Don’t sit around, there may not be a “later”
As a part of our developing Solo Female Traveler eBook, which will offer stories and advice from well-known Instagram female travelers, we are compiling their experiences into individual posts first. Sloane of @searchingforsloane found her calling to be the open road. On her own, she has discovered beauty and adventure in her journeys along the way.
Why did you choose this lifestyle?
I chose this life after realizing how precious life is and how you never know what will come next. My father was diagnosed with a terminal illness and it showed me that I couldn’t sit to live my life because I didn’t know if I would have a later.
How did you start this journey?
I started this journey by looking at different vehicles to find the one I wanted to convert. I started with a school bus, and thankfully lost in the auction. I then thought maybe a motorhome and renovate the interior. Then I landed on a van because the ease of driving and stealth abilities.
What do you love about it?
I love the constant change of scenery, the challenge of no routine, and being able to meet new people almost daily.
What do you hate about it?
I wouldn’t say I hate anything, but the only thing that I’ve struggled with is deciding where to go and what to do next. There are so many choices it can be overwhelming.
What were the challenges you faced to get where you are today? Do you still face these challenges or are there new ones?
The challenge to get here were building my van and finding the right builder. Making sure I could continue to work from the road. The challenges have changed but there are still challenges of this life.
Do you feel being female RV’ers/travelers poses a different scenario than being a male RV’er/traveler
I think being a solo female is not entirely different than being a solo traveler in general. Being solo has its own challenges, because you often have no one there to bounce ideas off of. All the decisions fall to you. The only difference would be a solo male does not have the same possible thoughts of being in a dangerous neighborhood as a woman. However I think living a nomad lifestyle and constantly having your home with you that you are more cautious in the places you go. You constantly check areas to make sure it’s safe for your home to be in. Often, those that support this lifestyle the most are those that are in the community. They are some of the most loving, supportive and helpful people I have met.
If you could do it all again, would you?
I would do it all again and plan to continue this life for as long as I can.
Is there anything you would change?
Nothing as of yet.
Do you need to have a lot of money to do this?
The money is very dependent on the individual’s situation. If you have a loan on your vehicle, if you have student loans, if you have debt.
How do you support yourself while on the road?
Currently I work a remote sales job. I also have a travel website which I share about my guides to each city, hiking guides and tips on van life. I also have a podcast (@solosobriety) in which I talk about navigating life as a recovering alcoholic.
What would be your advice to those women who are looking to begin their journey as a solo female RV’er? Would this apply to both those who may travel for a week, to those who are looking at months to years on the road?
I always tell women to try out solo travel on their own in the vehicle they currently have before making the jump into a financial purchase. This is a very different style of life and you should test the waters and see that it is in fact for you.
What is the longest amount of time you have spent continuously on the road?
So far I have been on the road since February, 2019 so 4 months.
How did you learn how to drive an RV?
My van is big; it’s the 170” sprinter, but fortunately very manageable to drive.
Any tips, tricks or hacks that you may be able to offer those who are just starting out?
Plan everything out. Make sure you know your plan for hitting the road. Will you work? Do you have money to support yourself? Are you confident driving alone?
Is there one story that sticks out in your mind that makes the experience and journey all worth it?
Every day on the road, I see something that reminds me it is worth it.
Can someone message you if they have any questions about starting the RV/Van life?
Absolutely! Feel free to reach out via my Instagram (@searchingforsloane) or email from my website.
SIDE NOTE: Follow @searchingforsloane’s YouTube channel as well! Her content focuses on solo travel and what it’s like to live the lifestyle.