Hi, I’m Lisa

Van Vagabond Adventure BlogI’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van and on a sailboat with my superhero husband, Brian. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, scuba dive with sharks, dodge encounters with bears and wolves, and work remotely as a full time computer programmer.

How My Blog Can Help You

Are you interested in living a nomadic and adventurous lifestyle? Are you wondering:

“Should I pursue my dream? It’s so obscure, no one else will understand. I would have to give up nearly everything I own to obtain it, but I want it so badly. Should I do it?”

I answered yes to that question a few years ago. And this blog is the result.

I want to share my story in the hope that it stirs your passion and helps you pursue your own dreams, because, hey, I’m guessing your dreams are just as attainable as mine.

Why I Moved Into a Van

Van Vagabond Adventure BlogMy time outdoors, whether adventurous or not, made me feel ecstatic and alive. Working all the time to keep up with bills made me feel trapped. I couldn’t see an end to the rat race I was caught up in, so I changed my life completely. I bought a big, creepy van, named it “Vanifest” and moved into it. It was the best decision I ever made and I feel fortunate to enjoy a remote, adventurous lifestyle while maintaining a professional job.

What I’ve Been Doing

For three years I lived in my van as a single lady. It was a fanciful, wonderful time in my life but it had its challenges. I had little romantic success (and some huge failures) during that time and eventually resigned myself to being single and enjoying my fabulous life on my own. I am currently writing a memoir about this tumultuous time in my life.

During summer 2013 I drove my van from Idaho to Alaska solo, spent the whole summer getting into things and then drove back down to Vancouver, BC to go canyoneering.
Van Vagabond Adventure BlogI was loving van life, fresh from a summer of independent adventures and the unthinkable happened. I met someone who was living almost exactly the way I was, we fell in love and soon got married. Now we live in our Sprinter van in the US each summer and on our beautiful boat in Mexico each winter.

Do dreams come true or what?

My Background

I haven’t always lived this way. I grew up in a big house in Boise, Idaho, USA. Then I bought a three bedroom house in Boise and filled it with furniture. Then a 5 bedroom duplex, also in Boise, where I lived in one side and managed the other side. I know the feeling of being buried in material stuff.

Since the age of 16 I always had a job, except for three months. Even during college I worked part time. Sometimes I worked too much, up to 80 hours per week. I was still in my 20s but was already feeling old. Yikes.

Van Vagabond Adventure BlogThen I started canyoneering. I met vagabonds who lived in vehicles. They had what I wanted and needed. They had time to enjoy their lives. They wallowed in weeks off instead of days off. They were not confined by vacation policies. I didn’t even know anyone did that! People do that? Could I do that?

It took years, but it was worth it.

Brian’s Blog

Brian has a fantastic blog at www.bhackett.org. Check it out!

Contact Me

I would love to hear from you. My email is canyoneeringlisa@gmail.com.


14 Responses to Van Vagabond: a blog about vans and dreams

  1. Paul Foster says:

    I have been telling some of the folks back home about meeting up with you. I think what you have done is just great. Best of luck with what your proposing.
    PF

  2. Love your writing…what most folks think and dream about is what your doing and loving it! Gettin after it!

  3. Vanafest is awesome and Lisa a courageous road warrioresse! Can’t wait to see the book published!

  4. Steve Hinsch says:

    The confidence and general badassness you exude are awe inspiring!I just “lived out” an adventure through you! Keep a’ postin’!

  5. OH… all I can say is WOW! You are my hero and kindred spirit girl! Fearless. Love this story. I’d like to do the same one day! Thanks for the inspiration! You truly define the meaning of “Free Spirit”!!!!!

  6. Kim Davison says:

    I’ve read a few of your entries. What a life! I want to live a less superhero-esque version. I am selling everything and buying a trailer. Do you have any advice for maintaining connectivity to the internet while unplugged? Also, is there a place where I can sign up to get more of your entries?

    Travel on!

    • lisa lisa says:

      Hi Kim. Thanks for your comment. There’s a wide spectrum of superhero-esque lifestyles, and by selling everything and moving into a trailer you are definitely within that spectrum.

      I just get internet access via cellular networks. I use a smartphone as a wi-fi hotspot, and have found that Verizon provides the best coverage in remote areas I’ve visited. I also find a cell phone signal booster helps me get even further out and still enjoy good cell service. I use a Wilson Electronics booster and it works well.

      I just added a follow button on the bottom right that will email you when I post something new here. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. catherine says:

    I love your stuff. How did you do it? Any tips for someone who wants to take a year off to hike and explore?

    • lisa lisa says:

      Hi Catherine,

      It was a long process for me to move into a van and gain my freedom. I had a complex, materialistic life which first had to be unraveled. This took plenty of time and courage! Taking one year off is a fantastic goal for which to strive and I applaud you!

      The first step to taking a year off is to eliminate housing expenses and pay off any consumer debt you may have. I chose to eliminate housing expenses by renting out my place and moving into a van. If you tell me more about your situation I can try to share some tips.

      Lisa

  8. Millie Carson says:

    Would love to hook up to do some canyoneering sometime!!! Spent 6 days canyoneering south of hanksville this past spring!! You can contact me via my email.

    Cheers,
    and great life you have!!!!!

  9. Jennifer says:

    4 years ago at 48, I spent my summer 102 days living out of my KIA minivan. I was working in the Natahala Gorge, living in a primitive camp ground. Had I not found work in Knoxville I was thinking of taking the van on the road, I was given a list of other places my skills would have supported me. I LOVED IT!. People where often surprised I was doing it-alone-at my age. My tag line was
    Camping with Bigfoot
    do it again-with a bigger van yea, mine was so small. Yours looks AMAZING!

    • Lisa Hackett Lisa Hackett says:

      Good for you, Jennifer! We can do anything we want, as long as we want it badly enough. Our age doesn’t matter. It sounds like you had a wonderful summer in your minivan that you’ll always remember. This is the stuff of life, creating memories and experiencing new things. It sounds like you are the kind of person who says “yes” to life! Thanks for commenting!

  10. Fenna says:

    Hi there! Wonderful to read your story! I currently live in a caravan, but my dream is to live in a van! So awesome to hear this van life story from a woman, doing in alone! I’ve been following accounts on Instagram and other social media, but never found a woman doing it all on her own! Very inspiring!

    Cheers!

  11. Marko says:

    Hello Lisa!
    I must say that you have a wonderful life. I also own a VW van, but I dont be so courage like you. Maybe some day. Best whishes from Slovenia-Europe.

    Cheers Marko

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van and on a sailboat with my superhero husband, Brian. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, scuba dive with sharks, dodge encounters with bears and wolves, and work remotely as a full time computer programmer.
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About the Van

Hi, I’m Vanifest. I’m a big, 4x4, off-the-grid van complete with solar panel for power. I'm a 2000 Dodge Ram Van and Lisa has had me since 2009. Read more about me here.


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