Nomadic Living (201)

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Digital Nomad's Minimalist Van



…American builder, entrepreneur and recovering architect Ross Lukeman of Alternative Homes Today is one of these new digital nomads, who lives, works and travels in a minimalist cargo van he converted himself. Lukeman began his journey about five years ago, after having gotten an architecture degree, working for a few years in jobs that paid the bills, but didn’t allow for much freedom for him to explore his own growing interests in alternative housing.

Lukeman began formulating an exit plan into the digital nomad lifestyle: working full-time while working on his own online business for five years, and also building out his van, finally quitting his job a couple of months before completing the build-out…

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Rob's French Army House Truck

… It’s a 1959 French Army Truck — a Simica Unic Marmon Bocquet (or SUMB). The shack is built with wood from local sawmills, reclaimed bits, corrugated steel, and insulated with sheep wool. Friends Jo House and Charlie Goodvibes helped with the building, which took about three weeks, I hadn’t built anything like this before, but now I feel ready to build anything…

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Snowboarder Austin Smith's Firetruck Turned Home on Wheels



At the beginning of the winter Austin Smith made a bit of a departure from his standard season. After somewhat unexpectedly coming to own a retired fire truck turned mobile home, Austin decided to squat in the Mt. Bachelor parking lot for a month-and-a-half. Rather than chase storms all over the planet, he chose to hang at his home resort. And ride every day.

“I knew I’d enjoy it, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much,” says Austin. “I’m really digging it.”

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Couple Converts Airport Shuttle Bus into Home on Wheels

After graduating from college, Pete Thuli and Taylor Bucher spent 10 months traveling through Southeast Asia, and when they returned home to the U.S., they realized how much of their own country they had never seen.

“We knew that committing ourselves to an office job straight out of college wouldn’t make us happy, so we started brainstorming ways we could travel and work for an extended amount of time,” the couple told TODAY Home. Their winning idea: an 80-square-foot van that needed some TLC.

Originally a San Diego airport shuttle bus, the van had also been most recently used as a construction vehicle. When they bought it for $4,500, there were a lot of random accessories and additions that each owner had added to it and modified…

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Beautifully Built Cargo Van Conversion

New technologies like smart devices, compact computers and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi are allowing more and more people to work when and wherever they want. When combined with an array of solar photovoltaics — which are getting smaller and cheaper by the day — one can create a setup that can allow one to work and to travel almost anywhere in the world.

So it makes sense that we’re seeing a slew of young people going the digital nomad route, whether it’s in a co-working space abroad, or in a vehicle that’s been converted into a full-time live-and-work space. Moreover, the recent explosion of knowledge-sharing and DIY culture in online blogs and videos makes these conversions all the more accessible to complete novices. Designboom introduces us to Hungarian freelance photographer Norbert Juhász, who fits in the latter category, having adapted an old, nondescript white cargo van into a minimalist home for himself and his fiancée, Dora, a writer.

Juhász, who has also studied architecture, wanted something different from the hustle and bustle of downtown Budapest. Having met six years ago, the couple recently decided to go the route of full-time “#vanlife”, as travelling affords new, stimulating experiences, but also plenty of photographic opportunities. Juhász specifically bought this 16-year-old van (now called Debella) last spring as it doesn’t draw too much attention, meaning less hassle if one has to park somewhere for the night.

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Beautiful Japanese Tiny House on Wheels



It’s possible that this is one of the smallest homes that we have visited on the show so far and yet without doubt it is one of the most spectacular in its design. Japan is a country already world-famous for its small space designs, and so it should come as no surprise that when Japanese master craftsman Tagami Haruhiko turned his attention towards the tiny house movement, amazing things would happen.

The home is crafted wherever possible from locally sourced and natural materials, predominantly cedar. There is an architectural edge to this tiny house on wheels which seems to draw inspiration from the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, yet which has been given a unique and bewildering touch of Japanese-design…

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Nomadic Photographer Lives, Works & Travels in Teardrop Trailer

So many of us perform the duties and live the lives that’s expected of us: kids that conform to the rules at home and school, or the responsible parent that works hard at a boring day job to provide for their kids. But there’s probably also many of us that harbour fantastical inklings of dropping everything to travel and to pursue our true passions. Yet, it’s likely that many of us won’t make the plunge, probably because we fear change and the prospect of the unknown.

But change — and uncertainty — can be good. For American freelance photographer Mandy Lea, change came in the guise of a teardrop trailer that she calls her home — a mobile place of belonging that she feels connected to as she travels the country, snapping incredible images of nature. For the last two years, she’s been a full-time solo “teardropper”, visiting some of the most majestic spots one could imagine.

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Couple Travels with Off-Grid School Bus



The growth of the tiny house movement in recent years has reignited interest in the idea of living a simpler lifestyle. It has also revived enthusiasm for small spaces of all kinds — a soothing antidote to the wretched excess of the McMansion era. Beyond building lovely tiny houses, some are also renovating school buses into stylish homes on wheels. It’s hardly a new thing, but one major advantage that school bus-based tiny homes have over “conventional” tiny homes is that they are much more mobile — and also much cheaper than a high-end tiny house.

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School Bus Conversion for Family of Five



Like their modified van cousins and the adventurous notion of “van life”, modern bus conversions for full-time living are now emerging as a thing. Of course, they’ve already been around for a while, but thanks to the Internet, stylish and affordable DIY bus conversions are now entering mainstream consciousness as yet another tiny-house-on-wheels alternative. Best of all, these modern bus dwellings aren’t just for single individuals or couples, they can also suit families that are looking for a debt-free place to call home.

That’s the case with the Sullivans, a family of five from Washington state that recently moved into a 40-foot-long bus they lovingly call “Big Bertha”.…

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Mike Basich's New Snowchaser

I met Mike Basich about 6 or 7 years ago when we were just starting to make Tiny Homes, I was looking for a snowboard which utilized local wood and recycled plastics, I found a company called Smokin’ Snowboards and they had a pro model for Mike Basich. I googled his name and found a blog with photos of an amazing home built off the grid in the Sierras and soon contacted him.

He became our featured builder in Tiny Homes and a friend. He is a master builder, welder, mason, photographer, legend among the snowboard community, visionary, and an all-around amazing guy.

He has purchased a new truck and is building an amazing home on wheels which has pop-out sides. Mike is featured in our next book Small Homes: The Right Size, which is due out in April 2017.


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Old Ambulance Converted into Home on Wheels



If you’ve ever dreamt of living the van life and traveling the world, then this is a project that you need to see. Michal and Hana (originally from the Czech Republic) arrived in New Zealand with one year to travel the country. In order to make their journey comfortable, they set about converting an old Ford Transit ambulance into a stunning home on wheels.

Outside, the camper van is certainly inconspicuous and can easily be used for stealth camping when the couple wish to sleep in more urban areas. The van is completely self-contained and certified, which means that it has the ability to legally park in a wide variety of wilderness areas throughout New Zealand.

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