Thursday, June 2, 2022
HomeFinanceA glance into the Wealthy Lifetime of a nomadic camper van couple

A glance into the Wealthy Lifetime of a nomadic camper van couple

Let’s check out the nomadic Wealthy Lifetime of IWT worker Jonathan and his accomplice, Lucy.

We’ll cowl all the things: How and why Jonathan and Lucy determined to dwell a nomadic life, their camper van construct particulars, the ACTUAL prices concerned in residing on the highway, a number of of their Wealthy Life moments, and extra. 

Lucy and Jonathan

You’ll hear a few skeptical mom, Andrew Garfield, two pit bulls and a shotgun, a pack of 4x4s in a snowstorm, and extra. 

It’s going to be nice! 

We’ll go into element about their particular camper van later. First, I’d wish to introduce you to Jonathan and Lucy. 

Meet Jonathan and Lucy

Jonathan began working for IWT in summer season 2021 on our Pupil Success crew. Once you be part of considered one of our packages, our SS crew makes positive that you’ve all the things it’s essential to get by this system and begin to implement what you’ve realized. The crew is without doubt one of the greatest elements of IWT. 

Jonathan and Lucy, who’ve been collectively for greater than seven years, purchased their first camper van in 2019. The primary van was designed to be an “adventuring” van with tons of storage (for a van) however no actual place to work or lounge. 

“A month into our year-long journey, we knew that we needed to maintain the dream going,” Jonathan mentioned. In order that they took it to the subsequent degree. 

In 2021, they got down to construct what they name their “Digital Nomadic Dream Van,” which might permit them to journey indefinitely whereas additionally with the ability to earn an earnings. 

Once we interviewed Jonathan for The Wealthy Life e-newsletter, he gave us some background on what impressed him and Lucy to go on the highway. 

“Our pal Raquel, who launched us to the nomadic way of life, was recognized with terminal most cancers in summer season 2021 and handed away within the fall. She by no means received the prospect to dwell her Wealthy Life. It actually places into context why we aren’t losing any time residing our Wealthy Life, and on daily basis we’re on the highway, we’re reminded of her life. We named our van Raqi (pronounced ‘Rocky’) after her and hope to proceed residing the way in which she would have needed us to.”

Wow. What a robust cause for Jonathan and Lucy to begin residing their imaginative and prescient for his or her Wealthy Life! No matter your cause is, the very best time to begin residing your Wealthy Life is right now.

camper van interior

I like with the ability to go in-depth and get particular particulars on a Wealthy Life story like this. Preserve studying to see precisely what it prices every month to dwell a nomadic life like this — I feel it’ll shock you. 

Skeptics and “FISH’ing”

Jonathan and Lucy (and their canine, Teton) reside their Wealthy Life whereas touring the nation of their camper van.

Let’s discuss feedback Jonathan and Lucy heard and the way they handled them.

Teton, Jonathan and Lucy
  • “I want I used to be younger and had fewer tasks and will journey round.”
  • “There’s no manner that will work for me. It’s an excessive amount of time, assets, and cash.”
  • “Should be good.”
  • “How are you going to pay for all of that?”

Ah, skeptics. 

“My mother was not a fan from the beginning,” Jonathan mentioned. “She really got here up with a enjoyable acronym for it: ‘FISH’ing.’ Feigning Curiosity, Suppressing Horror.” 


This is the reason I say your Wealthy Life is YOURS, not anybody else’s. Some folks will suppose your concepts of a Wealthy Life are loopy. That’s OK! 

So why this Wealthy Life? 

“With our preliminary jobs out of faculty, we weren’t capable of do something enjoyable,” Jonathan mentioned. “We don’t need to be locked all the way down to a metropolis, and particularly a high-rent space. We love the pliability of going wherever we would like.”


“It was an ideal time for us to launch into this new way of life as a result of there was nothing holding us again,” Jonathan mentioned. “We had been to start with of our careers, didn’t have a home, no children. It felt like an excellent alternative.” 

They acknowledge it’s not good. Lucy mentioned, “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be in a van — we’d have the ability to keep in additional comfy lodging. However for now, we’re prioritizing our love for the outside, nevertheless it comes with the price of residing in a smaller house and never having all the things available.”

And the van construct itself didn’t at all times go easily. 

Their 2019 Ford Transit-350 HD XLT was their base and had a 400-pound wheelchair raise that they needed to manually take away, together with the entire passenger seats.

Van remodel in progress

Lucy ambitiously estimated that the construct would take 3 months and $20,000. 

Seven months and $40,000 later, the van is full.

Listed here are simply a few the surprising delays and bills: They ordered the bathroom for the van in Could 2021, nevertheless it didn’t arrive till October. The skilled heating and electrical system installations value twice as a lot and took — no exaggeration — 10 occasions as lengthy. 

However Jonathan and Lucy each observe that you simply change into used to residing in a van in a short time. “It positively took some adjusting,” Jonathan mentioned. “At first we had been bumping into one another and determining methods to use the house most successfully.” 

“However we have now the entire world outdoors our door,” he added. “And we will simply open it and get anyplace we need to.”


Right here’s how Jonathan and Lucy determine the place to go, in response to Jonathan:

“We’ve a normal route that we need to take after which discover particular issues to do as we’re touring by areas. The good half about residing nomadically is that we will keep for longer intervals of time if we like a sure place. We permit for flexibility in our journey plans due to this.

“Throughout this second journey, we’re heading towards Denver to see Lucy’s sister, who not too long ago moved there. We intend to journey slower and extra meticulously than our first journey in order that we will actually soak up and expertise every place that we go to.”

Jonathan and Lucy are already occupied with all of the locations they’d wish to go quickly. Mexico and Alaska are on the checklist, however even greater than that. “There are folks we’ve seen who’ve both finished van swaps or really shipped their van to Europe or Asia,” Jonathan mentioned. “We’d like to discover and experiment with touring internationally whereas residing in a van and dealing remotely.” 

I like it!

I discuss this with {couples} on my podcast on a regular basis. A Wealthy Life is a particular, detailed plan for the current AND the longer term. I like that Jonathan and Lucy had been occupied with this even earlier than he began working with us and was accustomed to the entire IWT terminology. 

Camper van economics


Ever puzzled how a lot it prices to journey the nation in a van or a camper? Let’s discover out.

Lucy and Jonathan

Right here’s what Jonathan says: 

Price of the empty van: $40,000 after taxes and charge (a used 2019 Ford Transit 350 HD XLT passenger van with round 35,000 miles)

Price of the construct: $40,000, together with all supplies, home equipment, and labor of execs

Price to dwell on the highway per thirty days:

  • Meals/grocery: $500
  • Camper insurance coverage: $200
  • Auto mortgage: $650
  • Gasoline: $300 common (relying on the place they’re)
  • Pet meals/insurance coverage: $125
  • Guilt-free spending: $300–600 (relying on the place they’re)

Whole: Round $2,000–2,500 per thirty days, or $24,000–30,000 per yr 

I guess that’s lower than what you thought it will be. 

Give it some thought this manner: It prices them much less to dwell on the highway than it did to hire a small condo in Massachusetts. Every little thing is much less, not simply hire.

“It isn’t really as costly as folks would suppose it’s,” Jonathan mentioned, “as a result of we’re not paying towards a mortgage, we’re not paying towards taxes. All we’re paying towards is insurance coverage and our van mortgage.”

He explains one other manner they give it some thought: 

“Once we had been touring round and stopped in locations like Jackson Gap or alongside the California coast, we’d be camped out proper subsequent to multimillion-dollar houses — and we had the identical view. And we had been staying there totally free or subsequent to nothing. 

“It shifted our mindset. Experiencing the nation was rather more attainable. We had been capable of have the identical views as individuals who had stationary houses. Besides we may change it on a regular basis.”


Sure! Comparable causes to why I like renting and never proudly owning. 

We requested Jonathan a number of different questions:

What about campsite bills? “On the East Coast, it’s actually laborious to camp totally free. However when you cross the Mississippi, there’s extra Bureau of Land Administration land the place you’ll be able to camp totally free for as much as two weeks at a time.” 

Surprising bills? “You may’t simply have common auto insurance coverage. And lots of camper insurance coverage insurance policies wouldn’t cowl us since we constructed it ourselves. So we needed to navigate that course of — principally monitoring each single buy, protecting detailed receipts, and sending that to the insurance coverage firm to get a customized coverage.” 

Sightseeing and different experiences? “We’ve a guilt-free spending quantity that we like to remain at, however we do keep versatile. If there are issues in sure areas that we need to do, we would say ‘Effectively, that goes above funds, however it is a once-in-a-lifetime alternative, so let’s do it.’”

Partway through the initial build

“After the preliminary construct is completed, the bills are very predictable,” Lucy mentioned. “You too can transfer the funds round. So if it appears like issues are getting too tight, you don’t need to drive as a lot. It’s very manageable.” 

This can be a nice instance of how to consider cash in another way to be able to dwell your Wealthy Life. 

A proposal, an actor, a shotgun, and a pack of 4x4s

A Wealthy Life is your preferrred life — one the place you have a look at your private relationships, your funds, and your atypical days and say, “Wow!”

It’s a life that’s full. A life lived deliberately, proactively, and abundantly. 

Listed here are a number of particular examples of Jonathan and Lucy’s Wealthy Life from touring over the previous couple years.

Jonathan and Lucy at Angles Landing

Engagement hike

From Jonathan:

“Earlier than the journey began, we had been simply relationship. We weren’t engaged but. We each knew that we needed to pop the query sooner or later in the course of the journey, however we didn’t know the place we had been going to do it or what the context was going to be. So over the course of the journey, we had been discovering all of those lovely hikes, and I used to be considering, Oh, is that this going to be an excellent place to do it? Is that this going to be an excellent place to do it?

“We each began speaking about this one particular hike in Zion known as Angel’s Touchdown. It’s purported to be just like the scariest hike within the U.S. So I assumed, That appears like a tremendous spot to do it. It’s this huge hike that we’ve each been speaking about the entire journey.

“Once you get there, there’s an indication about how many individuals have died previously 10 years.

“Once we received to the highest, I liked the views and was on the brink of ask the query. However I didn’t notice that there have been tons of individuals crying and stressing out and breaking down as a result of they’d simply made it there. I simply thought it was the very best time to ask. So I went to Lucy and mentioned quietly in her ear, ‘I’ve a vital query to ask you.’ However the very first thing out of her mouth was, ‘Not now, Jon. I’m not prepared for this.’

“So we made our manner a bit farther out on the touchdown and had essentially the most unbelievable view. Nobody was crying at that time, and I used to be capable of ask the query.”

Lucy mentioned, “My reply was really ‘If we make it down. If I survive.’” 

“I took it as a sure,” Jonathan mentioned.

Lucy and Teton

Assembly an actor

Lucy recollects a specific hike they went on:

“In one other park, we biked in. We began chatting with the man that we had been biking with for a bit bit.

“We got here again from a hike and the identical man was there. He had simply completed the hike. Jon struck up a dialog with him, and he was speaking about how he’s touring round in a van. 

“So we talked a bit, and I mentioned, ‘We even have a van.’ We had been telling one another about our lives. I requested, ‘What do you do that enables you to have the ability to journey on a regular basis? Do you’ve got a versatile work schedule?’ And he mentioned, ‘Oh, I’m in movie and theater.’ Then he mentioned, ‘There’s an excellent campsite I’m staying at east of Zion. You guys ought to test it out. It has showers. We may hang around and have a campfire.’

“However I mentioned, ‘No, we have now to go decide up our pet from doggy day care. We’re staying on the east facet. We’re completely high-quality. It was good assembly you.’ So he biked off. As he biked away, Jon mentioned, ‘That’s a extremely well-known actor.’ I mentioned, ‘What are you speaking about?’ ‘That was Andrew Garfield.’ I didn’t know the title. As quickly as we received service once more and he confirmed me an image, I mentioned, ‘Holy crap. I simply talked to that man for half-hour.’ I handled him as if he was a vacationer as a result of I assumed he was British. I informed him that he ought to go to California and see Huge Sur and locations like that. He by no means gave up his identification. Behind his head, he was in all probability considering, ‘Yeah, I do know the place to go in California. I personal a home in California.’

“It was such a enjoyable second to satisfy an A-list movie star in essentially the most out-of-context place. He was such a traditional, common man, simply doing a hike the identical day we had been doing the hike. 

“In order that made us notice that you simply don’t must have hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to dwell your Wealthy Life. We had been having the identical expertise as a star.”

Pit bulls and a shotgun

One other story from Jonathan: 

“One time, we went to a web site close to Yellowstone. It was an deserted grime highway. We misplaced service after 5 minutes on the highway and had been nonetheless half-hour away. Once we received to the spot, there was just one campsite and there’s somebody already there. I politely requested, ‘Hey, we’re already out right here. Do you thoughts if we simply keep over right here for the night time?’ And he mentioned it was completely high-quality. 

“We did a fast tour of one another’s vans as a result of that’s what you do. Apparently, there was an enormous shotgun in his entrance seat. Lucy noticed it, however I didn’t. He additionally had two large pit bulls. He was touring along with his mother, which I suppose is the least scary a part of that. That’s the one factor that I took away from it — that he had his mother with him. 

“The primary query Lucy requested after his tour was concerning the shotgun. He mentioned, ‘Yeah, I’ve a shotgun to beat back bears in the event that they ever come by. Do you guys have any weapons?’ In fact I mentioned no.

“Lucy thought we had been going to die that night time.

“However on the finish of the day, he was tremendous good. He actually was simply touring round along with his mother and solely had the shotgun for bears, and he was tremendous pleasant. However now I do know to say that we have now all of the weapons.”

A gaggle of 4x4s

Jonathan mentioned: 

“The scariest second in all probability was after we received caught in a blizzard close to Bend, Oregon. 

“We stayed at a campsite — actually, a relaxation space parking zone — for the night time. Everybody else was going again into Portland, however we determined to remain for the night time. We figured they’d plow it within the morning. 

“The entire locals got here out with their huge SUVs and Jeeps and began doing donuts across the parking zone. 

“Lucy began to get a bit bit upset. We might have had a few glasses of wine. She mentioned, ‘I’m going to go inform these guys they’re getting manner too shut they usually’re manner too loud.’

“I mentioned, ‘I wouldn’t do this. They’ll cease ultimately.’

“However she marched out, and mentioned to a man standing outdoors smoking a cigarette, ‘You realize, you guys are being very loud, and I’m making an attempt to sleep. You’re too shut.’”

Lucy continued the story: 

“The man began laughing and requested if we had been within the van. I mentioned sure and marched again very proud. Jon requested, ‘What did you do? You informed them that we had been within the van? You compromised our security.’

“A couple of minutes later, they left, and I used to be bragging. 

“However a couple of minutes after that, they got here again in drive. They need to’ve known as all their mates. They had been doing donuts inside a number of ft of the van. 

“After about 20 minutes, they drove away. I determine it’s as a result of I didn’t present them that they had been getting underneath my pores and skin. They weren’t getting a response and so weren’t getting a lot enjoyable out of it.

“We informed our dad and mom that story and I feel it terrified them. Nevertheless it’s a really shaggy dog story now.”

I like these tales as a result of they illustrate a key level of the Wealthy Life idea. A Wealthy Life isn’t all about cash. NONE of those tales have cash as the first character. The purpose is the expertise. 

At IWT, we see cash as a device for designing, enhancing, and having fun with the life you’re meant to dwell. Jonathan and Lucy have organized their life — together with their funds — to permit them to dwell the life they need. I hope tales like theirs encourage you to do the identical. 

A camper van Dream Job

As I discussed, Jonathan is an IWT worker. Right here at IWT, we’re huge believers in working from residence. In truth, our complete firm works remotely.

Jonathan working in the camper van

“I used to be on the lookout for a job that was going to permit me to dwell my Wealthy Life, with out even realizing what that meant,” Jonathan mentioned. “I knew that I needed to work remotely for a corporation that was serving to folks with their issues of their lives.”

So how does working in a van work? 

“We’re utterly self-sufficient so far as electrical energy is worried. We’ve greater than sufficient solar energy to maintain us going, and we cost each time we drive,” he mentioned.

“Proper now, we’re spending a lot of the day, say 9:00 to five:00 within the van working, after which at night time we discover the world,” mentioned Jonathan. “With it getting darkish sooner, generally we have now to attend till the weekends to drive to the subsequent spot in order that we have now daylight to discover the world to discover a good place to remain.” 

Lucy, who labored full time on ending the van conversion for seven months, is now on the lookout for her personal distant Dream Job.

Your questions for Jonathan and Lucy

Once we shared Jonathan and Lucy’s story in The Wealthy Life e-newsletter, we received quite a lot of nice questions on their Wealthy Life. Listed here are a number of, together with Jonathan and Lucy’s solutions:

Q: How does the web work?

A: We’ve an LTE router and a cell sign booster. Worth vary can differ relying in your bandwidth wants, however sometimes may be between $300–$1,000 for the gear. For the router, you’ll be able to plug in any kind of SIM card, so Verizon, AT&T, T-Cellular, and even worldwide SIMs will work. The hotspot-only plans vary from $40 to $75 per thirty days for 40 to 100 GB of knowledge. And we at all times have the choice to go to a restaurant if we would like or want.

Q: How do you deal with being in such shut contact together with your accomplice on a regular basis? How do you’ve got your solo/alone time whereas residing in a small house?

A: Communication. Full cease. You might want to be utterly open and trustworthy together with your accomplice and your self to prioritize your alone time whenever you want it. We designed our van with a “bed room” and “lounge” in order that we will each have our personal lounging/working areas. Additionally, taking time to go on solo walks/hikes/bike rides may be very therapeutic. It was necessary for us that we had been residing collectively for over 5 years earlier than hitting the highway, which constructed an excellent basis for our relationship.

Q: How do you get mail or packages or checklist a everlasting tackle? 

A: It’s really lots simpler than folks suppose. If we’re ordering one thing from Amazon, then we attempt to discover an Amazon hub locker or a Entire Meals retailer close by. If we’re getting one thing from our household/mates, then UPS shops will maintain a bundle for you for as much as per week. So far as everlasting addresses, our dad and mom and siblings have everlasting addresses that we will ship essential mail to.

Q: What do you miss essentially the most a few conventional house?

A: Limitless water, particularly for dishes, showers, and baths. Not having to consistently take into consideration eliminating our trash, recycling, wastewater, and so on. The house is so restricted that the trash appears to pile up much more than regular residing. Extra storage and secure storage — we hit a bump simply the opposite day and launched a full glass bottle of vinegar that shattered on our flooring. A constant place to go residence to each night time — consistently on the lookout for campsites to remain in.

Q: How do you take care of journey fatigue? Does that even occur since your life is decidedly cellular?

A: Whereas we live on the highway touring full time, the period of time that we spend in anywhere is totally as much as us. If we ever really feel fatigued shifting round a lot, we will at all times discover a place to remain for weeks at a time to recuperate. Our favourite instance of this was after we had been touring by northern Arizona and southern Utah. There was an amazing quantity of issues to do, and we had by no means actually stayed in a single place for longer than per week at that time. We ended up staying within the space for over a month, and it was nice to decelerate and actually expertise the place and achieve again our vitality to journey extra.

* * *

I hope you’ve loved this have a look at Jonathan and Lucy’s Wealthy Life. We’ll be sure you test in on them every now and then and share what we be taught in The Wealthy Life e-newsletter. Within the meantime, you’ll be able to observe their journey on Instagram @ajucyadventure.

100% privateness. No video games, no B.S., no spam. Once you enroll, we’ll preserve you posted



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular