As I was spending my spring of 2021 working with clients, managing shipping and product availability issues, and getting used to life full-time in Florida, I was also dreaming, sketching, and scheduling my next vision for HOME by Y&M. I wanted to create something that would not only allow me to see more and do more but also be an encouragement to others. And it turns out that many women were amazed that I would tackle this vision- alone. Now, I wasn’t alone every step of this journey, but the plan was to go it alone. Here is my story of how I dreamed, built, and traveled the first steps of van life.

Let’s back track a bit- this vision began as soon as I unloaded “the van” in Tampa August of 2020. I mean, I didn’t really believe that I was just going to show up-full time – with my loving hubby and think that working from home completing design projects was going to be enough to keep this potentially ADD brain and body busy. I had many of my peeps suggesting a slowdown would be good for me. I didn’t disagree but… this woman can only sit still for so long…like 5 mins max. So, Thought one- Design Office on wheels. Fast forward 60 seconds- and NO that is not what I was willing to limit myself to. After all- I was months from my double nickel birthday and the 12-year-old “plan” was to wrap up after another 10 years. Boom. Done. Moving on- Thought 2- Beach Bar on wheels. This I could wrap my head around quite quickly. Thought 3-Beach Bar on wheels meets VAN LIFE. And here we are! Weekend Beach Bar that also doubles as my favorite new place to spend travel time with my main squeeze, girlfriends, or anyone else that I meet along the journey. AndVanture (&) was born!

So, at this point you are really confused because it is now Spring of 2022 and you are wondering what the heck! Well, here is the thing- I have been keeping myself busy working, playing, traveling and then on 2/7/22 I came to an abrupt stop while skiing. Literally. I now have a few months of real down time as I rehab a knee injury, so I decided (with some coaxing from others) to share my journey. It may touch some of you for the scenery, some for the comradery, and others just the sheer effort of doing something this “big” alone. Side note: I did not think this was a big deal. I was safe, I was busy, and I loved every minute of this journey.

Back to late May 2021- I grabbed the best bro a girl could ask for and began the daily grind of a van build. If you are following along on Instagram, you can see the updates of the actual construction project. (I’ll be posting every M-W-F morning) With EVERYONE AND THEIR BROTHER doing Van builds, traveling the country and working remotely, I was clearly not the only one in search of products. With the high cost of building materials, the budget was blown a bit, and we didn’t get everything we wanted when we needed it, but we were still able to construct the basics. Schematics, electrical, plumbing, lighting, cabinets, bed, and storage were the first of the list of items we tackled. 6 days later, we were hot, sweaty, and framed in!

A typical day in the life of a van lifer, below the shadows of some amazing peak.

June 7th, 2021- The best bro left town with a clear instruction to NOT MESS THIS UP- JK- he knew that he was leaving the van in good hands as he set out on his own travel adventure in his RV (which BTW is basically a home on wheels). The following 2 months were spent in even hotter weather building out the balance of the van. This is where I insert a couple of facts of a van build: 1. Every single cut of wood is a custom cut. 2. You can never measure enough times. 3. Every single cut of wood is a custom cut.  On August 20th, I packed up the van, took a maiden voyage/dry run- with pretty good success the following day, made minor adjustments the next and I was ready to set-off on Monday, August 23rd. Phew! I made it!

Where do I go from here? Follow along on my journey every (ish) Friday I will post a new blog.