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Flight Attendant Chooses Van Life

Amanda is a flight attendant who heard about van life years ago, but when she was looking for an apartment in the chaos of 2020, she decided she’d rather put the money into a van and enjoy the changing scenery. She bought her rig second-hand and hasn’t looked back!

She uses her van to commute to work and has been based around San Francisco for 8 months. When she’s not high in the skies, she loves being outdoors, enjoying all that nature has to offer. Enjoy the photo tour of her van along with our Q&A with Amanda below!

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In Her Van When She’s Not in the Sky

What got you into tiny living?

I met someone in 2012 who was living out of his Westfalia and he was so passionate about his living space and his ability to spend time where he wanted to, wake up to the sounds of the ocean, and live more minimally. He inspired me so much, and I carried this dream to live and travel in a campervan with me for about eight years. In 2020, I was looking to buy a rental property and the pandemic hit. I decided to take the money I would have put into a rental property and finally buy a van instead.

There’s a nice little step up into the van.

Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?

I bought it from the person who built it. His dad is a contractor, and they spent all of their free time building it up. It took them about 6 months, and then he lived in it for about a year and a half before selling it.

She has a kitchen and a fixed bed layout.

How do you make money on the road?

I am a flight attendant! So for the last 8 months I’ve been based out of San Francisco and van living in the Bay Area. When I am more transient, I “commute” in to work from whatever airport I’m closest to.

The fridge decal is great.

How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?

Tiny living has changed my life in so many ways. I have a deep adoration for nature and hiking that I didn’t before, I’ve learned a lot about the systems that run my home and what it means to live minimally. I am a work in progress and always learning new things, but I can say with absolute certainty that tiny living has really allowed me to blossom into the person I am meant to be.

There’s a fixed cooktop and enclosed upper storage.

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

Everything takes twice as long. When you live in an apartment or house, a lot of things come easily as you live your daily life. When you live in a tiny, mobile space, most daily tasks take a bit longer and require a bit more planning. Things like showering, where you are sleeping, stocking fresh and gray water tanks, replacing propane, even moving about your home with a partner, require more time and planning.

That wall of storage is really smart!

What’s the most rewarding part?

The ability to change your scenery whenever you feel like it, and the ability to see some seriously beautiful places. I love the variety it brings me and how easy it is to connect with nature on the road.

There’s some of her artwork on the wall.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

It is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of patience, but if this is something you truly want to do in life, you must listen to your heart and give it a shot. It will change you, and you will be better for it.

A new backyard every day!

Learn more

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Our big thanks to Amanda for sharing!🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    March 13, 2023, 12:25 pm

    This is lovely! Like a little cozy cottage. I love the kitchen and the storage wall, and the wood paneling is beautiful.

  • Mary
    April 20, 2023, 12:02 am

    What an interesting layout with the bed positioned lengthwise. Storage is great, makes for a tidy looking space. This must be a longer wheelbase, yes? Pretty woodwork. Very nice!

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