Chris and Shelby met in Bible School in the fall of 2010, where they became best friends and fell in love.
They married in October of 2013, and began renting a 490 sq. ft. 1940’s house in Shelby’s hometown of Grandville, Michigan. Their home was cozy and their rent was cheap (only $430 a month), but their favorite thing to do together was to get away from it all, by traveling and exploring new places any time they got the chance.
When they discovered, “vanlife,” on Youtube in December of 2015, their immediate response was, “Let’s do this!” They bought a 1989 Dodge B250 camper van the next month, and began to completely gut and remodel it from the inside out.
The whole process took 2 years and 9 months in their free time, and on a very small budget. Finally, in October of 2018, they moved into the van, which they named Luna, and began to travel full time with their bearded dragon, Hagrid.
Some of their favorite memories have been visiting Carlsbad Caverns, walking through the Redwoods, hiking Yosemite Falls, and swimming with manatees in Crystal River.
They mostly boondock, and rely on their solar set up to power their electricity. Chris and Shelby currently both work remotely 4 days a week for Women At Risk, International, a non-profit primarily known for their work with human trafficking victims. They use email and phone calls to book parties where people volunteer to sell survivor-made products in their own homes, to support Women At Risk’s partnering safe-houses.
There are so many more places they want to explore, and they hope to have a family someday.
So, their newest project is renovating a school bus, turning it into their future home on wheels. But, that project will take a long time! So, they will continue to live in Luna until then.
Chris and Shelby are both big fantasy nerds and love Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. They enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, watching movies, and eating delicious food together. You can follow their journey on their Instagram account, @happy_vagabonds, as well as their Youtube channel happy_vagabonds.
Chris & Shelby
This soup is pure comfort food, and perfect for a cold night in the van! I love making a big pot of soup, and having the leftovers the next night. I always serve this soup with homemade garlic toast, which I make by toasting bread slices in a pan, buttering them, and sprinkling them with Garlic Salt. Bon Appétit!
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers, and sauté until tender. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour, and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
Add chicken broth, potatoes, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium low and cook until potatoes are tender.
While the soup is cooking, fry up the bacon, and set aside.
Once the potatoes are tender, add in the chicken, corn and heavy whipping cream. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, letting the flavors meld.
Serve soup topped with crumbled bacon, freshly squeezed lime, and cheddar cheese. Yum!
Adapted with some changes from Cooking Classy