Man Quits Investment Banking to Travel the World in His Van

Man Quits Investment Banking to Travel the World in His Van

I’m Jeff and this is my van Lucy. I grew up playing hockey,
like a regular family, lived in a neighborhood and you know they encourage
you to grow up, okay time to go to university. I didn’t really know what I
wanted to do, ended up going to school and I got interested in investment
banking. I was wearing light-colored polo shirts and suits every day and kind of
spiraled a little bit out of control. I was doing more investing online on my own
than going to school. I didn’t have any passions or anything like that. It was I
was literally just trying to make as much money as I could and I got fat and
I got really depressed. I don’t know, you just look in the mirror one day and
you’re sort of like, “holy shit, what am I doing?” That was not how I wanted to spend my rest of
my twenties in a suit being somebody’s bitch so I bailed. I sold everything, put it in
one bank account, deleted Facebook and email and just dropped off the grid.
Moved to Costa Rica. I applied for a visa in Australia and moved to Australia by
myself. Was gonna go for three months and make some more money and keep traveling
and ended up staying for five years. I lived in a van for a few months. When I
lived in Australia, you’re moving around so much anyways, why don’t you stop paying
rent in one spot and then pay for a car to drive around? So when I moved back
here and I wanted to start a business I wanted to be able to work remotely and
have a cheap way to travel around and surf. This is Lucy. She’s a 2014 40-250 ex U-Haul van. She’s got 65,000 kilometers on her. So I got 2 100 watt solar panels up top. They feed 185 amp hours of battery and
an inverter so I have 120 volt electricity in the back that also powers
a water pump, charges laptops, phone cameras, the whole deal. Seems to be more
than enough electricity. Got the companies Signia on it obviously. Got to
represent. Roof racks, I got them for free. Old ladder racks off like a tradie van. I
grinded off all the attachments for the ladders and unhooked them which left a
whole bunch of holes in the top of the roof rack so when you’re driving down
the highway it was like high-pitched screaming van so I had to caulk all of
the holes and then just spray painted them all black to you know to make it not look like shit. Also back windows, took inspiration from a sailboat which is
kind of the end game one day so I put portholes in the back windows. So welcome to the inside of my home. Another wicked van life hack is a changing towel. This
thing is a lifesaver. I don’t know what I’d do without this. My sister bought it
for me so it’s literally just a giant towel with the hood on it. Yeah, you don’t
have to flash any kids when you’re getting in and out of your wetsuit.
Camelbak also an essential for hiking in the country, got a little garbage can
here, dry food storage. Come on in. Installed a light switch on the wall
which also powers these. We even have a little bit of mood lighting for guests.
All my food storage and clothes and everything is up here so cooking
utensils, more food, storage. That’s all my clothes up there. Cooler, this is an
electric cooler so it runs off of the batteries as well. Works super good if
it’s sunny out it’ll run it all day. If it’s not you got to buy ice because they
won’t charge up enough to power the cooler for 24 hours. This partition was
pretty tough to build. I wanted to block off the back of the van completely from
from the front because I knew I was gonna be spending a lot of time in
cities. I wanted it to be as stealthy as possible and then right here is all of
our batteries. I got one battery behind the seat and one battery back here. Solar
controller and inverter are all there. I hooked up both batteries to the
alternator and then put a switch in the dashboard so when I’m driving I can
switch it on. I originally had a double bed in here.
The more I travel the more I realized that I didn’t need a double bed and it
was way better to have floor space and easier to move around so ditched it.
There’s a piece that went down here and then flipped up and actually made a
couch and now we have a single bed. Under the bed is just all storage so both my
surfboards go underneath there. I left this end open which was awesome at the
start you’re kind of like, “I might not need it all”, it’ll just be
for surfboards, but literally the more you travel the more you realize every
single inch of space and this is useful so left this open and that’s where I
keep all fresh water. I also put shoes underneath there, just anything that I
don’t want to clutter up more space or get stuff dirty: fins, mask, wetsuits
keep them under the bed so they don’t stink up the van. This is just a straight
regular roof vent. I didn’t get the one with the fan which was a mistake.
Definitely go with the fan. The best setups I’ve seen, which if I did it all
over again I would do, is have two roof vents. One in the back and one in the
front with alternating fans. It basically acts like air conditioning. It keeps the
air flowing in here. It’s summertime so we don’t have it in
but this is actually where my snowboard hangs. It doesn’t fit underneath with two
surfboards, just two straps around the bottom of the surf or a snowboard from
there just hangs right over top of you as long as you don’t wake up quick it’s
perfect. This is the infamous salad bowl sink. This thing is a lifesaver. I don’t
have to wash dishes outside anymore. Inside there I have a dirty water
storage tank, underneath here is all storage for camping stuff: chairs, any big
stuff, camera gear, everything under there. Up here’s my bluetooth speaker, water
tank for the pump, wrapped insulation around it, that’s a good hack. If your
water tanks gonna be anywhere near the outside of your van wrap it with
insulation because it’ll freeze in the winter or it’ll become super hot and
terrible-tasting in the summer. In the back doors I have
surfboard storage, snowboard storage. Underneath the bed I also have a, my mom
bought me an oven mitt, I’m still not sure how I’m gonna use that, but I feel
bad and I haven’t thrown it out. Grill on drawer tracks for barbecuing, propane underneath
there. This was a post-trip install as well. I originally was gonna cook up here…
well that’s one of those things you don’t really think through because then
you’re trying to cut stuff overtop of where you’re grilling. This is the water
pump. This just runs off the DC battery acts as a shower, also cleans dishes.
Inside in the sink the water tank holds about 35 liters total. I don’t want
to say what the name is because I actually wouldn’t recommend it to
anybody. It took me a while to actually get it to,
I had to hang that up there so it didn’t leak. First time I did it it drained out
all underneath the floorboards, a disaster, but lesson learned. We got there
in the end. Sewed the curtains myself.
This is a major hack that I haven’t seen on a lot of other vans is I installed
a roll down screen so when you’re cooking out the back of the van or
just hanging out and playing music the bugs always get attracted to your
lights and then it’s a battle to go to sleep if you’re getting eaten alive so
I installed a roll down and roll up screen. Just glued it to a piece of trim,
literally super glued to it and then yeah those are shoelaces that’s pretty much
it. She’s just small and beautiful. Lifestyle Over Luxury is the company. We
make eco-conscious clothing in Canada and clean up a bag of trash off BC
beaches every purchase. I worked in retail a little bit in
Australia. Everything that came with sustainable attached to it was three times
the price of anything else. I just thought that the only way if you’re
gonna make a difference across the entire industry is to make it affordable
for the average person. Went in with rose-colored glasses on and thought it
was gonna be this like dreamy you know live in a van and surf and sell clothes
online but it’s definitely not that. It’s definitely not that easy, but it’s been,
it’s been awesome. I mean I get asked this, a lot people hit me up, “I’m thinking
about making a change in my life, you know, how did you go about this? How did
you go about that?”. I think the biggest thing that I’d say from the outset is
always like, “what’s your motivation? why why are you doing this?” If you’re just
running from a problem, if it’s an escape then maybe that’s not the right answer.
If it’s a desire then definitely pursue it. Try it out first. Rent a van. Do it for
a few weeks. Make sure you can hack it. All these
beautiful Instagram posts out the back doors and girls and bikinis and yeah
there’s some of that, but there’s also like you know crapping in the woods and
not having running water freezing your ass off when it’s you know
minus two out. There’s a lot of things that you know don’t get posted on social
media that are like struggles. It’s well worth the freedom for sure.
Life’s pretty precious and it can be taken away at any time and I wouldn’t be
able to live wherever the last ten years I dedicated to doing something that I
didn’t really like so I could get somewhere. I like to think that if I died
tomorrow I’d be happy with how I live my life today.

100 thoughts on “Man Quits Investment Banking to Travel the World in His Van

  1. On your website you write:
    "L/L Supply Co. is independently run, so we don’t bend to the will of greedy investors and everything we do is to bring you better, more sustainably made, higher quality gear and apparel". I have a question and hope you can help me. Years ago I invested $10,000 in Apple Computer and now I feel terrible that all along I've been a greedy investor. What do you advise I do?

  2. Dylan Magaster: On your website you mention suicide and I am wondering if you are okay. I suppose if you are reading this (from Earth) you are okay-enough. Hope you are able to continue to figure it all out wherever you are.

  3. Let me see if I have this right…he cleans beaches for a living? How much does it cost him for the helicopter pick up, each time?

  4. Realy enjoyed your video Jeff,,,very inspiring. Im hoping to retire in 2 years, buy a van and fix it to my liking, good for you to follow what you love to be doing, your so young, enjoy this now, never know what the future holds,,,have fun, safe travels and I wish you all the best! Love your attitude towards life,,,, Oh! Love the music in the background!

  5. His attitude is definitely the attitude of my generation for the most part everyone just wants to be happy and were waking to the reality of life what you have dosent make the quality of life better its how you use them and get the things you desire that makes it worth it but everyone waking up for the most part

  6. A tip for you- Computer fans. They are only a 1/2 amp draw (or less). I have one fixed to my roof vent and the other one on a 12 v long cord plug in. The corded one is mobile and you set it up in the shady side window. When running they circulate the airflow from the shady side drawing the warm air up through the vent. I bought mine at princess auto

  7. I liked that the guy is giving genuinely helpful advise even to someone who is considering the van life as to let them know what mistakes not to make. Very inspiring, good to know there's still good people out there.

  8. Note to millennials (including Jeff): If you once bought and sold stocks online for a couple months or years in your 20s, you weren't a fucking investment banker. You can refer to yourself as a day trader. Stockbroker would be a stretch. But a fucking investment banker? Absolutely not. Quit trying to fucking inflate your skillsets and expertise. An investment banker is an individual who usually works as part of a financial institution to raise capital for corporations, governments, etc.
    It's great that you're off pursuing your dreams. Do it for as long as you can. But don't fucking tell people you left your job as an investment banker. That shit might fly with your friends, but to the adults in the room it's just bullshit that destroys your credibility.

  9. Awesome and very inspiring video. It's always great to hear about other people who have left the rat race to live a free life. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I tried the whole go to college thing because my older sister went to college and excelled at it. I was told to go to school but I hated it. Tried the military. Been doing it for 8 years and to be honest I’m miserable. I’m just ready to hop in my own future van ( started a savings account towards it) go where I wanna go and wake up in a different sun every day and meet some new faces.

  11. One of the most functional living space. Totally agree, if you are doing to runaway, probably not a good idea

  12. Love your van, and addtude towards livin.
    I will be doing your kitchen set up out side,
    I think it's the best I've seen for a cargo van set up, love the roll down screen also.
    Thank you for respecting our world.
    "Free Montgomery"

  13. I'm a single white man I'm 58 years old now and most of my life I would get in a lot of trouble because of my drinking alcohol and not wanting to obey the law so I get locked up a lot sorry used up a lot of my years doing that and then this last job I had after leaving now it's a long story but then I realized I'm want to do pretty much what he's doing I have an SUV and I don't have a lot of room like him and I'm kind of disabled too so I just a lot of things I can't do but I do want to go travel and I do want to do what I didn't do before and didn't allow myself to do before because of my lifestyle back then but I really think this guy's doing really good I praise him for his smartness just disobey the law and and the major cities and stuff and be cool with alcohol you know not don't have a key in the ignition to have alcohol in your van or they'll give you a DUI they can I mean and they can tell you if they can tell your vehicle put you in jail and give you a DUI it's all bad so if you have alcohol in that van somewhere have a head and in a good place cuz they're really strict about that even if you're not drunk and you just you know how it or drinking or whatever they're they could turn a good night into a bad light so I just gave it up altogether and I'm having a pretty good life now I have a in common so it's all good so I just some kind of working on my SUV and trying to make it better and I really thank God for giving me this last chance to do something in my life before I pass away

  14. all I wanted to talk about that a little bit to use in the year video you were talking about the the cold times when it's cold and stuff I have an SUV and I have a outstanding heater and that's outstanding air conditioner but you know that's running gas when you have to have it on with the engine running but yeah then you you need to do that you need to you don't have a good heater good air conditioner you need to you don't have good clothing for when it's winter time because it will get cold I mean it'll get cold in you'll start thinking while this is not totally cool I remember there were a few days and nights said it was just pouring rain I mean pouring rain like unreal pouring rain and I'd be in the van I'll be nice and warm you know it's all good but you know I'm in you know I mean SUVs but I mean yeah this called Azores hot days it's just some you got to be able to handle that but me being in a cell for so many years the smallest cell I've been in with a 5 ft wide and 11 feet long 2 Men and I made it through that many times so I can definitely get an SUV and be fine and I'm comfortable in my own skin you have to be able to be comfortable in your own skin be cool with you and love yourself as long as you can do that as long as you love you and you're cool at times being completely alone and you can handle that then this is probably okay life for you A lot of people I don't think can handle this though me I can't I so used to all this

  15. When I get my travel van I am going to steal your storage solution. It's so uncluttered and tidy. I admire you young people so much for choosing your lifestyle and not just going with the status quo. The pull-out stove is genius.

  16. WOW ??? the easy life, sooo much more enjoyable! ?????? …. i gotta say "Girls in the bikinis …" but taking out the double bed ????? SOMETHING is not right here … but i guess he knows best what it would be. GREAT ideas, easy life and less worries! Enjoy your trips! Just too bad, he enjoys the bikini girls only……

  17. He is an ass, the flat cap brim and the "company insignia gotta represent" bullshit. Fuck him.

  18. This is one amazing journey from riches to happiness. We make the biggest impacts on society…when we change our own lives in drastic ways. i must say, generally speaking. For the betterment of self & others. Thank you for sharing this individuals journey. i love his backdoor screen idea.

  19. That work life makes anyone want to do this.. I’m so sick of responsibilities/doing for everyone else/ life

  20. Nice,,,been on my way a while,,lol,, just down sizing to a mini van,,,,started with a 31 ft rv,,, then smaller , smaller and smaller ! Lol no escape,,, just life to the max! Thanks for the video! I started at 55 years old, retired twice! Lol now fixin to b 65 and just diggin it!!

  21. funny people in vans but still need phones and laptops and promoting their van life, on youtube for views. attention addiction even in a van

  22. Good for you Jeff!! I wish more people like would realize that the "American Dream" is more of a corporations agenda then the individual trying to live the "American Dream"!!!

  23. Investment banking must really suck. I am always hearing about people who made so much money but then suddenly leave it all behind. You never hear stories about people who were broke as fuck and then decided a van was cheaper way to live.

  24. Used to have a '63 Econoline. Loved it. Used it for camping and work truck. Would love to get newish Chevy Express LWB since Ford no longer makes the Econoline. Putting either a high-top or poptop on it, so I can stand up inside.

  25. weird question how did you run your wires to inverter. i have a solar like your but only 100 watt .and a 700 inverter .i cant figure out how to switch from my battery that i have for solar that also runs my inverter .to be switch to vehcile battery any advice

  26. OH I WISH I HAD THAT SET UP U HAVE I LIVE IN A PRIUS most of the time my job is
    Love my job if you ever need any quality men’s face wash and skin care I have the best made from royal jelly keeps you looking like a baby ?try it promise you’ll love it I use it daily ❤️

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