ISLEander Spotlight: Jess and Mike of Van.There

Exploring the USA in a self-converted camper van.

Jess and Mike started their nomadic adventure with the goal to simplify their life and see the world. They hit the road in April 2017 and haven’t looked back since.

They have now built out two vans and driven through 45 states and covered more than 40,000 miles, reaching all corners of the country. Both work full time from the road. With a PhD in biochemistry, Jess does freelance consulting to help translate technical medical information to the public for communications agencies. Mike is an architect turned artist, documenting their travels every day in his sketchbook and creating beautiful drawings for his company, Drawn There.

Paddle boarding is a way for them to take their travels on the water, without bringing along a ton of gear or wasting space in the van. Efficient packing is a key component of life on the road, and their ISLE Explorer fits easily and compactly into the van, plus they can pull over and get on the water in just minutes, any time a spot catches their eye.

Q&A with Jess & Mike

Q: Why did you choose van life?

A: For the freedom to travel and explore America.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment?

A: Our biggest accomplishment is embarking on an unconventional life.

Q: What has life on the road taught you?

A: One of the biggest things we’ve learned is how to slow down.

Q: Best advice to someone looking to follow your footsteps?

A: For the most part, anyone can do it… You can do it – it’s not easy, but it’s possible. If you want it, you can make it happen.

Q: What are some of your favorite places to travel to?

A: Some of our favorite places include Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, California and Oregon Coast, Key West and anywhere is a chill vibe and warm air.

Q: Where to next?

A: We hope to complete 49 states by next Summer after our trip to Alaska.