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Woman Leaves Job And Five-Year Relationship To Live In Van With Dog

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Woman Leaves Job And Five-Year Relationship To Live In Van With Dog

A woman decided to ditch her 9-5 job and leave her relationship to go and live in a van with her dog.

Linnea Schmelzer, 26, from Wisconsin, US, lives in a van in a remote area in Idaho with her German Shepherd Akela.

Linnea spent just $7,500 (£5,308) renovating the van, which she has called Togo, and now runs her own online health business.

Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

Linnea said: "I did enjoy my life prior to the van. It was filled with building my future, spending time with friends, working on my relationship with my partner at the time and being really active in more ways than one.

"I will say, though, I was excited for something different and more fulfilling.

"I knew in my heart that my life wasn't really what I wanted it to be.

"I was seeking more depth, purpose, travels and experiences, so I decided to get Togo."

Linnea says she got the urge to travel so decided to uproot her life - including her five-year relationship - and buy herself a van so she could go on adventures on the open road.

Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

She splashed out $20,000 (£14,156) on the van and another $7,500 (£5,308) on turning it into a liveable space, with electricity, a bed frame and cabinets.

However, Togo doesn't have a bathroom - meaning Linnea relies on public bathrooms, or the wilderness when she needs to use the toilet, and showers using a special shower tent and a six-litre dromedary she stores in the van.

"I wanted Togo to feel like a tiny cabin," she explained.

"I knew I would spend the majority of my time alone and wanted a space that felt comforting, earthy, and cosy.

"My build is very simple; no shower, no water pump, no toilet - but I knew that I would be perfectly happy without those luxuries.

Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

"I truly think it's beautiful that we all have different definitions of living a content life."

And it's not just Linnea who loves the nomadic lifestyle, as she reckons Akela 'has the best life'.

She said: "Akela is as comfortable on my bed as she is in our two-person tent in the wilderness.

"She is my ultimate travel partner and companion, and I can't imagine doing any of this without her.

"With that being said, she does take up a lot of space, and she leaves hair everywhere.

"I don't mind this though, I understand it's just all a part of it!

"She is also protective of the van and myself, which makes me feel much more comfortable knowing that she will always warn me of danger.

Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

"Akela truly has the best life.

"First thing every morning she gets to play outside or run with me.

"She loves to swim, hike, climb mountains, and explore... and she gets to do that almost every day of her life."

Featured Image Credit: Jam Press

Topics: Interesting, US

Claire Reid
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