About us, Vankookz, Vanlife, van lifestyle. travel, australia, new zealand.

We are Kevin and Dani. We grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and we are looking to create a life we don't need a vacation from. We met in high school and have been together ever since. We got married at Burningman in 2012, on our 10 year anniversary, and then had a formal wedding in October 2012 for our family and friends. Upon finishing Business School at the University of New Mexico, Kevin moved out to California, where I (Dani) was finishing up my Masters program in Travel, Tourism, Hospitality Administration and Event Management. Finally having our degrees, we quit our retail and bartending jobs and moved to Seattle to put our degrees to use. 

All we can say is that it was a short and sweet learning experience. Sitting in a cubicle, doing a 9-5 Monday-Friday corporate job, did not suit us or our lifestyles. We needed more than just the weekend to explore the great PNW and we needed more than just 10 days off a year. So, we turned in our two weeks notice and found jobs in the good ol service industry. I went back to bartending, at a couple bars, a couple nights a week...picking up shifts and giving up shifts around the adventures we planned. Kevin did the same as he bartended, served, and barista'd at a cute little coffee shop, bar and restaurant in Queen Anne. 

I've worked in the service industry my entire life and I've now dragged Kevin into the industry, as well to supplement his passion for videography and photography work. I have found that it is the most flexible way to work. Some days, I would work 13 hour days picking up and trading shifts and Kevin would work open to close. Just so we could have 4 day weekends to explore, surf, and adventure. 

It wasn't until we had a Burningman friend stop over, at our place in Seattle, on a motorcycle roadtrip down the West Coast of Canada and the US. He asked us how much we made per hour, how much we paid for rent, how often we worked... He basically told us we could live in Australia for half the price, make twice the money, and work half the time. If we weren't sold on the sunny weather leaving Seattle, we were sold on that. So in October, we applied for our Australian Visas, saved money and sold almost everything we owned and van life took off in February of 2016.

We lived in our friend, Tom's house until we got a van, jobs, and basically got on our feet. Luckily, he is a rad ass electrician and motorcycle builder, so he tricked out our van with solar, aux battery, and anything we brought home to hook up to the van. 

We sold our beloved van, Damon, in Australia and that money became our van budget in New Zealand. When we head to the US, the money we get from selling the NZ van, Cruz, will also become part of our van budget in the US. And it rolls on....