Nat & Abi travel have been travelling full-time in their van Towanda for the last 18 months. They travel with their furry companions Bear & Peluche. Natalie is a very keen chef and likes to be creative in the kitchen, you should check out her pandemic meal here, amazing food created from van pantry non-perishables. Nat is so passionate about cooking that every week she creates a new vegan dish for their YouTube channel, while Abi uses her videographer skills to capture the magic! You can check it out on their Insta too #letsplayrideandeat
Which country are you based in at the moment?
We are currently based in the United States
How long have you been travelling in your van?
My wife and I have been traveling in our van for a year and 6 months now
Are you Part-time of Full-time Vanlifers?
We are full time vanlifers
What’s your van kitchen set-up?
Our kitchen set up is spacious with a counter half the length of the van with tons of cabinet storage. We went with a durable live edge white pine countertop and recycled wood backsplash that has a nook for my spices.
We went with a smaller sink to save prep space and also chose an unfixed two stove burner that runs off of clean burning, denatured alcohol. I also keep a portable one burner gas stove that holds a single butane burner. My main go to’s are my Tojiro series Gyuto Chef’s knife, 12.5” and 8” Amsha kitchen cast iron pans, my Vitamix blender, and my Instapot. We have a 45 QT top load 12 volt fridge and I very much enjoy my tiny hand and tiny whisk! I also do a heavy amount of my cooking over an outside fire.
What’s your favourite feature in your van?
I would say our favorite feature of the van is our live edge countertop. The bedroom nook at the end of the kitchen cabinets is pretty sweet too.
What is your favourite van kitchen gadget?
My favorite van kitchen gadget is definitely my vitamix, but my knife is in constant use so it is the most necessary.
What’s the best meal you have had in your van?
The best meal we’ve had would hands down be the Indian Thali I prepared in Baja Mexico. It was a pop up restaurant I ran with a friend. A thali consists of various veggies, rice, pita bread, and condiments using your hands and pita to eat with. I made roughly 20 items on a one pot burner for around 15 people in my van parked on the beach. The dinner sold out. I even made some meat eaters vegan believers. It was the most important experience in my culinary career.
What’s the worst meal you have had in your van?
The worst meal we’ve ever had was when we were down to basically nothing In the van. We hadn’t done a grocery run in over two weeks. We tried to make morning oats with quinoa. The sweetness did not work out very well!
What do you cook most in your van?
We eat plant based in the van. We make a lot of salads, ramen and rice bowls, and hearty veggie/bean dishes with bold spice.
Do you have any funny vanlife stories to share?
One of the funniest vanlife stories we remember would be when we were in Northern California at a travel center. We pulled up because we needed to plug into shore power for awhile to charge our batteries and saw an outlet by their propane fill up area. We were working in the van, minding our own business when a cop knocked on our door. We didn’t ask to use the outlet so I figured we were getting in trouble even though that seemed silly. I opened the door and he just wanted to say how cool the van was and talk about how he was interested in the lifestyle! We showed him the rig and he lended to the idea that being a cop wasn’t where he wanted to be in life anymore. After the chat we told him to follow our travels and he was off. About five minutes later, we got another knock. I opened to a lady with a bag. She said she was from the church down the way and brought us two meals they had extra from a potluck. She said she saw the cop “harassing” us and felt bad. She said she wanted to feed us since we were “down on our luck” lol We didn’t tell her we were living our dream lives and were financially sound. It was sweet. We paid it forward by giving the food to a drunk dude at the bar we went to that night. Silly things happen in this life.
You can catch up with Abi & Natalie through the social media links on their profile. Head to their profile to have a look at their favourite recipes to make in their van
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