The open road is calling, it’s time to answer! It’s that feeling of freedom, the endless possibilities for adventure, and the thrill of discovering unexplored horizons that make van life so appealing. However, the practicalities of sustaining this unconventional lifestyle can be a bit of a reality check. Let’s take a deep dive into some truly fascinating jobs that fit perfectly within the realm of this van lifestyle.
1. Hotshot Driver
When we think about van life, the first thing that comes to mind is the open road. There’s something about being behind the wheel, exploring new landscapes that makes the heart race. So, why not turn this passion into a profession?
Enter the world of a hotshot driver. This is a unique breed of courier service are called upon to deliver urgent cargo across vast distances. Unlike typical freight services, hotshot deliveries often involve smaller, time-sensitive loads that need to be transported swiftly, making it a high-demand, high-reward business.
This profession is perfect for the van life, allowing you to explore the highways and byways while earning a living. There’s no need for a fixed office or schedule; instead, the road becomes your workspace, and your timetable is dictated by the rhythm of your travels. This job also allows you to meet a variety of people and see places you might never have discovered otherwise. However, do remember to consider the essentials like insurance, permits, and vehicle maintenance. Now, doesn’t that sound like a journey worth undertaking?
2. Mobile Mechanic
Picture this: you’re parked by a breathtaking mountain trail, working on a customer’s car while they’re out hiking. As a mobile mechanic living the van life, scenarios like these aren’t just a dream, they can be your everyday reality.
A mobile mechanic is a game-changer in the auto repair industry. Instead of customers coming to a garage, the mechanic comes to them. If you have the skills and the necessary tools, you could offer your services on the go, travelling to clients who need vehicle repairs or maintenance. This can range from simple tasks like oil changes or brake repairs to more complex problems that require diagnostic tools.
Your van becomes your mobile workshop, equipped with everything you need to get the job done. Not only does this business model offer the flexibility that suits the nomadic lifestyle, but it also fills a significant gap in the market, catering to customers who prefer the convenience of at-home service. You’ll need to ensure you have a solid understanding of different vehicle models and stay updated with the latest automotive technology. Pair this job with the freedom of the road, and you’re all set for a fulfilling career that keeps you moving.
3. Travelling Sales Representative
A travelling sales representative is more than just a salesperson. You’re the face of the company, often visiting different regions to sell products or services, attend trade shows, or meet with clients. The beauty of this role in the context of van life is that it lets you explore new territories while building relationships with a wide range of people.
You could be selling anything from pharmaceuticals to software solutions. It’s about understanding your customer’s needs and offering them the right solutions. Sure, it requires excellent communication skills, negotiation tactics, and a knack for building relationships, but the rewards are substantial. Not to mention the added perk of expanding your horizons, literally and figuratively, as you traverse different landscapes.
As a digital nomad, you’re already accustomed to a lifestyle that breaks free from the 9-to-5 cubicle grind. With the van as your mobile office, you can set up your work station wherever you please. Pair this flexibility with a company’s specific sales strategy, and you have a match made in heaven. As you evolve in this role, you might even find yourself living the “travelpreneur” lifestyle, a concept we delve into in one of our previous articles. Now, isn’t that an exciting prospect?
4. Mobile Pet Groomer
Imagine rolling into a new town, and instead of merely sightseeing, you’re greeted by a wagging tail and a pair of soulful eyes waiting for a grooming session. That’s the day-to-day life of a mobile pet groomer, a role that could be a dream come true for animal-loving nomads.
A mobile pet groomer offers a unique service, catering to pet owners who may find it challenging to transport their pets to a traditional grooming salon. With a properly equipped van, you can bring these services right to their doorstep, offering everything from baths and haircuts to nail trimming and ear cleaning.
This business model provides a much-needed service while also fitting seamlessly into the van life. You’d need to invest in the necessary equipment and have a well-organized setup in your van. On top of that, a solid understanding of different breeds and their specific grooming needs is essential. But the payoff? The grateful looks from both pets and their owners, not to mention the freedom to explore new places and meet new furry friends along the way.
5. Field Service Technician
Our digital world is becoming increasingly complex, and as more people and businesses rely on technology, there’s a growing demand for experts who can navigate this landscape. The field service technician is a role that could be your ticket to combining a fulfilling career with the van life.
A field service technician travels to various locations to install, maintain, or repair equipment. Depending on the industry (and location, to a degree), this could involve working with telecommunications systems, computer hardware, or even heavy machinery. The beauty of this job is its versatility. You could be troubleshooting a network issue in a bustling city one day, and calibrating an instrument in a tranquil countryside the next.
Living the van life as a field service technician allows you to be at the heart of the action, fixing problems, and ensuring systems run smoothly. You’ll need a good understanding of the equipment you’re working with and strong problem-solving skills. But the opportunity to blend your technical abilities with the nomadic lifestyle could make this the ideal career choice for you.
6. Travelling Nurse
Healthcare is an industry that will always be in demand, and as a travelling nurse, you can combine your passion for caring with your love for travel. Travelling nurses take on temporary assignments in various locations, providing care where it’s needed most. The contracts are typically a few months long, and often pay more than the “typical nurses” that will be hired from that specific geo.
Your van becomes your home between assignments, allowing you to fully explore each new locale. You’ll need a nursing degree and some experience, but the rewards are plenty – competitive pay, the chance to help those in need, and the freedom to travel. It’s a role that truly embodies the concept of the “helping nomad,” a term we explore in our article about non-tech remote jobs.
7. Wildlife Photographer
If you have an eye for capturing the beauty of the natural world, why not consider a career as a wildlife photographer? It’s a challenging field, requiring patience, skill, and a knack for being in the right place at the right time, but the results can be truly stunning.
As a wildlife photographer, your van life adventures take on a new purpose, as you seek out the perfect shot in each unique location. It’s a career that demands a lot but offers back even more – the chance to highlight the wonders of nature while living a life of exploration.
8. Virtual Tutor
Education is another field that’s embraced the digital revolution. As a virtual tutor, you can offer your expertise in a particular subject to students around the world, all from the comfort of your van.
Whether it’s math, science, language arts, or music, there’s likely a demand for your knowledge. You can work with an online tutoring platform or set up your own business. It’s a career that offers flexibility, the joy of helping others learn, and the ability to work from anywhere. Check out my article on jobs for former teachers for more inspiration.
9. Remote Customer Service Representative
Companies worldwide are recognizing the value of good customer service, and many are hiring remote workers to ensure their customers get the support they need.
As a remote customer service representative, you’ll interact with customers through phone calls, emails, or live chat, helping them resolve issues or answering their questions. It’s a role that requires excellent communication skills, patience, and a genuine desire to help others. And the best part? You can do it all from wherever your van life adventures take you.
Embracing the van life doesn’t mean you have to give up a rewarding career. As we’ve explored, there are many jobs that not only complement the nomadic lifestyle but actually thrive because of it. From hotshot driving to remote customer service, there’s a world of opportunity waiting for you on the open road. All you need is the courage to take the first step. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make your van life dream a reality!
Q: How can I create a comfortable workspace in my van?
A: Creating a comfortable workspace in your van requires some planning and creativity. Consider investing in a portable laptop desk and a comfortable chair. Try to create a space where you can focus, even in a small space. For more tips, check out our article on the best portable laptop desk.
Q: How can I balance work and travel while living the van life?
A: Balancing work and travel requires careful planning and discipline. You’ll need to set a work schedule that allows you to meet your professional commitments while also leaving time for exploring. It’s also important to ensure you have reliable internet access when you need it. We discuss more strategies in our article on living a travelpreneur lifestyle.
Q: What if I have a non-tech job? Can I still live the van life?
A: Absolutely! The van life is for everyone, not just those in tech jobs. Many jobs, such as tutoring, customer service, or sales, can be done remotely. Additionally, there are plenty of jobs that actually benefit from a mobile lifestyle, like being a hotshot driver or a mobile pet groomer.
Q: How do I deal with loneliness while living the van life?
A: It’s natural to sometimes feel lonely while living the van life, especially if you’re traveling solo. However, there are ways to combat this. Joining communities of other digital nomads can provide social interaction, and staying connected with friends and family online can also help. Check out our article on how to spot signs and fix loneliness in your remote employees for some helpful tips.
Living the van life and working remotely is a dream for many, but it’s a dream that can become a reality. With the right job, a bit of planning, and a spirit of adventure, you can earn a living while exploring the world. So why not start today? The open road is waiting for you!
Jared has worked remotely for 15 years in various marketing capacities, and has managed hundreds of marketing campaigns along the way. He has held freelance, agency, and in-house positions for companies large and small.