Anjali graduated from college and wanted to travel, so she built out her first van to let her see some of the country. Then her job as a software engineer went remote in 2020, and she decided to build a bigger and better van (named Vinny).
Now she travels in her van and also owns a boat! She converted the entire van herself and can fix anything that comes up. Just wait until you see her awesome hidden bathroom set-up — super creative. Also, stick around for our Q&A with her at the bottom of the post.
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Her Van Has the Coolest Hidden Bathroom Set-up!
Here’s the inside of her first van. It looks so cozy!
A look at the exterior of her first rig.
Now to “Vinny,” her current van. And it has a clever shower stall under the bed! Do you see it? Talk about multi-functional!
There are little bench seats in front of her bed.
I love the sleek black cabinetry.
She decided to close off the cab with a little door.
Her bed folds up and becomes a couch.
Her table can swivel around.
Her drawers have cute little tabs.
She has a pretty big sink for a van!
I love that she can fit a keyboard in her garage!
She travels with her two adorable dogs.
What she started with.
And look what happens when she lifts up her couch!
She has a whole shower!
And here’s her boat!
She is so cool!
Interview with Anjali
What got you into tiny living?
I wanted to travel after graduating college and before starting work, so I decided to do a cheap van build to live in for a couple months. I also didn’t really want to move to Seattle and pay outrageous rent. Then the pandemic hit and my job became remote, so I was able to keep traveling and eventually built out a second van that I live in now. I loved the mobility and minimalism of the van but also loved my Michigan summers, so I decided to spend the summers living on a boat, still tiny and mobile, just in a different way. I love that I can own these homes, customize them, and live anywhere without having to waste money on rent.
Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?
I built both of my vans. Van 1 (Vanny) took me about 3 months to build and van 2 (Vincent aka Vinny) took me about 6. I built Vinny while also working full time, so that slowed down the process a bit. I did all of the work from plumbing to electrical to carpentry, anything you see in the vans was built by me.
The boat (Boaty) came fully built with living quarters, kitchen, bathroom, etc. But this summer I intend to renovate some of it to make it more custom for me.
How do you make money on the road?
I work remotely as a software engineer.
How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?
Tiny living, specifically as a solo traveler, has taught me so much about myself. I feel more confident that I can fix anything that breaks, I feel more comfortable doing things alone, and because I live tiny I have learned to prioritize experiences over things. I have a new approach to visiting new places now, I don’t feel as rushed or pressured to do all the “touristy” things everywhere I go. Instead, I like to slow down and find local hidden gems, especially ones that are dog friendly! I can’t imagine ever renting an apartment again because of my experience living in my tiny homes, I think when I finally stop living tiny it will be when I build my own house someday and fill it with animals.
What’s the hardest part of tiny living?
Things aren’t convenient, it takes a lot of effort just to do small tasks like making breakfast or washing the dishes. Especially since I live with 2 big dogs in the van (and they love standing right in my way), getting into any drawers or moving from one end of the van to the other can become a whole ordeal. I think it’s funny because everything is basically within arms reach, but that doesn’t make it easier to do things.
What’s the most rewarding part?
There are many rewarding parts… Being able to look at my home and know I build every part of it. Being able to take friends to places they’ve never been and show them special spots that I’ve found. Sharing my experience building and traveling and breaking down and inspiring other solo females to go out and build and explore and take up space.
Any advice for people looking to go tiny?
Going tiny has no roadmap, it can be whatever you want it to be. You don’t need a fully built out van or some expensive equipment to live like this. And it’s ok to try it and decide it’s not for you. Everyone is different, and it’s important to find a life that’s sustainable and rewarding for you.
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Our big thanks to Tiny Home Tours for sharing!🙏
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