how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Readers Thoughts on Vanabode PAGE 18

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"My wife has cancer and her wish is to spend the time she has left traveling. We are young 38 years old and this is just what we need so I can quit my job and we can full fill her last wish. She has wanted to travel the whole country for as long as we have been married and we always said when we retire we cant afford it now. Life happens and then your in our situation where there may not be a when you retire. If I have learned one thing it is that when you want something you have go for it. So I am loyal follower of yours and love that you are able to travel and to do so on such a small budget and pay for it all while working on the road. Thank you Mr. Odom for being my wake up call" David

"Hi Jason, I recently read your book (actually, I listened to the audible version) and got the Kindle version as well. Great stuff. I will be retiring early (hopefully) this year and my wife and I plan to go the small trailer route. I would be happy to van abode, but alas she requires a constant bathroom. :-) Perhaps I'll get a van to tow the trailer and dump the trailer when she figures out that we can van abode cheaper. Thanks again. I wish I was 40 years younger when I read your book." M. Cornelio

"Jason, you have been so much a part of our journey. We latched on to your Vanabode book several years ago and began to dream of living fulltime on the never-ending roadtrip. Your book gave us tons of ideas and helped us before we ever took off and continues to provide ideas and solutions as we travel now. It's our roadtrip Bible! I just wanted to share with you that I have published my first book on Amazon - and in the book, as well as on our Resources Page, we reference your book because it was so valuable in our planning and also in our travel experiences. We used to think our dream RV was the Roadtrek. Not any more. We're gearing up to replace our Big Foot pickup camper with a white Chevy van - Vanabode style! (that will be a whole 'nuther book!) Thank you for being such an amazing resource and inspiration."
Trisha Barnes

"Hi Jason! I have been telling every person I've talked to this week about your amazing book. My Mom was pretty skeptical at first when I told her about my new dream of living in a van. Mainly due to the old SNL skit featuring Chris Farley as a motivational speaker telling the kids to stay away from drugs or they'll end up "living in a van down by the river". This line is often quoted in my family as a joke but now I'm starting to see that it's no threat at all but rather a great idea! Ironically my skeptical mother had just finished telling me about the massive, never ending list of home improvement projects that her and my father are taking on as they own TWO homes with big yards. My mom recently was prescribed prescription anti depressants to help with the anxiety about her overloaded life. I'm hoping that I can inspire them to simplify at least a little. Fortunately they are very smart and will most likely make some wise choices in the future. I need to make a lifestyle change. I am in a position where I can soon sell my house and stuff and probably have about 35-40 thousand dollars cash once I pay off all my debts. My hope is to travel around Asia for a few years teaching English (just completed my certification) and then try Vanaboding after that. I may be able to bank a decent amount of additional money while teaching for those few years. Thank you so much for everything. In this uncertain period of my life where I am trying to find my wise path, you book was exactly the guide I needed. Your expertise is much appreciated. Best regards," J. L.

"Hi Jason, First if all, thank you for collecting this wonderful, life changing information. I have my van still working on the interior." Mika

"Thanks again Jason. I started reading your book and am very impressed. This is much more than just a travel guide – it challenges the whole concept of how to live. I have often thought about the craziness of the rat race and how we are programmed to work for the man. But I will retire next year." Simon

"I purchased your book. I wrote a review with 5 stars. Your writing is good and the information is worth a lot. So I am happy with my purchase. I might not ever be a real vanaboder... but your writings give me hope for something to wish for and I just wanted to say thank you for your efforts." Lucy

"Dear Jason, I've been reading your book on and off, obsessively, and plan to do a cross country road trip next summer with my wife. Your book is more than just a how to book. I'm a firm believer in your philosophy of living. THANK YOU!!!, for sharing this with us. It's possibly the best money I've ever spent. Thanks again" Emre

"I took a look at the entire website while I was reading the book (followed the links). I think it is great. I went on a trip two years ago across AZ, NM, CA, and Oregon and I can say I spent a total of $900 and I was on the road for a month. It was awesome. We did everything from camping to sleeping on cliffs. We even stayed one night with this group called the cowboy church, where the pastor was wearing a gun and a knife strapped to his belt. It was scary at first, like a scene from deliverance, but then I realized they were all just some kind hearted down to earth country folk and all was okay". Lauren

"Just for you information - your vagabonding book was really great and gave me the idea to travel in stealth van in Europe, where I live. Thank you for that! Regards" Petr

"Hope this finds you well, wherever the road led you today. My name's Colin, and I bought your book online a few days ago. I live in Brooklyn, NY and have been considering a summer (or beyond?) of traveling after some big-city apartment lease drama. I'm sure you've heard it all before, but thanks so much -- the book was a great read, and it's helping me gather my thoughts. It also got me wondering whether you'd be interested in an interview at some point. I'm a freelance journalist who has written for a number of online outlets as well as traditional (Reuters) and TV (Fusion). I saw the Shareable and Businessweek articles from a couple of years ago on your press page, but I imagine your story could be updated and expanded. Thanks for your time -- and again for your Vanabode work!" Colin McDonald

"Jason, Thank you so much for your insight into Vanaboding. I was actually referred to your site by some of my co workers as we are all close to retirement so we were taking about safe, economical travel and your book came up. I've already signed up for your emails." Rex

"Hey Jason, First let me say I absolutely love your book i bought it about 8 months ago shortly after we bought our old beat up camper and I find myself going back to your book when ever I'm not sure of something or when I need a reminder that what we are planning on doing is not "CRAZY" like most of our family and friends think it is. My fiance and I are in the process of foreclosure on our home we spent all of our savings caring for my mother who has MS and is handicapped fortunately we where able to find a wonderful place for her that she loves but in doing so it put us in great debt we have managed to do all the workourselves on the camper (74 30ft holiday rambler) with a very small budget that has now shrunk even more. Thank you do much for sharing your experience with all of us!!!" Thanks alot Laura

"Jason, Because your book is so comprehensive, I'd suggest you consider adding some videos and interactive stuff and put the updated package back on ClickBank for three or four times the money. I don't remember how I ran across your offer, but I was laughing as I signed on. The shear simplicity and audacity. While we were planning on taking off in a sailboat, I figured if you'd have only one good tip, I'd be good. I have a friend, a woman, who spent the winter in her small van at a camp ground here on Vancouver Island. She said it was the happiest time of her life. Hardly a worry in the world." Donal

"Hi Jason, I encouraged my local library (Newburyport, MA) to purchase a copy and surprisingly they did ! I needed my own copy so I ordered one through Amazon. Thanks so much for this book, what a great resource. I am a 57 yr old single woman planning to sell my condo and "vanabode". Sincerely,"
Julianne McDevitt

"Hey J! I just finished reading your book, and of the three resources I have worked through in the past week, yours is by far the most comprehensive, easy to digest and helpful. Thank you for who you are and what you do! Graduated w. a bachelor's in audio-engineering, then moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a touring and performing artist. I "woke up" from the system about a year and a half ago in Nashville after doing some intensive therapy on a not-so-wonderful childhood. Prior to this, life had been a 3 year climax involving a lot of time spent on sex, drugs and rock & roll. Eventually I started reaping what I had sown through those ventures, hit a rock bottom and found myself face to face with God. Healing began as I ventured into my faith, which had been dormant since college. I decided to leave Nashville, and rethink the whole "purpose of life," thing. This led me to all sorts of alternative lifestyles, spiritual tools and so on. Which eventually led me to your book. My vehicle just died, and I am basically sold on van-life, but am planning on starting up in Greenville, SC. There is a broader job-market up there, so it will be easy to get a decent job waiting tables (I have 8+ years experience in food & bev thanks to my musical background) to keep the basics paid down while I transition into online business and get the van road-ready. Plus, my parents are super baby-boomers, so I have hit my breaking point living under their roof as they are not exactly in touch with the Essentials Of A Great Life. On top of that, my musical partner - with whom I am experiencing some mild success - here in town is moving to Greenville, so it all makes since for the next season to be there. I am taking a loan out for the van with a limit of $9,000 (no other choice, but that will be easy to pay off quickly with limited expenses). Any recommendations on what I should be looking for in regards to mileage in that price range? Thanks again for all the work you have put into Vanabode. Your passion for life and willingness to teach are inspiring!" Matt B.

"Jason, I just purchased your book "Vanabode" for my kindle on You mentioned to reach out to you via email so that I could receive updates from you. I have been searching for a book like yours for over two years now and I finally found you last night. I have already read it once, now going back through it to start taking notes. Thank you for writing the book. I am well on my way and will be full time sometime this year. I just purchased a new 2015 Sprinter and getting ready to start retrofitting it for the road. I had a 2008 model for seven years, and got this new one so I could rest easy since I am going full time. My plan is to head north to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park this summer and then head southwest towards Bryce Canon for the Winter. Thanks" Tim

"Hi Jason, I bought your book 2 weeks ago and it was exactly what I was locking for :-) I'm J, 40 years young and from Germany. I won a greencard in the lottery in Germany 2 years ago and last October I moved to the US (Florida). I was dreaming from living in and traveling with a car/RV or whatever on the road through the United States and now I can make it happen. I had no idea where to start with and what to do before and on the road, what to take with me and what car it should be. And my biggest questions: how can I receive my mail, have an physical address and where can I sleep safe in the car. All my questions are answered after reading your book or I got an idea where to look and for what to search in the net. And I wanna say thank you for this :-) Because I don't have a job now and my financial ressources are limited (because I wanna save them for the roadtrip) I had to buy a much smaller car. I bought a Chevy Equinox. But it's just me on tour and I slept in smaller cars in Europe before. So it will be OK with a few adjustments :-) I have to make some things a little bit different because I don't have a van like yours but I got really good ideas from your book about storage, food and what to take with me and what not :-) To save some money and improve my English I will start with workaway. And with better language-skills I hope to get jobs along the road to make some money and travel so long as possible :-) My first trip should be start in July in Florida and ends in Seattle in late October. Thats the plan ;-) I wanna see so many National Parks on my way as I can and wanna drive over Savannah, Charleston, Great Smokies, Mammoth Cave, Shenandoah, Cleveland, Detroit and then above or beneath Lake Superior and further (with a few more National Parks on my way) to Seattle. I'm so excited and couldn't wait to start :-) Thanks for writing the book and for your interesting website with all the detailed informations about your destinations :-)" J

"Hi Mr. Odom. I purchased your book about a week ago. My wife and I are seriously looking into traveling in about four years. (She has child custody with the ex-husband, so it can wait a bit.) We are 42 and 40 years of age. Prior to your book, I have read some others on similar van-living lifestyle. You can probably guess the authors. :-) More information is good. With the exception of the Bible, all you need and want cannot be found in one book. After reading Vanabode, I have NO idea why the negative reviews are as such. I had no problem with the content. I found the steps for getting started, as well as the repetition, necessary and informative. Of course, some things can be taken with a grain of salt. That's true for many things. However, we had NO problem with the book. The negative reviewers really need to 'get a life' and find better things to do. As for traveling, we will probably get started in a small RV, or possibly will convert a school bus. I know that negates any 'stealth' purpose, but school buses are built like tanks, at least here in New York. Speaking of New York, I see that you are on an 'Eastern Tour'. When do you drive near Syracuse, if you do? We would like to say hi. However, you may want to wait a while. We have three feet of snow on the lawn, and more on the way. Not to mention the brutal cold this year. Thank you for writing a cool book. We hope to use it in due time. God Bless!, Sincerely" Eric

"Yes, I did receive the Book and Links. Was a very good read. I'm going to use my tax return to purchase a van. Have one more year till mu youngest is done with school. She has plans to Marry and move out. When that happens I will be on my Vanabode. She will be with her mother this summer. I plan to make a short Vanabode through the summer. Thank you for the information" B. Belote

"Just wanted to drop you a note about how much I enjoyed your book. I bought it for my 23 year old son, who plans on taking off to see this big beautiful country of ours in the next couple of months. Vanabode was an inspiration he needed, and the piece of mind that I needed. He does not have a van, he has a 4Runner, but if he loves life on the road, playing his guitar, I hope the book inspires him to get a van! I have been camping out of a van for years. I'm excited for my son and myself thanks to you. Safe and Happy Travels!" Dana

"Currently I just turned 63, living in subsidized housing and recieving a total of $750 from SS and SSI. Am recooperating from a broken knee, and have a bad hip, but have gone tent camping in the hill country here, so I know living in a van will about be a luxury, done your way. Is there a cheaper van alternative to the chevy? I thank you for your wonderful book and continued help. I am a writer-photography and have been published and many magazines and newspapers and worked as an editor and photographer. I have a double B.A. in English and photography from O.S.U. Just recently returned from China, where I taught English in Shezhen." Sincerely, Bruce

"Hi Jason, I’m about to take the plunge again. I lived in a minivan in 2013, ack! This time I’m going it in a Roadtrek after scouting for cargo vans and not finding anything decent. Thanks, Jason, for your generous info over the years. It helps making the full-time, indefinite plunge as a single woman less daunting. Any advice you can throw my way that’s not in Book2, I’d be grateful for. Best regards" Kelly

"Wow! Thanks for the website. I printed out some with information, phone numbers, etc. on several. By the way, I am on page 62 of your book. You are a good writer---make it interesting and informative. Could hardly put it down, even though I have a pop up tent camper. I’m thinking seriously of getting a van like yours in next year or so, even when I’ll be 84! I have self-published 3 books (one my autobiography and 2 fiction novels). Your college work must have been in philosophy because you look “under the surface.” I worked about 35 years in governments at city, state and county levels and did some consulting work in business as well. I was camp host for 5 months in Utah State parks and two months in a Maryland State park in 2007 and 2008 and loved it." Thomas Bighorn

"Hi Jason! I'm very impressed with your accomplishments and your website and all. Before I can even think of which way I might go next year when I turn 62 I just wanted to ask... is it possible on $650 a month to survive and have a van and drive around like you? Social Security sent a letter to me only stating $650 was a ball park figure. I also might park whatever I end up getting as a living motor home or trailer, whatever, and world travel at times. Maybe I'm thinking too "big" and at $650 I'm not being realistic. I'm fringing on surgery and will know more soon and unemployed so even a few $ is a lot right now so I'm just in the dreaming stages. I don't have any savings but hoping too to publish a novella I wrote and sell the screenplay version of my story I wrote. So to be concise just wondering if you've heard of a person at $650 doing all that. Who knows, maybe they'd rate me even lower than that per month. I suppose I can't know until I turn 62 in January. Thanks for all you do. I know the book is your bread and butter and when the time is right I will get it... yet first to eliminate some preliminary considerations during my dream phase. With Kindest Regards" Mike

My reply follows - You only need $600 per month for food, gas, and lodging. IF you drive less you will spend less, plus the book does show how to get your mail etc and establish residency plus where to work at seasonal national park jobs for a few months a year for spending money.

"Just wanted to tell you that I loved your book and listened to it twice. I'm a trucker, so I know a little about simplifying and making do. You have inspired me. I'm looking forward to exploring the web links you provided as well as all the resources from your book. Maybe I'll see you out there someday. Take care, Jason!" B. Schexnayder

"Hi Jason . . . I found your book very informative and exactly the type of book I’m looking for. Currently I own a Nissan van and have done some travelling to Southern California and New Mexico (and incognito sleeping) in it. I’m a widow and have no problem travelling alone. I understand your point in your choice of vehicles however I think I’d feel a little claustrophobic in a cargo van. I will, however, consider it when my current van bites the dust which I foresee in the not too distant future, lol. If my husband were still alive, he’d have no problems building me a bed frame for single (or double . . . hope springs eternal) mattress with room for storage underneath. I do like the idea of total privacy but I also like being able to see out of the side windows when I have settled into the back underneath my down blanket. Thanks for your great book . . . I especially enjoyed your extensive and sound reasoning on why it makes more sense (especially for men and women of a certain age) to stake their time claim and spend the rest of their lives enjoying themselves and travelling . . . still, the idea of working online from anywhere in the world, for a part of every day certainly is an appealing way to keep adding coffers to the cause. Warm Regards:" D. M. Sheppard

"Jason I just want to say thank you for authoring Vanabode and sending me the follow up emails. There have been a few authors that have caused substantial shifts in my lifes paradine. I owe you thanks for being among them." Chilly

"Hi Jason!! THANK YOU for publishing what you do. You help us change our lives. How can we not do something nice for you in exchange. I can't wait to implement what I've learned!!!! Come March I'm out of my apt lease and getting my van! Woooooow hoooo! Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face! Love and light friend!" Brando

"Keep doing what you're doing. People like YOU & Dave Ramsey have helped me change my life.
I'm chomping at the bit for my Vanabode trip in Jan-Feb 2016. I look forward to doing a few trip reviews on destinations, etc. I'll also become more active on the forum as I start shopping for my essentials. Be Well" G. Miguel

"Jason - Thanks for the quick response to the order. I'm looking forward to reading. I live in Lewiston now, and have been doing weekend warrior type travelling with my girlfriend and our dogs in my customized/personalized 1994 Ford E150. We have become van people, though we're not presently living out of it. Use it for overnights at trailheads, river launch sites, ski area parking lots, friend's houses or overnight stays in the city when we need to get away or run errands, or when we plan on drinking too much and don't want to drive home : ) When it's parked in the driveway, we call it our guest bedroom. Best wishes!" Corey

"We have been on the road in our pickup camper since Nov 2013. It's time to Vanabode. I call our Big Foot camper adventures our practice run for the Vanabode life ... we actually used many of your ideas from the book as we traveled, and have come to realize the next step up is not to a Roadtrek, but to simplify even more. All the experiences of trying to find overnight parking, maneuvering through big cities
with this monstrous camper (even though it's not as big as a Class A) and feeling like
a sore thumb sticking out all the time ... has led us to our next step - manifesting a Vanabode! I'm starting the process of downsizing once again and it feels absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing your life, your dream, your ideas!" Trish

"Your book gave me exactly the information I needed. I've been working on my own plan to do this for some time, but didn't have enough of the puzzle pieces until I ran across your wonderful guide yesterday. I'm now on a roll and know what to do to get on the road" anonymous

"Thanks, Jason! Your advice is very helpful to me. I want to camp (or at least sleep) free most nights, so I'll start searching for free legal sites. Your note and your book gives me hope that I can find many places to sleep, even in parking lots, where the kayak won't matter. Thanks for the encouragement. Your book and forum answers have made me realize that I can start traveling sooner than I thought. With the Vanabode idea, I have begun preparing today to use my minivan as a temporary shelter to "practice" the lifestyle while I clean out my numerous possessions and sell my house. I don't have to wait. After I've recharged my energy with some wonderful trips, I can come back, finish preparing the house to sell, turn off the utilities, and give the key to the real estate agent. Then I'll be off on my great American adventure. When the house sells, I can buy the van you recommend and continue. Thank you! Since you've inspired me so much, I'll tell you that I will be 69 years old in November. Today, you've made me realize that I can stop putting off my dream! I'll see what I've missed in America first. I'll take my first trip soon, get the kinks worked out, learn what I really need, and start traveling more. I believe I can lose weight living in beautiful places where I can walk on sand, swim, do aquarobics, and breathe! I can then have my knee surgery in a hospital along the route somewhere, stay a couple of weeks in a rehab/nursing facility, then schedule my physical therapy for the next 2 months or so wherever I happen to be. If I can't drive until the therapy is finished, I'll hire somebody to park my van in the physical therapy parking lot! I hope you realize how much you have inspired me, Jason. I'm off now to do the next item on the planning list I started right after reading your book yesterday at 3:00 a.m. . . ." Curious Traveler

"Hi Jason, I've been sort of vanaboding now for almost two years. After leaving my ex because of her alcoholism, I started out living in my Chevy Blazer S10. OK, not the best vehicle, but I had some advantages that others might not have. I was still employed part time, and the office (where I have 24/7 access) has a kitchen, a shower, etc. I also joined 24 Hour Fitness. I won't list all of the things I no longer pay for, as you know them better than I. I found a place where I can park and sleep at night, so that wasn't a problem. (During the summer weekends, it $5 a night, free other times.) I'm 72, so I'm living on SSI, and the money I make on my part time job will go for a real van. For me, it's not the sleeping comfort, as I'm very comfortable with the multi-layer foam mattress and sleeping bag arrangement I have. It's not for extra storage, because I have a storage unit (which I'll get rid of when I hit the road full time.) It's because it's hard to keep things organized, as I'm not very good at organization anyhow. Also, I would love to be able to sit up in a chair and work on the computer from time to time. I have taken numerous trips to neighboring cities and states and stayed for free while I enjoyed nature and took a billion photographs. (no, none of them were great, but it was fun <grin>) I can do more, stay longer, and have more fun and freedom, all for less money. Other authors such as Henry Thoreau opened my eyes to the fact that for generations we have been brainwashed into thinking that the 40+ hour work week, mortgage, car, etc. were goals in themselves. I feel you are doing the same thing for this generation. Peace, and keep on truckin' (sorry, couldn't resist!)" R. W.

"I found your website on facebook. just got the book and looking forward to reading it. I am 71 years old and hoping to retire for the second time early next year. if all goes well me and my dog plan to travel for at least a year. Thanks," L. Blesch

"Hi Jason, great pictures. Also got Vanabode and your East Coast trip book on Amazon and enjoyed it a lot. We live on the small island of Saipan, north of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Not many places to drive to on this 48 square mile island, but we love road trips when we get to a continent somewhere. Just got back from a 30 day trip including driving across France for 10 days, then picking up a small motorhome in California and driving through Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Sedona, etc. A couple of my boys joined me on this trip. Enjoyed it a lot but we're going to make the next one longer. We really appreciate your work which has given us inspiration and ideas for our own travel. Thanks for posting these photos." D & M

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