van life freelancing
O

On the road: How this couple is making freelancing and van life work

Juggling work and life is never easy. But what does that look like if your life is on the road and your work means you are your own boss?

Ana Fabricio and Glauber Weddigen of Bem na Estrada have been traveling and living together in a van since around the time the pandemic began. Both freelancers, their van also serves as their office, alongside the great outdoors. 

How do they balance living and working from the same place? Is it really as pretty as what social media depicts? We chatted with Ana and Glauber to learn more about how they make freelancing and van life work.

How it all began

“We were both business people. Glauber was a founding partner of a tech company and Ana has a degree in human resources and had two concert and smartphone stores in two different cities,” they shared, rewinding back to the days when they weren’t even thinking of living on the road.

The couple noted how the pandemic has made them rethink things, both life and work. “We realized that we worked too hard at our companies and that we didn’t have time to enjoy life,” they said, adding, “so we decided to sell our assets and dedicate ourselves to this project, traveling by motorhome across America, documenting all our experiences to inspire others.” Inspiring indeed, Ana and Glauber began exploring freelancing as they continue to live in their van and travel around. “Ana works as a freelancer in a company, in the role of Sales Development Representative (SDR), for a Brazilian company,” shares Glauber, noting how he focuses on building their own brand and digital presence.

Passion for travel and freedom of lifestyle

Their passion for traveling is one of the core reasons why Ana and Glauber decided to transition to living in a van. The curiosity of how it would feel like to be on the road and the excitement of chasing their passions and living with so much freedom pushed them both to take the plunge. Now, a little over a year in, Ana and Glauber are still enjoying van life like it’s Day 1. “Living and working in a small house (a.k.a. a van) is like living in a big house; you will have the same things but in reduced sizes and spaces,” they share, Glauber adding, “I don’t need a big office. I just need internet and my computer so I can work comfortably from anywhere.”

And just like any living situation, living in a van also has its challenges. But for these two freelance creatives, it’s not that big a deal. “We are managing to reconcile with all the challenges and this whole experience is very rewarding,” they said adding, “we can always work in our old professions when we want to relive that moment or to get some extra money.”

It is that sense of security that’s making van life easy for both Ana and Glauber. And probably for many other #vanlifers out there too! The confidence that whenever you feel like going back to your old lifestyle, you can always park the van in your garage and live in a normal house. But for now, the great outdoors is Ana and Glauber’s home.

The joys of freelancing

And building their own creative businesses and working as freelancers only bring them more joy. Ana spends a few hours a day working as a sales development representative for a Brazilian company. “I work on projects 4 hours a day, and I’ve been providing this service for about 6 months,” she shares.

Being freelancers, they both understand social media’s importance in their businesses. “I work on video creation for our YouTube channel and creating content for our social channels,” says Glauber, sharing that YouTube is also one avenue where they make money. “It’s been just over a year since we started posting videos about our day-to-day living on the road, the walks we take, and the places we pass,” he says, “but with that, our channel has been growing in followers and the number of views has increased significantly, yielding a good monthly financial return,” he adds.

“I was a founding partner of a technology company and had worked with team management for about 16 years” Glauber goes on, reminiscing his previous career path. Despite what seemed like a more secure life before, especially financially, both he and Ana are still pursuing freelancing as it works quite well for them. “Our house is designed to support long hours of work. For that, we have a room that turns into an office, with a table and comfortable sofas,” they share talking about their current living setup.

Clearly, a traditional house with a dedicated office is not the only place to successfully build a sustainable freelance business. So long as your current setup works for you, so long as there is joy, all else will work out just fine.

Today, Ana and Glauber continue their life on the road as they also continue to build financial stability and, of course, their freelance business. Their efforts of growing their social media following are paying off and one of their biggest goals is to continue building their business so as to inspire others.

Tammy Danan

Tammy Danan is a storyteller who reports on environmental and social issues. She also covers productivity, creative pursuits, and the future of work. Her words have appeared in VICE, Audubon.org, ZEKE Magazine, Shutterstock, Toggl, among others. You may find her on Instagram @SlowFreelancing.