Morgan Tashea | 05.03.2017

I have always had the dream of living in a van, enjoying the simplicity of having everything I own with me, exploring daily, connecting with myself, and creating forever memories. Although, I didn't think that this dream lifestyle could be my reality. Well, life has a funny way of leading you down the dirt roads we least expect, when we least expect it. Sometimes we just have to dive into an opportunity when it presents itself and then swim from there. Which is exactly what I did, I dove in and now I find myself living full-time in my custom built home on wheels. 

I have received numerous questions from friends, family, and strangers about why I have decided to sell everything and move into a van. I have one simple answer, freedom. I still work full-time and I am in graduate school, although the freedom of being on the road makes me feel weightless. The freedom makes me feel as if I can reach any audacious goal. 

The other question I often get is, how did you build it out. I am fortunate enough to have met one of Outdoor Project's contributors, Dustin, with Overland Van Project a few months ago. At first my hope was to rent one of his vans for the summer while I traveled for Outdoor Project's event series across the west, although after further conversation and dreaming, I took him up on the opportunity to customize my own van. Overland Van Project had recently found a Ford E-150 and even though it was going to need a lot of work, including tearing out a wheelchair lift, it was perfect. Over a few beers we laid out the design, noting what would be important for me in the van. A few specific needs included copious amounts of storage, a work station, a fridge, and a paddle board rack. 

The van life dream was quickly becoming a reality. The drawings were officially on paper and the Overland Van Project crew was putting their sweat and blood into the build out. As I cleared out my life, sold furniture, and cleaned out my exploding closet Overland Van Project insulated the van, put in a fan, installed solar power, designed beautiful case work, and created my dream home on wheels. They even installed LED lights in the form of a constellation in the ceiling so I can constantly sleep under the stars, no matter where I park. 

Now my dreams are my reality and I live in a van full-time. My stoke level is high, although I have my moments of fear. I have moments that I question why I ever thought this was a good idea. But, then I find myself parked on a beach in Washington watching the sunset and I feel that sense of freedom and connection that I have been dreaming of and I know that I am on the correct dirt road. 

So, now the adventure begins. My summer will be filled traveling to Outdoor Project's events across the west, living simplistically, early morning paddles, letting my dog roam free and working from my remote office with a view. I'm sure I will hit many potholes along the way and the adventure won't always be glamorous, although I believe that the lessons learned and memories made will allow me to grow and flourish. 

Feel free to follow along on the journey on instagram @morgantashea or via Outdoor Project's instagram stories throughout the summer. I hope that my journey will inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone and reach for your dreams, whatever they might be. 

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