Nat and Abi @letsplayrideandseek are a married couple originally from Charleston, SC, USA. In 2019 they began their vanlife journey in their self-converted van that they lovingly named ToWanda. Many vanlifers can understand their story, which is one of the many reasons these two are so relatable. “The daily grind of working 40-50 hours a week was just not fulfilling. We knew there had to be a better, alternative approach to life that allowed for more time spent together and doing things we love. So we did some research and discovered van life. We purchased an old van, built an off-grid tiny home inside, sold our belongings, and in February 2019, we set off on an epic journey as full-time travelers.”
The Beginning Of Vanlife Pride
When Nat and Abi created @vanlifepride in 2019, there weren’t many social media pages dedicated to celebrating the experiences of the LGBTQ vanlife community, but Nat and Abi had the vision to create a positive community, and so they did.
“Our journey is about spreading love, positivity, and inspiration. This mission led us to create @vanlifepride. As members of the LGBTQ community, we’ve struggled at times to feel okay just being ourselves publicly. When so many, including some family, disapprove of us because they don’t understand us or judge us because their religion told them to… it made us want to hide in that proverbial closet. For this reason, we went to gay bars, drag shows, and PRIDE festivals to be a part of a community that accepts us as we are. In those places, we felt free: free to dance, free to kiss, free to be us. Eventually, being a part of a larger loud-and-proud community gave us the courage to stand out and be ourselves no matter where we are.
That’s what this #vanlifepride community is all about. When we stand together in acceptance, we may each find the courage to be who we are as individuals.”
And Vanlife Pride has been doing just that ever since. If you peruse their feed, you find the colorful and inspiring stories of its members, and Vanlife Pride is a way to connect them and also show how strong the community is. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the feed, their first Instagram post says it all.
“We’re here, we’re queer, and we live in our vehicles. When we searched the web (okay, mostly just Insta and YouTube), we couldn’t help but notice a lack of LGBTQ presence in this growing tiny-house-on-wheels|nomadic-dwelling|vanlife movement. This doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of us out there doing the thing. So we created this page as a means to give visibility to queer vanlifers and to also give them a hub to find each other and connect. Eventually, our goal is to plan an annual PRIDE meetup for this community. Hello, #vanlifepride.
Please note: everyone is welcome here but hate is not! We encourage you to follow if you identify as LGBTQ or you’re an ally wanting to show support and/or make new friends.”
Okay, now that you are as obsessesd as we are, let’s talk about how you can participate.
How To Participate In Vanlife Pride
How to participate:
1. Post a picture of you and your home on wheels. Have fun with it, get creative if you like! No rules, we just wanna see you along with your rolling home.
2. Introduce yourselves in the post. Include a little blurb about you, what makes you tick, why you’re proud to be queer, why you chose #vanlife , etc…
3. Tag your post @vanlifepride #vanlifepride
If you are here as an ally, the couple shares resources for community members as well, so there is no excuse to not do the work. You can read Nat and Abi’s words below and check out the links to learn more.
“The LGBTQ community is a diverse rainbow of individuals, and each person has a story to tell. We share those stories here to start a conversation, to gain acceptance for our community through visibility, and to inspire or encourage others who haven’t seen people like themselves represented in social media.”
These two have done far more than start a conversation. They have amplified voices and stories that need to be heard, and what’s more, they have created a community. A community that is not going away anytime soon. To follow along and hear the stories of the Vanlife Pride community, follow @vanlifepride on Instagram.