How a Cancer Diagnosis Led to Vanlife & an Early Retirement Road Trip

by Simplify

After receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment for three different types of cancer, Rich and Robin decided to become vanlifers part time and go on the early retirement road trip of their dreams.

What started out as an escape for Rich—who felt like he couldn’t fix his wife’s health but could certainly fix up their newly purchased van—turned into a series of adventures that they could go on within a moment’s notice, making memories together that will last a lifetime.

Retirement road trip in a van

For Rich and Robin, vanlife retirement has been characterized by traveling around in a decked-out van with a smart and stylish design. With a comfortable sleeping space, a small but efficient kitchen, and a toilet and shower combo, vanlife is looking pretty good for this happy couple these days.

Rich and Robin’s kitchen is outfitted with a farmhouse sink, butcher block countertops, peel-and-stick tile backsplash, a swivel spout faucet, a 110 refrigerator/freezer, microwave, induction stove, cabinets, and a hanging shelf.

Heading over to the sitting area, they have bench seating that doubles as storage, a swivel table that they use while eating, and additional cabinets for even more storage.

Their bedroom includes a fixed bed with plenty of storage underneath it. Plus, they have a toilet and shower combo that can be converted back and forth in no time and an outdoor solar shower as well.

Vanlife & an early retirement road trip

Strangely enough, vanlife wasn’t always the goal for these two. They originally had two class C RVs before purchasing their van and only decided to make the switch after Rich completed a lot of research on his own and they both decided to attend a vanlife gathering in 2019.

Ever since then, they have been hooked on vanlife and continue to enjoy their retirement road trip together.

For more vanlife stories, discover this chef's DIY van conversion and pop-up restaurant on the road or this couple's romantic and woodsy van dwelling.

To see more videos, check out the Tiny Home Tours YouTube channel.

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