Look Inside The Coolest Van We've Ever Seen + Meet The Artist Who Calls It Home

Photo: Zach Both

Two years ago, filmmaker Zach Both quit his desk job in the hopes of taking his art on the road and making the entire country his office.

Drawing inspiration from Alex Honnold, a rock climber who leads a nomadic existence migrating from mountain to mountain, Both chased a lifestyle that would allow him to completely connect with his subjects, wherever they may be. He ultimately found the freedom he was looking for in an unlikely place: a 2003 Chevy van with 200,000 miles on it.

After spending six months retrofitting the van with some of the creature comforts of home—everything from ceilings and walls fashioned from warm reclaimed woods to a home theater system powered by rooftop solar panels—Both headed west on what he refers to as a "creative road show."

Nowadays, he's able to completely immerse himself in his work. His newfound mobility allows him to easily scout locations, collaborate with other artists, and write and direct remote scenes buried within some of the country's most inspiring landscapes. His routine varies with the days, but it oftentimes includes a bit of work and a healthy dose of hiking and exploring.

"I tend to follow the work to wherever an interesting story is taking place," he explained in an email to mindbodygreen. "I now have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, wherever I want. That can't be beat."

His recent projects range from character-driven films shot in crowded antiques stores to soothing stills that capture the solitude of barren desert landscapes.

"Living a life less encumbered means I can spend my time, energy, and money on the things I truly care about. For me, that's working on my personal projects and being able to go out and create something of value," Both said.

Check out what this life less encumbered looks like here—and prepare for the urge to quit your job to chase one of your own:

Photo: Zach Both

Photo: Zach Both

Photo: Zach Both

Photo: Zach Both

Photo: Zach Both

Photo: Zach Both

Related reads:

Inspired to create a traveling homestead of your own? Zach’s Vanual Guide can help you get started. 

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