Authors: Faren Rajkumar @faren_wanderer ;
Traveling full-time with your sweetheart isn’t always rainbows and butterflies – but for this couple, it’s always worth it. Meghan and Matt shared some of their life as an interethnic couple on the road, including the awkward stares, beautiful connections, sharing vanlife duties, and how they live & travel with intention.
1. Tell us about your vanlife journey- as individuals and a couple!
“Our vanlife journey began shortly after we started dating 3 years ago and we got really serious about paying off our student loan debt. Meghan really wanted to get started in vanlife years ago but I convinced her to wait until we were both debt free and we would do it together. 3 years later we paid off $99k in debt and now are living full time in our van we built!
We both want to travel and explore while we’re young. We live a minimalist lifestyle and see that even in such a small space there are things that we have that we could live without. We’ve only been on the road full time for about a month and a half so we have so much more to learn about ourselves and this world we live in! We say to each other all the time how grateful we are that we’re living this life together.”
2. How important is diverse representation in road travel/vanlife & the outdoors to you, and why?
“It’s very important that all people regardless of race, sexual preference/identity, or religious beliefs be able to enjoy the outdoors without fear or discrimination. I grew up in a traditional Asian household and never really thought that vanlife was a mostly white thing. Both of us come from diverse towns, and having that exposure to different cultures and backgrounds really opened our eyes at a young age. There are many people throughout the world who haven’t had the chance to meet people of different races, and I think that puts them at a huge disadvantage.
We learn so much by meeting and connecting with people from different cultures, and that’s how we grow as people and as a society overall. We have both noticed in our travels that in some of these smaller, predominately white towns, people tend to stare at me, and it’s possible they haven’t ever seen an Asian woman in real life, only in the media.”
3. What does community mean to you?
“Community is finding a place to belong. Community is a space where people are comfortable to be themselves with other like-minded people. We found that we have an instant bond with the people we meet on the road. We’re all travelers coming from different towns/backgrounds/beliefs, and we can learn so much from other people just by talking with them.”
4. What are some challenges you face as a couple?
“We are both independent people, and coexisting in such a small space is often a challenge for us. We are learning how to set boundaries and expectations for each other. We are constantly communicating about things that are or aren’t working for us, and adapting to make sure we are both getting what we want out of this lifestyle.”
5. What is the biggest advantage of vanlifing as a couple?
“The biggest advantage for us is having our best friend with us all the time for companionship. We can see how it can get lonely on the road, and having a partner to travel with helps fight that loneliness. Plus it’s nice to have someone else cook for you! We constantly trade off who cooks dinner.”
6. How do you practice joy while on the road?
“We like to have dance parties in the van! We live with intention and work towards finding our freedom. Being out in nature really grounds both of us and we feel connected to each other by being able to get outside every day. The world is our backyard.”
7. What message(s) do you want to share via your stories + content online?
“We are hoping to inspire people that no matter what kind of lifestyle they want to live, that they are capable of getting there. Breaking down the huge end goal into small, actionable steps is what brought us to this point in our lives, and we’re just regular people!”
8. Anything else you want to share with the community?
“We have a website! meghanandmattb.com People can learn more about us and connect on there! We love meeting new people! Feel free to say hi!”