- As the coronavirus spread across the world, world travelers Kara and Nate Buchanan had to change their lifestyle.
- To keep up their travels safely, the couple bought and renovated a converted Mercedes Benz sprinter van in the US.
- They spend their days working remotely, trying local foods, and exploring the outdoors.
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Kara and Nate Buchanan spent the last four years traveling the world.
Kara and Nate saved up $35,000 to travel the world in 2016.
The plan was to travel for a year or until the money ran out. At the time, the couple was working in wedding videography and decided to use their skills to document their adventures and upload the videos to YouTube.
They visited 100 countries in just four years and documented their experiences on YouTube.
Six months in, Kara and Nate realized that they loved traveling so much that they didn't want it to end after just one year.
So they got serious about their YouTube channel, posting more consistently and building revenue streams around it like sponsorships.
"We thrive off of being pushed outside of our comfort zones and experiencing new cultures," Nate told Insider.
By 2018, the couple's ad revenue from their YouTube channel was covering the expenses of their travel.
Kara and Nate also make money through sponsorships, affiliates, and Patreon, a subscription platform where you can purchase a membership to access a creator's work.
International travel restrictions during the pandemic paused Kara and Nate's worldwide adventures.
So the couple adapted by purchasing a $40,000 converted sprinter van in the US for their travels.
Read more: Inside a $3,000 camper trailer from the 1970s that a woman transformed into a tiny home on wheels
They bought a van with a full bathroom to be self-sufficient amid a pandemic.
After purchasing the van in Atlanta, Georgia, Kara and Nate took it for a test trip to the Smoke Mountains in their home state of Tennessee.
Then they spent about two weeks and $5,000 renovating it to better suit their needs.
Read more: A woman bought a $3,000 camper trailer from the 1970s and spent $2,000 transforming it into her 'perfect little house'
They turned the clothing closet into a charging safe for electronics.
After four years of living out of a suitcase, the couple had no problem stuffing their clothes into drawers and cabinets instead.
Their van also features a work space …
Read more: How a couple turned the $40,000 van where they live full-time into a tiny home office
… that transforms into a bed. "Everything worked," Kara said of the van. "We just made everything work a little bit better for us."
Starting in Tennessee, the couple traveled to Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado and continued west.
Kara and Nate typically start each day in their van with coffee for breakfast.
For lunch, it's usually a smoothie full of almond milk, spinach, peanut butter, frozen fruits, and nutrient powders made by Kara.
For dinner, Kara and Nate usually get take out. They enjoy trying local foods in the states that they visit.
When they're not driving or eating, Kara and Nate spend their days doing socially distanced activities, like hiking and fly fishing.
While the couple has been to countries all over the planet, they hadn't spent much time traveling domestically before 2020.
Read more: A former political analyst who quit their job to travel in an RV with 2 dogs shares the reality of van life that you don't see on Instagram
"It's been kind of fun to force ourselves to see more of our home country," Kara said.
Read more: 5 tips for working remotely anywhere from the CEO who works by a beach in the Canary Islands
For Kara and Nate, the best part of van life is having everything they need to survive with them at all times.
They love returning from a tiring hike, kicking off their shoes, and just being home without having to drive anywhere.
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