys should all get together with those girls who got land in Joshua tree and other start a hooters type truck stop call it vanlife hoobo's cafe

    Reply
  • bebe xkaren

    October 6, 2019

    Ur very pretty 😍

    Reply
  • 1rezzywyteboy 505

    October 6, 2019

    Who else got recommended from Jenelle and Alfredo 🤣

    Reply
  • SCHIRMER SHOOTS

    October 6, 2019

    Love this. Will be off alone soon too 🙂

    Reply
  • Deep South New Zealand

    October 6, 2019

    great van and video cheers

    Reply
  • Guadalupe Ramirez

    October 8, 2019

    how do these people make money
    do they just
    gEt fAmOuS

    Reply
  • Armindo Granville

    October 8, 2019

    Que lugares lindos. Onde são? Parabéns,,coragem e iniciativa

    Reply
  • zondaintheair

    October 8, 2019

    Solo female is not a good idea for the better looking females.

    Reply
  • Carl Lucido

    October 8, 2019

    Your Great and you German sheperd is awesome !

    Reply
  • eliser19

    October 9, 2019

    What kind of van has she got?

    Reply
  • Dan Mac

    October 9, 2019

    4:33 So you just told on youtube where the keys are, and now anyone can just break the side window and in seconds grab the keys, grab the knife and open the car with the keys..

    Better change place now, just in case. Btw awesome van, be safe.

    Reply
  • Elle M

    October 10, 2019

    i wish I'm strong like you but i have depression anxiety

    Reply
  • Prince Maradial

    October 10, 2019

    What's her YouTube channel

    Reply
  • CNNis FakeNews

    October 12, 2019

    You too can be a prostitute on the road.

    Reply
  • GARY Gwin

    October 13, 2019

    Oftentimes the most attractive females, can never find a suitable male they respect, so they do this their whole life.

    Reply
  • Donnie Lein

    October 13, 2019

    What year is this van?

    Reply

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