Alyssa Ackerman: An Open-Ended Mission to Explore Human Landscapes... from a DIY Van

Alyssa Ackerman (@alyrose15 on Instagram) is a Michigan native with a passion for travel and studying humans. From the road, she’s a Digital Marketing consultant, content creator, yogi, hiker, and photographer. In January 2016, Alyssa headed out in a DIY van to explore the United States. She converted her vehicle into a fully functioning unit including DIY sink build, storage shelf and table, cushions and curtains, extending couch and bed, (even) a solar panel installation. She created an entire DIY section on her website.

Alyssa also brought her marketing strategy and social media skills along on the road. Instead of traveling like a tourist, she decided to tell stories. Not just her own, but others' along the way.

Tools and Resources mentioned on the show:

Show Notes:

(Timestamps are approximate): 

  • [02:40] Who is Alyssa Ackerman?
  • [03:18] What triggered Alyssa to start such an adventure?
  • [08:20] How is Alyssa journaling her experience?
  • [12:00] Who are the people that Alyssa visits/networks with?
  • [14:53] What are the most interesting interactions with Alyssa’s network/followers/family? 
  • [18:20] How is Alyssa trading of financial stability and spiritual freedom?
  • [22:57] Alyssa’s comments about freelancing and the new world trends in working remotely.
  • [24:41] How is Alyssa dealing with nutrition and health while on the road? (She wrote this article for MindBodyGreen)
  • [32:12] How did Alyssa handled the transition to ‘solo-travel-time’?
  • [35:40] How does Alyssa deals with emotional challenges?
  • [38:01] How to spot a safe place to park/sleep in an unfamiliar place?
  • [40:55] Alyssa speaks to the use of technology to fight loneliness
  • [43:55] Personal finance on the road
  • [45:40] How does Alyssa spend her 'free time'?
  • [51:20] Alyssa’s comments about the future.

Favorite Quotes:

  • My family is happiest when I am not posting, because it means I am living and not thinking about capturing and sharing for other people.
  • One major thing (this trip) helped me learn is to be intentional about my social circles. It helped contextualizing it.
  • The biggest financial mindshift is simply that I can live with A LOT less...
  • I’m not so focused on saving more, but I’m learning how to spend very little and that will continue to be a trend in my life.
  • The best place to get sick is on a farm surrounded by people focused on holistic living. 
  • A big lesson I learned is to keep going. When I get lost, I keep driving. The act of driving is what I do when I don’t know what to do… it feels like home.

To learn more about Alyssa and stay up-to-date on her journey, visit her blog: http://www.aplaceandallitscreatures.com/ and follow her on Instagram.

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