Articles,  Blog


Hi, I’m Anna French and this is my dog
Cagney and we live in my van Casper. I spent the last seven years travelling
around the world, living on five different continents, really just trying
to explore other cultures and I was really focusing on sort of the health
care systems and I was working on different education and health care
projects in different communities. Did a lot of backpacking along the way in
Africa and South America, Australia, New Zealand, a little bit in Europe. I was
doing that for work mostly, but it’s always my passion. Van life idea kind
of helped me find a way to be able to keep traveling, but also explore my own
country because I felt like I hadn’t done enough of that. This is Casper. Casper is a 2016 slightly used Ford Transit cargo van with a low
top and a standard length. I bought Casper for about $24,000 with
18,000 miles on it and I’ve put about 10,000 on it in the last few months. I
installed a Fantastic fan onto the top and I also installed two 160 watt
solar panels. My battery I have a Yeti 1400, a lithium battery. This is where I
keep all my camping gear and my chuck boxes where some of my more like
valuable electronics and things are stored. So I kind of created the design so
that I could have access points from three areas so from back here, there’s
two points of entry inside. I can get things out from in between and on the
other end. Welcome to the inside of my van. This is my kitchen slash bathroom area. I’ve got this fridge where I store some of my
perishables. This is my pantry and inside just my dry food and behind this is actually
a breadbox that I stole from my mom’s kitchen and behind that, got my pots
and pans, my kettle, so it all fits pretty snug and the tension rod helps keep it
in place while I’m driving. Also have the tension rod on the outside of my fridge
and inside of my fridge. Up here I’ve got my really useful three-in-one coffee pot,
toaster oven, hot plate, which I use on the daily. Just a little bit of storage
up here, things I use everyday, and I got some of my air plants just to give the area
a little bit of light energy. This sink I installed in, it’s got a hand pump and
I’ve got a 5 gallon water storage system under here. This is for the input and
then I have the output rigged underneath here also just kind of have some of my
cleaning supplies and cooking utensils and things like that back there. Here is
the Yeti 1400 where I directly plug in all of my things to charge. Currently
it’s running the tube lights in here and it’s also charging right now from the
Sun and it runs my fan. So underneath this section of the bed I have
my stool and a little bit of my wardrobe. This is what I use while I’m cooking or
doing anything really in here, working on my laptop sometimes because I can’t stand
up so this helps with that. I also store some of my clothes in there and so
it’s got a few purposes and then behind there I’ve got my stove which is the one burner
butane stove. Behind that is another, my larger pantry, got dry food and then my
dresser behind that and camping gear so it’s fully stocked. I made like the
structure of the bed frame exactly so that it would fit this in. This is my bathroom
area which I use in emergencies and I just store some like toilet paper and
cleaning supplies back there and I made a special compartment, so this is
separate, there’s a wall around the whole bathroom area so that if in case
something happened it would not get on anything else. So this is my living room and
bedroom area where I sleep and Cagney sleeps as well and it also converts into
a table, the bed like couch area so I bought a six inch memory foam mattress, cut it
up with a bread knife so it’s kind of a puzzle to get it in here. It’s five
separate pieces and it was a queen-size mattress
originally. And that is my dining room. These are two separate storage areas that I
built and that is the output of water and my tent and sleeping bag. My
insulation I used Reflectix. On the floor it’s just Reflectix and then about a
half inch of plywood and then this vinyl on top and then the walls are a layer of
Reflectix and then R14 fiberglass and then just these panels. So in my cockpit area
I have my world globe, which reminds me and keeps me grounded in my roots, which are in Arizona. I think it’s really important for females to travel
by themselves and I think we’re living in a time where it’s the most doable.
There’s this misconception that it’s really dangerous or scary, but it’s not
really either of those things and I think traveling around the world as a
solo female really helped kind of give me the courage and the knowledge that
it’s a lot safer than the media would have you (think). While I was a little bit
nervous to travel in a van by myself I kind of just went for it. I’ve never felt
in danger. I think it’s important to kind of do it on your own. You shouldn’t wait
until you have someone to do it because you never know what’s gonna happen in
life. Everything changes in a second and you don’t want to like lose your
opportunity if you’re in a place in your life where you can do it now, I think
it’s a great way to get a better idea of what you’re capable of and once you can
live in a van by yourself or travel to another country by yourself you have
this courage, this strength, that no one can ever take from you and you feel
like you can do anything. You realize what you’re capable of, how far your mind
can take you. I really want to inspire other people to take more risks and go
out and try that thing that they’ve always dreamt about doing. Not waiting
because life doesn’t wait for you. You have to just kind of make the decisions
and the rest kind of falls into place. You don’t have to have it all figured
out. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. If you did be sure to LIKE
comment and subscribe. And if you want to keep following my journey in the van with Casper, be sure to check out my website or follow me on Instagram @spintheglobeproject Peace! Have a great week.


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