Freelancing Vanlife Thru-Hiking & the Rugged Outdoors,
with Christine Reed
Christine Reed is an author and freelancer who has traveled extensively around the states in three different vans as part of the vanlife movement, and she's looking forward to partnering soon with a company that builds out vans for people who intend to travel and live in them as opposed to RVs or other styles of tiny homes. She loves the rugged outdoors and long-distance backpacking and wrote her first book, a memoir titled Alone in Wonderland. In her book and in talks at events such as TinyFest, REI and other outdoorsy supply stores, Christine shares her personal journey from sedentary office worker/retail worker to a lifestyle of freedom and adventure. Christine likes to inspire people to see something bigger for themselves but is also quick to share about her own struggles with loneliness at times on the road or trail and how she's come to find ways of embracing some of that discomfort and connecting with her own self as well as with others.
In this episode, Christine talks about what it's been like to be a self-published author on tour during a global pandemic and how that's affected the timeline of her book tour while also running a freelance business as a writer and social media manager. She does work from her home base in the Denver and sometimes Phoenix area, sometimes a few weeks or a month at a time. When she went from hiking extensively on the Appalachian and Wonderland Trail to staying somewhere different nearly every night while on tour, it was socially and physically exhausting for her as someone who tends toward the introverted side. She's learned to balance the amount of time she travels with the amount of time she can spend outdoors and working and resting. Her days are often spent at libraries and coffee shops for wifi, and she generally has signal and access to wifi as she generally stays close to metropolitan areas when she's working. Christine loves the freedom that her vanlife lifestyle has allowed, but she recommends that people who are considering it for the first time go ahead and rent a van first to see if it's something that they really want to invest in, most people know within the first 6 months if it's sustainable for them.
Some of the tools and tips that Christine recommends for working remotely, and specifically while on the road to some extent, include keeping a structured calendar to avoid work creeping into free time and scheduling Zoom sessions with work-from-home and other vanlife friends for accountability and socialization. Her book was really a sort of a catalyst for her to get where she is now. It was the first move into a more alternative lifestyle, and she wouldn't be working remotely without it; but the book, at the same time, also helps give her the freedom to keep hiking every year. She intends to write her second book soon, so stay tuned!
Christine can be found in the following places:
Instagram or Tiktok: @ruggedoutdoorswoman