Hey guys! My Name is Greg Mills and I live, work, and travel full time out of a 1982 VW Vanagon alongside my girlfriend Michelle, and our 1yr-old pup Casey.
Life on the Road
We first hit the road over six years ago after spending a little over a year saving up and building out our van “Arabella” to handle the stresses of being both our full-time home and primary means of travel / transportation.
Our Seasonal Jobs
Michelle and I work seasonally back in our home state of New York primarily between the months of June and September while spending the rest of our year traveling the US and working remotely whenever we can.
Since she was 14, Michelle has worked in her family’s 3rd generation Fabric Company as a seamstress, clothing manufacturer, and designer for their local small business in Bellmore, NY.
While I have spent the past 13 years working as an Ocean Lifeguard and Professional Rescuer for New York State Parks at Jones Beach – one of the busiest beaches in the United States with over six million visitors each Summer.
Although the Summer may be when we earn a majority of our annual income, we also work remotely throughout the remainder of the year which also helps us to sustain our lives on the road.
While traveling throughout the Winter, Michelle designs clothes, makes patterns, and works on her own artwork while I focus on building my photography portfolio, selling prints, and doing commercial shoots for a number of outdoor related brands / companies.
But our pup Casey-Dog has by far the best job of the three of us, she just gets come along for the ride, chills out in the van, and makes us smile! Now that’s the type of job I think we all want…
Accomplishing our Goals
Originally, when we first moved into the van the idea we built up in our heads was to be on the road full time and only return to NY for brief visits. Then continue onward with the adventure.
But we quickly realized that this may have been an unrealistic goal for both our wallets, and our hearts. We love New York, our roots run deep there, and we love being with our friends and family …
It took us a year or two to get our individual employment situations totally dialed in, but we eventually found a healthy compromise that worked for us. Working seasonally for a few months at a time, while always living out of the van, allowed us to both continue doing work that we truly love and gave us plenty of time to spend with with our families / friends.
This provided us with the ability to live rent free, save up our hard earned dollars, and gave us a stable source of income that could fully support us and our travels throughout the entire year.
During our “high season” over the Summer, we each work between 40 and 60 hours a week at our individual jobs, taking on every opportunity to earn an extra dollar, and hustling as hard as we can to save up for the coming months out on the road.
It isn’t always easy, and these few months back in our home state can often be pretty stressful and physically draining – but all the hard work we put in always pays off big time.
There is no better feeling than that last day at our 9-5’s knowing that tomorrow it will all be in the rear view mirror as we pull out onto the interstate with nothing but open roads and new adventures ahead of us for the rest of the year.
If I could offer any sort of advice to others looking to find their own path towards true financial stability for a nomadic lifestyle,
it would be that there is no easy all-in-one recipe for success.
The only way to make it work is to get creative, work hard, and always stay positive. Be passionate with all that you do, say yes to the opportunities that find you, and always live within your means…
Finally, never forget all that hard work that you put in will eventually pay off both in dollars and experiences.
"It all depends on how bad you want it and how hard you are willing to work to make it happen!"
It took us almost two years before we “figured it out” and found a combination of jobs that allowed us to live the way we wanted, so don’t get stuck thinking that you need to have it all figured out immediately. Just get out there, keep working hard, and make it happen!