lets play ride and seek
We started a blog series where we interview various full-time travelers, sharing how they make money and travel. Our goal is to help inspire and educate others on the various ways to work remotely while living a nomadic lifestyle. If you’re new to our blog, we have been full time RVing for over two years. We support ourselves by investing in real estate; specifically in mortgage notes.
Today’s interview is with Natalie and Abigail Rodriguez from Lets Play Ride and Seek. This fun loving couple traded their day jobs for the road, to become full time travelers living in their renovated van. Their unique work experience has allowed them to find creative ways to earn money while they travel while doing things they love and enjoy.
Tell us your story! What made you want to pursue van life?
I (Natalie) was the first to initiate the idea of van life after I met a fellow who was living in his VW bus before it was even a thing. Abi was already a world traveler before I met her so it took no convincing at all. It was mutual which solidified our decision on purchasing our van. We left our home base of Charleston, SC in 2019 and have never looked back.
Our current van is a 2004 Dodge Sprinter named ToWanda. (Named after an ode to women’s empowerment from Natalie’s favorite movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”). It is a diesel, 177” wheel base, traveling machine. Originally the van transported prisoners so we enjoy knowing we’ve turned it into our freedom vehicle.
Building out the van took us a year and a half.
It was quite the challenge as we knew nothing of building a tiny home and had no previous skill set working with tools necessary for getting the job done. As frustrating as it was at times, we had some major help from family and a dear friend we met serendipitously during the process. A blessing in disguise really. Also “YouTube University” is your friend. Trust me.
Collectively, Abi and I saved roughly 25k to get us through the year. We came upon this number by adding up what our monthly expenses would be for 12 months. Expenses including, top notch vehicle insurance plus road side assistance, phone bill including a hotspot, Spotify, fuel, our website domain, Adobe for Abi’s video editing software, and food. This does not include individual savings we already had which we deemed (emergency funds). We also made sure with purchasing an older vehicle that we factored in vehicle maintenance funds. Basically money set aside for a new transmission as we know it is sadly in our future.
Previous to van life, Abi worked seven hard years to get her photography business to where she could financially sustain herself on that alone.
Because we knew we did not have set jobs once we took off, we made the decision to eventually focus our efforts on digital nomadism. Because Abi can make our content look pleasing to the viewers and I enjoy writing, we’ve been able to slowly get that brand ambassador/product work via social media. We also decided we are going to slowly work towards monetizing our Youtube Channel. There are plenty of resources on how to do this if you feel your are interested via YouTube. It is a lot of work but we are traveling and documenting our experiences anyway, why not make some earnings along the way?
We also have our website which gives more on our build, Abi’s photography projects as well as info on booking sessions with her, my food recipes and blog, as well as my poetry and other fun stuff.
Liz & Dennis
We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!
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