We all love to travel and get away once in a while. But have you ever wondered what it's like to live a truly nomadic lifestyle? Couple Dustin and Noami captured our attention on Instagram with their truly fearless and adventurous life on the road. In this interview, we learn about how everyday people can live more simply, clear up misconceptions about van life, and so much more.
Please provide us with a little bit of background about your lifestyle, way of life, and ultimate values.
Dustin and I are currently van-dwelling and experimenting with a minimalist lifestyle. Living in a small space on the road has thought us to be self-reliant, and encouraged us to explore and pursue more sustainable ways to live. This has become our ultimate goal and lifelong commitment.
Have you been brought up with these kinds of principles? If not, what made you choose to switch gears?
I, Noami, grew up in a small fishing village on the island of Trinidad where the way of life is simple. People generally live off what the land and sea provides. After moving to the USA, I learned to live a lifestyle of excess. Shifting to a simple and more sustainable lifestyle has taken me back to my roots.
How long have you been living the lifestyle you're currently enjoying?
Dustin and I have been van-dwelling for approximately a year and a half.
Do you think anyone can do this, or is it for a specific kind of person?
Well, this lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. So, no, I don't think just anyone can do this. I’m not sure if this lifestyle is for a specific kind of person, but for someone who wants to experiment with a simpler, more fulfilling life, they may be drawn to this lifestyle.
On your Instagram, you've expressed frustration with articles misunderstanding "the van life." What would you like for people to know about it?
Well, the message I would like to get across is that we’re not on a vacation. Living in a van, every action must be deliberate, from waking up and putting your home back together, to preparing meals, to general hygiene and where you will sleep tonight. There’s so much more to van life than beautiful photographs on social media. Living a nomadic life draws a lot of artists, it inspires creativity and innovation. It teaches self-reliance, which is a leap into living more sustainably. It has given us the ability to create the life we want to live and the freedom to pursue our passions, a freedom we did not have in our previous life.
You talk about "the pursuit of Irie." What exactly is "Irie?"
Irie is slang in the West Indies, where I’m from. It means powerful and pleasing, a state of feeling great. This is our goal, the pursuit of Irie.
What can all of us do to live a more simple, true-to-ourselves, healthy, eco-friendly life if we're not quite ready for the road?
I don’t necessarily think that you have to pursue a nomadic life to live in harmony with your environment. The most essential component of sustainability is being conscious of our impact on the living world. It starts with the choices we make everyday. The little things, like where we buy our food, clothes, the type of energy we use, and the products we purchase from distribution to disposal. Our choices everyday impact our environment.
How do you support yourself while traveling?
Currently Dustin works freelance in construction estimating and I work part time with him. I also do various freelance gigs online.
Do you ever want to settle down? Where do you see yourself in a decade?
I see us with a homestead someday, in a rural area continuing to live an alternative lifestyle and advocate for sustainable living.
Tell us about your current adventure, as well as where you're off to next.
Currently, we’re in Washington, we just got back from backpacking the North Cascades. We’re heading to the Tiny House Living Festival in Portland, where we’ll be showing our tiny home on wheels and sharing ideas with some innovative individuals from across the country. We’re not sure where next, we haven't thought that far ahead, but that’s the beauty of this lifestyle.
Find Dustin and Noami on Instagram by clicking here.
Do you think you have what it takes to live on the road? Tell us in the comments!