Leaving everything behind to follow one's passion on the road sounds like something to be done during one's younger years. But in reality, the urge to be adventurous can strike anytime, as it happened to 60-year-old Australian Clare Colins, who recently decided to sell her home and hit the road to become a full-time photographer and artist in a converted Fiat Ducato/Promaster van. Here's a quick video tour:
Designed by Colins and built by Roaming Wild Campers, Colin's van is nicknamed The Mouse House and feels like a comfortable and homey space to be in. As Colins mentions on her website, she "took the plunge" to live the life of a nomad by selling her house, paying off her mortgage and buying the van in order to travel and pursue her creative dreams as a photographic artist. Says Colins:
I am very happy with my totally ‘off grid’ tiny home in a van and travel when I feel like it.
The interior is carefully handcrafted, and features a bed in the rear, a kitchen with a sink with a cutting board cover, gas stove, and a workstation.
According to Tiny House Talk, Colins did all the research into the products used in the build-out herself. The layout has been designed using permaculture principles, where everything has more than one function. Some of the materials and fixtures have been repurposed, like the sink, which used to be Colin's pan for making preserves, and includes lumber that was formerly part of a shed. We can't see it in the photos, but apparently, there is a hidden bathroom with an Airhead composting toilet and shower. There's also space to store Colin's folding bike, and outdoor furniture.
The van is solar-powered, which enables Colins to use her computer for editing photos. There is a thermostat-controlled fan vent with a rain sensor, plus a lovely skylight that lets light in, and also allows for looking up at the starry sky at night. There's an awning too, on one side of the van, which helps to extend use of the outdoor space around the home.
There's no one way to do a van conversion, and here we see that Colins has collaboratively created a space that is intimately personalized to her needs and well-being as she travels, capturing unforgettable images and memories. To follow Clare Colins' journey, visit her website, and to see more of her art, visit Redbubble.