Woman quits job and ends five-year relationship to live in a van with her DOG

0

A woman has given up her steady job and ended her five-year relationship to live in a van with her DOG — and has spent $7,500 transforming her house on wheels.

Linnea Schmelzer, 26, of Wisconsin, currently lives in a van called Togo in the remote wilderness of Idaho with her five-year-old German Shepherd, Akela.

Before embarking on her nomadic lifestyle, she worked as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy company, but now runs her own online health business.

As the urge to travel and get out of her comfort zone grew, she uprooted her entire life, trading everything for wild adventures on the road in her van, which has no running water or a toilet because she’s “perfectly happy” without it. ‘luxury’.

Instead, she uses public toilets or the wilderness to go to the bathroom and heats up water to wash in a shower tent.

A woman has quit her steady job and ended her five-year relationship to live in a van with her DOG — and has spent $7,500 transforming her house on wheels

A woman has quit her steady job and ended her five-year relationship to live in a van with her DOG — and has spent $7,500 transforming her house on wheels

Linnea Schmelzer, 26, of Wisconsin, currently lives in a van called Togo in the remote wilderness of Idaho with her five-year-old German Shepherd, Akela

Linnea Schmelzer, 26, of Wisconsin, currently lives in a van called Togo in the remote wilderness of Idaho with her five-year-old German Shepherd, Akela

She bought Togo in May 2020 for $20,000 and spent just $7,500 renovating the vehicle into a livable space.

Linnea was with her ex for five years and says she thought they would “be together forever,” but the decision to break up was mutual and they remain friends.

She added: ‘I enjoyed my life prior to the van. It was filled with building my future, spending time with friends, working on my relationship with my then partner, and being really active in more ways than one.

‘[But] However, I will say that I was excited about something different and more satisfying. I knew in my heart that my life wasn’t really what I wanted it to be.

Before embarking on her nomadic lifestyle, she worked as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy company, but her urge to travel and get out of her comfort zone grew

Before embarking on her nomadic lifestyle, she worked as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy company, but her urge to travel and get out of her comfort zone grew

She bought Togo in May 2020 for $20,000 and spent just $7,500 renovating the vehicle into a livable space

She bought Togo in May 2020 for $20,000 and spent just $7,500 renovating the vehicle into a livable space

“I was looking for more depth, purpose, travel and experiences, so I decided to take Togo.”

Linnea did all the work on Togo herself, including installing cabinets, mirrors, a bed frame and electricity.

However, she has not added a shower, water pump or toilet as she wants to keep the construction simple and use public toilets or the wilderness to get to the bathroom.

When it comes to showering, she heats water and pours it into a 6-gallon dromedary sack, using a shower tent stowed in her van.

Linnea was with her ex for five years and says she thought they would be 'together forever' but the decision to break up was mutual and they remain friends

Linnea was with her ex for five years and says she thought they would ‘be together forever’ but the decision to break up was mutual and they remain friends

She hasn't added a shower, water pump, or toilet, as she wants to keep the construction simple and store outdoor gear under her bed — what she calls her

She hasn’t added a shower, water pump, or toilet, as she wants to keep the construction simple and store outdoor gear under her bed — what she calls her “garage.”

She keeps most of her outdoor gear in an area under her bed, which she calls her “garage.”

The storage of her backpack material, sleeping bags, her climbing harness, yoga mat and dumbbells, extra fuel and water and two large containers of extra clothing.

In addition, this room contains Akela’s equipment (life jacket, backpack and cooling vest).

Linnea said, “I wanted Togo to feel like a little cabin. I knew I would spend most of my time alone and wanted a space that felt comforting, earthy, and cozy.

‘My build is very simple; no shower, no water pump, no toilet – but I knew I would be perfectly happy without that luxury.

“I really like that we all have different definitions of a happy life.”

Linnea did all the work on Togo herself, including installing wardrobes, mirrors, a bed frame and electricity

Linnea did all the work on Togo herself, including installing wardrobes, mirrors, a bed frame and electricity

Linnea enjoys spending time in nature and says she has found inner peace in a way she has never had before

Linnea enjoys spending time in nature and says she has found inner peace in a way she’s never had before

Akela sleeps next to her owner in the van and although the dog takes up a lot of space, Linnea says she couldn’t have picked a better travel companion.

Linnea said, “Akela is just as comfortable on my bed as it is in our two-person tent in the wilderness.

“She is my ultimate travel partner and companion, and I can’t imagine doing this without her.

“She also protects the van and myself, which makes me feel much more comfortable knowing she will always warn me of danger.”

Akela sleeps next to her owner in the van and although her pet takes up a lot of space, Linnea says she couldn't have picked a better travel companion

Akela sleeps next to her owner in the van and although her pet takes up a lot of space, Linnea says she couldn’t have picked a better travel companion

While building her van, Linnea said much of it

While building her van, Linnea said a lot of it “felt like taking risks” and she learned a lot about “how to trust herself” during the renovations

Linnea said that when she was building her van she was just 'modifying things' as she went on based on 'what a sentence' for her

Linnea said that when she was building her van she was just ‘modifying things’ as she went on based on ‘what a sentence’ for her

Linnea uses a hotspot on her cell phone for internet access and has a mini fridge in her van where she keeps all her food.

She also uses a propane stove for cooking and leads a healthy, nutritious and active lifestyle while on the go.

How much will the van cost to renovate?

solar $1,200

Refrigerator $450

Windows $400

diesel heater $120

fans $250

Swivel seat $240

Insulation $500

Building materials such as plywood, frame materials, flooring, screws, drawer slides, latches and tools $4,340

While building her van, Linnea said a lot of it “felt like taking risks” and she learned a lot about “how to trust herself.”

She added: ‘I had an idea for the layout, but never made a design, which most people would advise against.

“I just fitted things in as I went, and built what I wanted next based on what made sense to me.”

The total van conversion costed $7,500 and Linnea couldn’t be happier with the results.

She enjoys spending time in nature and says she has found inner peace in a way she has never had before.

Linnea said, ‘I like to live the way I live. I appreciate my time alone and being in nature.

“I’m often at peace, excited about what I’ll be seeing or seeing in each area, and I usually feel really grounded.”

In a few words of advice for others looking to renovate a van, Linnea added: ‘Do your research, look at multiple people [‘s projects] and read about different methods until you find something that resonates with you or gives you confidence.

‘Be kind to yourself. You will ruin it. It’s okay, it just adds some character to your home! Finally, laugh at yourself. A lot of.’

Linnea has released a ‘Get Fit Anywhere’ guide with detailed workouts she does on the go, along with 10 of her favorite recipes.

.