Family of 6 traveling in a van!

We are the Sanchez Family! A multicultural family of 6 from Utah, USA. Our family consists of Mike and Rachel, and children Lilli, 8, Mila, 6, Remi, 3, and Enzo 6 months.

As a family, we dreamt of van-life for years. Mike and I would search sale listings for vans at night and day dream of all the adventures we would have. But it always felt so out of reach.

In 2018, on a warm October morning, I went in to give birth to our third daughter. The day quickly turned disastrous as Remi got pushed into a position that stopped her heart and we were rushed into an emergency C-section. In the surgery, I hemorrhaged, adding to a long list of complications. Mike had to endure that day being unsure at different times if he was losing his wife or his baby girl.

Being able to have Remi here safely caused us to re-evaluate how we were going about chasing our dreams. We know that our children are only little for a little while, and so we decided to stop waiting for “some day” and decided to make our dreams a reality.

We must have looked at a few hundred vans before finding ours. When we found our van it was converted but not fit for a family. We had an additional bed installed and the front bench.

Our first trip in the van was short and close to home. But we were instantly hooked. We knew this was going to be our favorite way to make memories as a family.

And that has remained true. Two years later and we are still happiest when we are in the van together. Traveling in the van has given us some of the most incredible and unforgettable experiences. We have woken up to bull moose right outside our van doors. We have slept in the most jaw-dropping beautiful places. We have experienced setbacks like a leaking roof and failing heater. We have spent countless nights, cuddled to movies, playing games and laughing to the point of tears.

It is not common to see a family traveling in a van. Much less a family of 6! So we get our fair share of funny looks and odd comments. But we also get plenty of love and support. At the end of the day, it makes us happy. And allows us to make priceless memories as a family.

So you will find our family in the van for years to come.



You can find us on…

Aya Mariano

Published in May


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