Foster Huntington is the man behind the #VanLife website and Home Is Where You Park It, a book documenting camper vans and their occupants from around the world.
In 2011 he quit his job as a concept designer for Ralph Lauren and left New York, swapping crowded subways and busy skylines for a new life out on the road.
“I was tired of living in New York,” he told Mpora. “I wanted to get back to doing the things I wanted to do like surf and skate and see the places that I’d only ever read about in books or seen in pictures.”
“The best way to do that on the cheap in my opinion is to move into your car so that’s what I did.”
“I was living in my car for three months before the concept of the van book came about. I just became really aware of all these other people living in their campers and stuff.”
“I started appreciating all these other vehicles that all these other people were doing similar things with. So I was like: ‘Yeah, van life. It’s like thug life but for vans. Or for people with vans.”
“So that’s when I started the hashtag and then I started the website and it was a common theme that if I saw a cool van I would pull over and take a photo of it, and I’d go talk to the drivers about their campers.”
“After a couple of years I realised I had like 500 photos of people’s trucks and rigs and I was like: “fuck I want to turn this into a book.”
“My idea for the book was to have something that people would look at and they’d get inspired to go travel or go road-tripping.”
“I wanted to kind of change the notion that travel isn’t just a one-week trip to a really expensive place – it could be a three month trip where you don’t really spend much money.”
“Or in my case, three years. I was on the road continuously in the US, Canada and then Mexico.”
“The most amazing people I met were the people who have been doing it [living in their vans] for like 20 years.”
“They work in the summers doing labour or something like that and they earn $12,000 dollars and then they live the rest of the year like kings just surfing and travelling.”
“They do all their [mechanic] work themselves and they have like 750,000 miles on their campers but they’re still going!”