A man, a woman, a baby, a dog and a converted van. Meet Our Home on Wheels, a hardworking, creative and passionate family that lives life on their own terms.
Jace is the chauffeur. He seeks adrenaline and new experiences. “Yep, I love highlining, climbing, backpacking, basically any ‘-ing’ activity gives me a buzz. I love good food too,” he says, “but I really hate early mornings. Can’t stand ‘em.”
Giddi is the boss. Not only is she driven, but she also an eye for beauty and elegance – a creative at heart. A jeweler, certified yoga instructor and a creator of natural handmade makeup, she is always up to something. “But I still like to take naps and I reckon I’m pretty good at cooking tasty meals in our tiny kitchen where the Dometic stove does a great job,” Giddi explains.
Juniper is Jace and Giddi’s baby daughter. She loves blowing spit bubbles, yelling loudly and giggling. Born in November 2016, shortly after they finished their "Arizona to Alaska and back" trip, she moved into the van when she was four months old and absolutely loves being outside every day.
Lotus is the dog. A 5-year-old Alaskan Klee Kai, she was adopted a year after Jace and Giddi were married. In addition to a fondness for sleeping, she loves to sniff butts and roll around in grass or snow.
But what got them into the lifestyle? Giddi tells the story. “We were both working full-time jobs, and like a lot of people, we felt stuck. We weren't doing the things we wanted to and didn't feel like we were growing or expanding ourselves at all. So I started a new hobby: jewelry fabrication. I bought some tools, began experimenting, watched some instructional videos on YouTube and pretty soon I was making pieces for friends and family. Next thing we know, we’ve opened a little shop online – and I was making jewelry full time. We paid off our debts, bought a van, and with 40 bucks to our names we took a huge leap into the unknown. But we haven’t regretted it, not for a single second. And to think, my jewelry actually funds our lifestyle – it’s pretty amazing.”
Their first journey was in a Sprinter van – which they converted themselves – and it took them from Arizona to Alaska. After that trip, they sold the van, bought another and converted it to accommodate the newest addition to the family – a baby girl called Juniper. Just a few months old, Juniper moved into the van and went on her first road trip with Mom, Dad and Lotus.
“Yes, we went on a trip exploring the western states,” Jace recalls. “Juniper loves being outdoors, so that’s working out great. Anyway, our goal is not to live in the van but out of it. We sleep there, but we spend our days in nature. That’s where we feel alive. We hope is to inspire others to get up off the couch, get out and breathe.”
But what about the practicalities of traveling with a baby on board? “It’s no big deal at all,” says Giddi. “We have most of the comforts of a regular home. Our Dometic products – a stove, two fridge-freezers and a vent – help us cook, and keep our food as well as the air fresh. We’re good to go.”