Bonding through travel: Secrets to sharing a small space
Meghan and Matt are madly in love with van life, and each other
If you’ve spent any time researching van life online, chances are you’ve come across Meghan and Matt. This dynamic couple has been living the dream for the past year and a half, enjoying the freedom of being able to take their home on wheels anywhere they want to go.
Their journey together was a long time coming. They became a couple in 2018 and worked tirelessly to become debt-free before starting their life together.
Recently, they decided to embark on a brand-new adventure. Having explored the U.S. for some time, they are opting to sell the van and then pick up where they left off—in another country, that is! They have a goal of travelling one million miles, and they decided they will spend part of it RVing full-time internationally, before they return to the U.S. once again.
Matt agreed to tell us more about their adventures, and what it’s like to maintain a relationship while travelling full-time:
What do you love most about van life?
Our favourite part of vanlife is the flexibility and freedom to travel and see so many things that normally would be off the beaten path for someone who is just visiting a place on vacation. We absolutely love the camping aspect, and have stayed in some pretty remote places where we got to see some of the clearest night skies, including the northern lights and the Milky Way at the same time.
How long have you been living in the van full-time?
We lived full-time in the van for the last year and a half, and really caught the travel bug. Last week we actually listed our van for sale to pursue our goal to travel one million miles and start travelling internationally full time. So full-time van life is over for now, but we are likely going to continue part time in other countries, and when we eventually come back to the US we'll build out some sort of road tripping rig. Maybe something with four-wheel-drive.
What are some of the challenges you've encountered?
Some of the challenges we've had involved finding a reliable and safe place to park in some cities. We're also incredibly independent people with different interests and hobbies, so having to do everything together all the time can get tiring. Van life has really made us effective communicators and more understanding of our relationship and each other's needs.
- Photo courtesy Meghan and Matt
Given that you're on the road so much together, how do you maintain privacy/personal space?
We don't, haha! Just kidding. I (Matt) will go on solo hikes or go to the gym for a long work out and Meghan will do her thing in the van. She likes to relax, play switch, and blast musical theater so we each get to do our own thing when we don't feel like doing the same thing.
How has van life made your relationship stronger?
Living in the same small space with another person for a year and a half definitely has its challenges and we've learned that communication and getting out and giving each other space is what works best for us. I think the act of building out a van with no experience, then also travelling together with no experience—doing that really tests who we are. If we got through both of those, we are set for life.
What has been your favourite destination to visit so far?
We spent the summer driving through Canada and spent time in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, and Jasper National Parks. That was really beautiful seeing the Canadian Rockies. But if I had to pick just one place I think we'd both say that Alaska was the most epic. Everything there is just so massive and seems so wild. We're talking about going back in a couple years for a longer time.