Getting to Know Annie ❤
After deciding to travel around North America with my 2 dogs and 4 cats living Vanlife in a converted 2016 Ford 250Transit Hightop Van, my world was turned upside down. One of my life long dreams was to take a long trip but I’ve always felt guilty leaving the pets behind. In fact, the longest trip I’ve ever taken was 4 weeks and the whole time I was emailing the pet sitter just to “check in” and make sure everything was okay. Living vanlife and being able to travel with the pets has been a really great experience, complete with every kind of chaos you can think of. Vanlife with 6 furry little roommates makes for a very interesting time.
In my former life, before moving into the camper van, I was living the corporate life while freelancing as a Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. Meal prepping and going to the gym was part of my routine, as well as going out to eat, and of course, checking out wine bars. Although I have always preferred making meals that take under 20 minutes, living in a van changed everything, including the way I cooked. With only a small fridge and freezer combo, I didn’t have space to store a week’s worth of meals. The only thing I had space in the freezer for was the cat’s raw cat food, which I did prep and make from scratch! In order to stay healthy, I’ve had to learn to simplify my life. Cooking with only a single burner camper stove, I’ve come up with creative ways to make tasty healthy meals in under 12 minutes using only one pot! The way I see it, it’s less dishes to wash. =)
Annie in her former life
Being a city girl, before vanlife, I had always spent most of my time indoors. Days were spent at the office and evenings consisted of working out at the gym or hang out with friends at a new resturant or wine bar. Traveling while living vanlife, obviously all that changed. When I travel in the van, I spend most of my time in remote areas, away from the hustle of city life. The pets are able to run around outside without fear of being hit by a car all while enjoying the sounds of nature. With the closest gym usually about 150+ miles away, my gym days were over. Instead, I found I was able to stay in shape by hiking, body weight exercise and just moving more. In fact, all the cats have lost their belly fat, since they now spend at least 4 hours a day playing outside. . The dogs are happier as well because they get to spend all their time with me doing fun things outside.
Whether you are wanting to start your own vanlife adventures or looking for budget travel ideas, I’ll share with you some of my favorite places to travel to in the world as well as travel hacks, budget travel tips and ways to stay healthy on the road.