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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 the whole lot: How and why Jonathan and Lucy determined to stay a nomadic life, their camper van construct particulars, the ACTUAL prices concerned in dwelling on the highway, a number of of their Wealthy Life moments, and extra. 

You’ll hear a couple of 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 Scholar Success crew. Whenever you be a part of one among our packages, our SS crew makes certain that you’ve the whole lot it’s essential to get by way of this system and begin to implement what you’ve realized. The crew is without doubt one of the greatest components 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 wished to maintain the dream going,” Jonathan mentioned. In order that they took it to the subsequent stage. 

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. 

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

“Our good friend Raquel, who launched us to the nomadic life-style, was recognized with terminal most cancers in summer season 2021 and handed away within the fall. She by no means acquired the prospect to stay her Wealthy Life. It actually places into context why we’re not losing any time dwelling our Wealthy Life, and day by day we’re on the highway, we’re reminded of her life. We named our van Raqi (pronounced ‘Rocky’) after her and hope to proceed dwelling the best way she would have wished us to.”

Wow. What a strong purpose for Jonathan and Lucy to begin dwelling their imaginative and prescient for his or her Wealthy Life! No matter your purpose is, one of the best time to begin dwelling your Wealthy Life is right this moment.

camper van interior

I like with the ability to go in-depth and get particular particulars on a Wealthy Life story like this. Maintain studying to see precisely what it prices every month to stay a nomadic life like this — I believe it is going to 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 duties and will journey round.”
  • “There’s no approach that may work for me. It’s an excessive amount of time, assets, and cash.”
  • “Have to 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 truly got here up with a enjoyable acronym for it: ‘FISH’ing.’ Feigning Curiosity, Suppressing Horror.” 


Because of this I say your Wealthy Life is YOURS, not anybody else’s. Some individuals 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 right down to a metropolis, and particularly a high-rent space. We love the flexibleness of going wherever we would like.”


“It was an ideal time for us to launch into this new life-style 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 youngsters. It felt like a great alternative.” 

They acknowledge it’s not good. Lucy mentioned, “In a super world, we wouldn’t be in a van — we’d be capable to keep in additional snug lodging. However for now, we’re prioritizing our love for the outside, however it comes with the price of dwelling in a smaller house and never having the whole lot 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 elevate that they needed to manually take away, together with all the 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 below are simply a few the sudden delays and bills: They ordered the bathroom for the van in Could 2021, however it didn’t arrive till October. The skilled heating and electrical system installations price twice as a lot and took — no exaggeration — 10 occasions as lengthy. 

However Jonathan and Lucy each observe that you just turn into used to dwelling 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 how one can use the house most successfully.” 

“However now we have the entire world exterior our door,” he added. “And we are able to simply open it and get wherever we need to.”


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

“We’ve got a basic route that we need to take after which discover particular issues to do as we’re touring by way of areas. The good half about dwelling nomadically is that we are able to 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 lately moved there. We intend to journey slower and extra meticulously than our first journey in order that we are able to actually absorb and expertise every place that we go to.”

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

I find it irresistible!

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 long run. I like that Jonathan and Lucy had been eager about this even earlier than he began working with us and was acquainted with all the IWT terminology. 

Camper van economics


Ever questioned 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 payment (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 pros

Price to stay on the highway per 30 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)

Complete: Round $2,000–2,500 per 30 days, or $24,000–30,000 per 12 months 

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

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

“It isn’t truly as costly as individuals 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 approach they give it some thought: 

“After 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 properties — and we had the identical view. And we had been staying there without cost or subsequent to nothing. 

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


Sure! Related 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 onerous to camp without cost. However when you cross the Mississippi, there’s extra Bureau of Land Administration land the place you possibly can camp without cost for as much as two weeks at a time.” 

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

Sightseeing and different experiences? “We’ve got 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’d say ‘Nicely, that goes above finances, 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 may as well transfer the finances round. So if it looks like issues are getting too tight, you don’t must drive as a lot. It’s very manageable.” 

This can be a nice instance of how to consider cash in a different way so as to stay your Wealthy Life. 

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

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

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

Listed below 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 courting. We weren’t engaged but. We each knew that we wished 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 stunning hikes, and I used to be considering, Oh, is that this going to be a great place to do it? Is that this going to be a great place to do it?

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

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

“After we acquired to the highest, I beloved 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 that they had simply made it there. I simply thought it was one of the best time to ask. So I went to Lucy and mentioned quietly in her ear, ‘I’ve an important 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 approach a little 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 truly ‘If we make it down. If I survive.’” 

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

Lucy and Teton

Assembly an actor

Lucy remembers a selected 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 little 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 a versatile work schedule?’ And he mentioned, ‘Oh, I’m in movie and theater.’ Then he mentioned, ‘There’s an amazing 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, now we have to go decide up our pet from doggy day care. We’re staying on the east facet. We’re completely advantageous. 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 identify. As quickly as we acquired 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 advised him that he ought to go to California and see Large Sur and locations like that. He by no means gave up his id. Behind his head, he was most likely 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 celeb 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 just don’t have to have thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of {dollars} to stay 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 dust highway. We misplaced service after 5 minutes on the highway and had been nonetheless half-hour away. After we acquired 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 evening?’ And he mentioned it was completely advantageous. 

“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 big pit bulls. He was touring together 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 keep at bay bears in the event that they ever come by. Do you guys have any weapons?’ After all I mentioned no.

“Lucy thought we had been going to die that evening.

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

A bunch of 4x4s

Jonathan mentioned: 

“The scariest second most likely was once we acquired caught in a blizzard close to Bend, Oregon. 

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

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

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

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

“However she marched out, and mentioned to a man standing exterior smoking a cigarette, ‘You understand, you guys are being very loud, and I’m attempting 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 advised 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 pressure. They need to’ve known as all their buddies. 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 below my pores and skin. They weren’t getting a response and so weren’t getting a lot enjoyable out of it.

“We advised our mother and father that story and I believe it terrified them. However 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 software for designing, enhancing, and having fun with the life you’re meant to stay. Jonathan and Lucy have organized their life — together with their funds — to permit them to stay 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. Actually, our total firm works remotely.

Jonathan working in the camper van

“I used to be searching for a job that was going to permit me to stay my Wealthy Life, with out even figuring out what that meant,” Jonathan mentioned. “I knew that I wished to work remotely for an organization that was serving to individuals 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 anxious. We’ve got greater than sufficient solar energy to maintain us going, and we cost every 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 evening we discover the world,” mentioned Jonathan. “With it getting darkish sooner, typically now we have to attend till the weekends to drive to the subsequent spot in order that now we have 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 searching for her personal distant Dream Job.

Your questions for Jonathan and Lucy

After we shared Jonathan and Lucy’s story in The Wealthy Life publication, we acquired plenty of nice questions on their Wealthy Life. Listed below are a number of, together with Jonathan and Lucy’s solutions:

Q: How does the web work?

A: We’ve got an LTE router and a cell sign booster. Value vary can range relying in your bandwidth wants, however usually may be between $300–$1,000 for the gear. For the router, you possibly can plug in any kind of SIM card, so Verizon, AT&T, T-Cell, and even worldwide SIMs will work. The hotspot-only plans vary from $40 to $75 per 30 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 along with your accomplice on a regular basis? How do you’ve your solo/alone time whereas dwelling in a small house?

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

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

A: It’s truly lots simpler than individuals suppose. If we’re ordering one thing from Amazon, then we attempt to discover an Amazon hub locker or a Complete Meals retailer close by. If we’re getting one thing from our household/buddies, then UPS shops will maintain a bundle for you for as much as per week. So far as everlasting addresses, our mother and father and siblings have everlasting addresses that we are able to ship crucial mail to.

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

A: Limitless water, particularly for dishes, showers, and baths. Not having to continually 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 dwelling. 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 evening — continually searching 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 are able to at all times discover a place to remain for weeks at a time to recuperate. Our favourite instance of this was once we had been touring by way of northern Arizona and southern Utah. There was an awesome 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 acquire 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 examine in on them sometimes and share what we study in The Wealthy Life publication. Within the meantime, you possibly can comply with their journey on Instagram @ajucyadventure.

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