On April 2017 we decided that we’d had enough of a conventional lifestyle and decided to self convert a Vauxhall Movano van into a log cabin on wheels.
We moved into our new home six months later and have been living van life off the grid ever since. We get a lot of questions about
"how do you make money whilst out and about on your travels"
so today we’re going to talk about our journey from house-dwellers to travel writers with Van Clan.
Working for Van Clan
Van Clan is an online Camper van and Travel magazine, covering everything from classic camper conversions right through to the latest travel tech that you need for your next off-grid adventure. At just under a year old and with 220k+ subscribers, it’s one of the fastest growing Van life communities on the internet.
We saw an advertisement asking for writers to join the Van Clan team when we first moved into our van. So we sent them a sample article, and got hired. Fast forward a bit and now we’ve moved from writers to being in charge of the social content for their website.
Whilst Brandon (Van Clan’s Founder) is in charge of Social Marketing and Brand Sponsorship/Partnerships.
We’re a small but tight-knit team that compliment each others skills. Keeping the team small means that we can have better and more regular conversations, and we love being part of a business that has a ‘home grown on the road’ feel.
Writing has always been one of our biggest passions, and working for Van Clan means that we can turn our love of travel, nature and (of course) camper vans into a sustainable source of income.
It’s incredibly flexible in terms of deadlines, and we have the luxury of being able to write when we want, where we want.
When we leave the UK we’ll be ramping up the Van Clan articles to two solid days of work per week, which will be more than enough to pay for the weekly costs of our new nomadic lifestyle.
Some months we might earn £300 collectively, but sometimes we can earn anything up to £600 each depending on how much time we dedicate to creating content.
Rose also sells hand printed T-Shirts of her own original designs, and Seb has written a self conversion E-Book in conjunction with Van Clan.
Working on the road hasn’t affected our lives in the slightest, in fact living the van life has meant that we now spend much more time outside rather than being stuck inside watching television.
We spend a lot of our evenings down by the river or out in the country writing articles for Van Clan. Living van life means that we can blog about our adventures from the heart of a forest or from the quiet valleys of the Yorkshire dales.
In many ways, writing for Van Clan has opened up even more doors for us, and now we have a legitimate excuse to go and explore the world!
We have two pieces of advice for anyone wanting to live a nomadic lifestyle who might be worried about the financial complications of living in a van.
Our first piece of advice would be to put money away whilst living in your house to be able to afford to buy and convert a van, so that when you move into your new home you won’t have any debt.
- If you’re planning on going travelling in your van then our advice would be not to get too excited and hit the road straight away. Stay off-grid in one place for a little while and build up your bank balance.
- It might not be the most exciting thing to do, but it’s the most logical. If your engine suddenly breaks whilst you’re in a foreign country and you’ve not got any funds behind you then it’s game over for your trip.
- Keep some emergency money in the bank or inside your mattress in case the going gets rough (you’ll thank us if you get stuck!)
Our second piece of advice is to believe that you can do anything that you put your mind to.
- It sounds cheesy as hell, but it’s true. Work to your strengths and focus on what you enjoy; this doesn’t have to be writing, you can take many careers on the road with you. We sent one sample article to Van Clan with the hope of just getting a mention and now we get paid to write about our day to day lives.
- If you like making radio jingles or are a dab hand with a camera, then make a portfolio and send some examples off to every business that you can find. If you like working with computers then learn how to code on the road. Or start a blog about a topic that you love and build up your social profile.
If people tell you that you aren’t creative then that’s nonsense, you’ve just got to find your niche and work hard to turn it into a career.
If we can become digital nomads with no experience and nothing but a bag full of enthusiasm then you can too. What have you got to lose?