- Mike and Jessica Shisler from Baltimore, Maryland renovated a van.
- They packed their life into it and hit the road before their first wedding anniversary.
- They planned to visit every state in America by summer of 2018.
The idea was born when they saw a van for sale when the couple, Mike and Jessica Shisler, were backpacking at the Grand Canyon. They bought the Mercedes Sprinter then converted it for $15, 000.
The couple is recently in South Florida, they already drove for 18, 000 miles through 38 states in America and part of Canada.
Jessica stated that they loved it when wherever they go, they are at home. She also said, “Every day is a new adventure and a new experience. We also enjoy the financial freedom that comes from not paying a mortgage and the emotional and physical freedom from not working the standard 40-plus-hour work week.”
Mike is an architect and turned artist then keeps a sketchbook and draws every day the places they go. He has an Instagram account and Etsy where he sells his artwork to a growing number of people. Jessica, however, is a scientist but got frustrated due to the lack of communication and outreach in medical research. She now helps translate technical information for public consumption.
Their neighborhood in Baltimore had little to no space to park for the large cargo van. Their solution was to park the van to a nearby storage unit and Mike would bike to the unit to build their home in it. All of their tools had to be powered up by batteries and the biggest problem they encountered was when they were rear ended in a hit and run accident on the side of the road while we were sleeping in San Francisco.
After the accident, when the other driver had already fled the scene, they were left with a crumpled door which would take four weeks to fix.
They are also fortunate to have friends who offer their sofas and mattresses for them to stay on once in a while. Jessica explained, “When we first started throwing around the idea of quitting our jobs and moving into a van, we were terrified of how everything would turn out and how people would react to our decision to live an unconventional life.”