The truth is, every man dies. But not every man lives.
As human beings, there is only one thing that is truly guaranteed during our journey here on earth. We have one life to live and it is up to us as individuals to make the decision to live our lives to their absolute fullest.
I worked a career in the construction industry for 18 long years. From the time I was 14 years old until I was 32 years old. After a nearly fatal appendix rupture in December of 2010 and 5 days in the hospital, I decided that I absolutely needed to be doing for a living what I loved doing. I needed to be chasing my dreams of becoming a professional photographer, which I had enjoyed as a hobby for the previous 5 years.
It became clear to me that I needed to focus 100% of my resources toward my dreams. Completely inspired by the very small number of van life videos on Youtube, I began my journey of living in my Volkswagen Westfalia on February 1st, 2011. At that point, "van life" was not even a common household term like it is today.
7 months into my journey, I realized that I had not only learned so much about how to live in a van, but rather I had also learned so much more about living life in general - all from living in a van. How to be happy. How to live minimalistically. How to live simply. How to appreciate the small things in life.
I stopped for a moment to reflect on the last 7 months of my life and realized how grateful I was for the experience. I realized that it had all started with YouTube. The very few "van" videos by "Jeff The Canuck", Gary at "BugOutVehicles" and "Chris Penn" gave me insight to what it took to live in a van. There were probably 3-4 "van life" videos that even existed on YouTube at that point in time. But yet, they were the very videos that showed me the way to van life.
At that point, I decided to give back to the very community that gave me the inspiration and motivation to live a life more fulfilled. On November 10th, 2011 I began my Living The Van Life YouTube channel by posting my very first video ever. I began expressing the do's and dont's of living in a van that I had learned. I began expressing my message of "live life to it's fullest."
Living in a van provided me the freedom to chase the dreams that I desired. The world was suddenly an open highway for me. It was all in the palm of my hand.
By the end of 2011, I had photos published in several major newstand magazines. The Horse Backstreet Choppers, Hot Bike Magazine, Racer X Illustrated, Transworld Motocross. I had began production and principal photography of my first feature length documentary - Out of Nothing
By 2013 I had landed a truly dream come true by going to work for Racer X Illustrated as a film director and producer in the motocross and supercross industry.
By 2014 Out of Nothing was completed and released on a global basis being featured on ESPN, Amazon Prime and iTunes. Out of Nothing was nominated for and won multiple film festival awards around the world such as Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Documentary, People's Choice Awards.
By 2017 we were traveling around the world filming for major productions and companies such as Triumph Motorcycles, Harley Davidson, Monster Energy as well as filming and producing our second feature length documentary - Rockets and Titans.
With what seamed to be a long shot - watching YouTube, being inspired to live in a van, and chasing some dreams - I have been completely humbled by the experience and the opportunities that it has brought to my life. Thank you to everyone who has inspired me along the way to keep me pushing one foot in front of the other.