If you’re reading this, chances are you’re connected to Go-Van in the online world.
You might follow us on Instagram or Facebook, or be a subscriber of our monthly newsletter. Or you may just sporadically check out the sweet vans we feature on our platforms. But what does Go-Van really do? With our totally revamped site now launched, we thought it was time to reintroduce ourselves, explain the many resources we offer for the vanlife community, and tell our audience what we’re all about. Our current team consists of Julien, Founder of Go-Van, and Katie (myself) as the Editor-In-Chief. This is the genesis of Go-Van.
An Idea Brought to Life
A passionate wave-chaser, Julien was seeking ways to pursue surfing, a hobby that requires patience, time, and coast access. In 2013, he purchased his first van to do just that. After experiencing life on the road, Julien knew he wanted to dive deeper into the world of vans and the community behind the lifestyle. He was determined to find a way to support nomads and keep them on the road to pursue their passions.
With dreams of building a resource for vanlifers themselves, Julien created Go-Van, an online magazine about vanlife culture.
For three years, Julien worked diligently to build and grow his business until it became stable. He eventually was able to begin hiring nomads for brand projects, supporting remote workers and freelancers through videography, photography, writing, and more. In early 2018, I was brought on as part of the Go-Van team, allowing Julien to spend his time focusing on original content, brand promotion, and industry relationships. Through branded content, sponsorships, and our online store, we are able to support companies and brands that our mission and values align with, while also creating revenue.
Go-Van continues to evolve as a brand and a community resource.
In May of 2018, we launched a brand new website with all new features. While we kept the classics as a magazine, including stories and videos, we have now expanded to serve as a one-stop-shop, platform, and resource for all things vanlife. As nomads ourselves, we strive to serve the vanlife community and its needs however possible. This includes stories, videos, van tours, playlists, podcasts, van gatherings, rentals, classifieds, and more. We have even more features in the works and can’t wait to continue releasing additions to our ever-growing platform. Our mission is to continue building and strengthening comradeship between vanlifers in any way that we possibly can.
So what exactly does a typical work day look like for Go-Van?
Like most self-employed nomads, every single day is different for us. Some days we never leave our computers, while other days involve attending a vanlife gathering or filming a sponsored video. Julien and I both work remotely, which means there are no meetings or in-person collaborations. This requires constant check-ins through online project management platforms, email, and phone. With the new site up and running, we are able to focus more of our time and energy on original content, building up relationships within the van community, and promoting the new sections on our site. Work weeks can look like anything from 20-60 hours each, depending on current or ongoing projects. Overall, we’re both flexible and focus more on putting in our best effort towards projects, rather than counting how many hours we’re working. I guess that’s what happens when you’re passionate about what you do!
Working remotely requires communication, dedication, and definitely reliable Wifi.
As a nomad who spent the first 6 months on the road unemployed, I can tell you from experience that working completely changes your life on the road. When you are living off savings, you’re able to run into the forest and post-up at a primitive campsite for 4 days. However, running an online platform requires cell phone service and an internet connection. Life definitely has more structure now but even in our busiest seasons, we don’t constrict ourselves to an 8-5 schedule. Plus, we’re definitely guilty of pushing our phone calls back every now and again because the surf is good or it’s the perfect day for a hike… It’s all about balance, right?
Overall, we cannot imagine any other way of working.
Julien and I love that our work is so intertwined with our personal lives. We live and breathe vans on a regular basis. Even if we’re “off the clock” (which as remote workers, is never really the case), we’re still filming Instagram stories or taking photos of sweet vans that we pass in a parking lot. Something I love about Go-Van is that our team is out living and experiencing vanlife in our personal lives. We’re using our understanding of the culture to build something that we believe is truly valuable to the community. Sometimes it can be hard to tell where work stops and play begins, but why would we want it any other way?
Beyond our staff, we collaborate with nomads from around the world to share their stories from the road and promote projects within this wonderful community. Want to become a Go-Van contributor? Submit your content below using our online form and we’ll be in touch directly!
Interested in learning how other digital nomads are making money from the road? Check out these other stories from the latest round-up post by Project Vanlife!