Manage episode 300764594 series 2974292
Failure isn't anything special, it's just a part of life. It's how we learn and move forward. So keeping failing forward, keep learning, and keep saying YES.
Join Natalie Kraus with Austin and Janna Jenkins as they chat about their experience making a home out of a van, the challenges they faced, and the perks of living in it. Austin and Janna loved traveling, and because of this, the couple decided to get themselves a van to convert it into their cozy home. In this episode, Austin and Janna share their journey as a married couple building their van and the lessons they pick up along the way.
Building a Home
Austin and Janna love to travel, and so they explore their options, from backpacking around Europe to working abroad. One thing they realized, though, is that the ideas they were thinking about are not sustainable. It’s a good thing Austin and Janna found the solution to their dilemma through an Instagram post: jumping into the van life. Three months after their wedding, the couple bought their van and converted it into a house on wheels. It was perfect for them because they can get to travel along with their belongings. To expedite the project, Austin and Janna had to work two full-time jobs each and moved into the basement of Janna’s parents’ house that served as their apartment in the meantime. The two did not have any experience building a van, and so they were learning throughout the process. With that, Austin and Janna were able to deepen their relationship and fulfilled their desire to travel without hassle.
Transitioning from living in ample space to a 50 square foot home was not an issue for Austin and Janna, but they came across a bumpy road. The couple was worried about sizing down their wardrobe and their stuff a lot since they have limited closets and storage space. It was a challenge for them because it takes a lot of time, and it was the hardest thing to do, but they managed. Living in the van also made Austin and Janna realize that they could conserve their water consumption. If they can consume more when they were in the house, now 25 gallons of water can last for two weeks. Living small also made them connect more to the environment and became aware of their waste. They were able to fully install solar panels in their van, which saves them a lot of electricity. For Austin and Janna, it was the best decision for them to live in a van they call home as it had significant impacts on them that were not expected.
About Austin and Janna Jenkins:
Austin and Janna Jenkins are both from Greeley, Colorado, where they met in high school and started dating when they were 16. They’ve been together ever since and got married in December 2018. The couple’s fondness for traveling made them explore ten countries and 38 states. They even got engaged in the Netherlands and honeymooned in Italy.
As they dreamed of backpacking in Europe and hitchhiking across the states, the couple heard about people living and traveling in a van they built. Austin and Janna were in love with the idea, and so they bought a van in the summer of 2019. While converting the van, Austin and Janna worked two jobs and lived in the basement of Janna’s parents’ house. At present, the couple has moved into the newly converted van they built together.
Outline of the Episode:
[03:55] Life before the van.
[05:23] Building the van.
[10:05] How the couple came up with the decision of having a van and converted it into a home.
[11:43] Diving into the van life and entrepreneurship simultaneously and making it work.
[16:18] People that influenced Austin and Janna’s entrepreneurial journey.
[18:21] Dealing with overwhelm in a 50 square foot space.
[20:02] Austin and Janna on transitioning from living big to small.
[22:57] Sustainability in terms of living a minimalist lifestyle.
[28:59] Austin and Janna share some of their stories living in the van.
[36:11] Thoughts on having a house in the future.
[37:34] On growth, staying positive and excited about what the couple does.
[40:09] Austin and Janna’s advice to everyone.
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