ALEX & SARA JAMES

ALEX & SARA JAMES

LIVING THAT #VANLIFE



Ever had the urge to quit your day job just to travel? Alex and Sara James did—and they made it their reality. Early on in their marriage, they realized the nine-to-five thing wasn't making them happy. They wanted more out of life—and they knew they'd find it out on the road.



So, Alex and Sara bought a 2008 Dodge Sprinter van and rebuilt it into their new home—making sure to include all the crucial features, from a king-size bed to a kitchen and a bathroom. And they, along with their two Italian greyhound dogs, have been living in it ever since—while traveling all over North America (with a Braven STRYDE Bluetooth speaker in tow) and photographing their journey.





Sound like a dream come true? Alex and Sara would 100% agree—but it couldn't have happened without finding a way to earn a living while on road. Keep on reading to find out how they have the #vanlife all figured out, and enjoy photos from their recent trip along California's central coast.


What were you two doing before this chapter of your life?
Before we made the jump into van life, we had a marketing company based out of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. We worked with small businesses providing photography, video and web and business development services.

What inspired this lifestyle change?
We loved working with our clients, but managing projects and maintaining relationships with multiple clients becomes really time-intensive. As a newly married couple, we were spending less time together, less time traveling, and we didn't want to see these early years of our relationship fly by with regrets of what we didn't do.

What were your expectations going into the van life lifestyle? Is it living up to them?
I'm not really sure we fully knew what was in store. The ability to travel freely was super appealing for us, but I think we were both surprised at how much we loved being in our van and having everything we need easily accessible anywhere we went. We both thought we would like it, but we were a little shocked by how much we LOVE IT!

What's life on the road like with the dogs?
Our Italian greyhounds, Bambi and Nugget, love the van and being on the road. They sit on our laps while we drive, and they have explored so many amazing parts of the U.S. and Canada already. They love when we stop at new parks and beaches so they can explore and run. They get at least two long walks in a day.

What’s the negative side of van life that people don’t think about?
You have to still be able to make money. Life on the road is not cheap. If you are thinking of diving into van life because you think it's cheap, then you are wrong. The build will cost double what you think before you really get into it, and daily expenses do add up. Our monthly overhead is still cheaper than it was when we lived in a house, but we love being able to visit local breweries and try new restaurants when we travel. We don't just camp on BLM [Bureau of Land Management] land and live off rice and beans. We want to experience and contribute to the local economy.

Where are you both from?
Sara is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and Alex is from Sandpoint, Idaho. We met in Orange County, California after Sara had graduated from UCLA.

Any bumps in the road?
Lots of bumps, but nothing has broken yet. Our motto is 'Don't Expect Anything and Be Prepared for Everything'. You never know what the new day will bring.

Where to next?
Next, we will be heading to the east coast via Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. We'll make our way up the east coast from Florida to Sara's family cottage in Mackinaw City, Michigan for the Fourth of July.

What do you two do besides travel and take incredible photos of your journey?
We have built an online platform to teach others how to build a professional brand and business online using social media called Creator Academy. You can learn more at joincreatoracademy.com

CHECK OUT MORE FROM ALEX & SARA JAMES AT WWW.40HOURSOFFREEDOM.COM OR ON INSTAGRAM @40HOURSOFFREEDOM