Drifting House and the road trip to happiness.

Nick and Maggie have moved into a Sprinter with their dog Pushkin. Their daily challenge: To reconcile work and travel.

Everyday life on four wheels.

A desert in the middle of the USA. As night falls, a sea of stars emerges from the firmament that is seldom seen elsewhere. In front of this scenery is a black van with a camera tripod on its roof. Then a woman with a cowboy hat gets out of the vehicle, followed by a big, snow-white, long-haired four-legged friend. The three are Nick, Maggie and their dog Pushkin. They have been living and working in their Sprinter for some time and have already travelled through 22 different US states.

  • View of a black van from afar
  • A white dog lolling in front of a van
  • A bird's eye view of a Sprinter at a river
  • A camper on a riverbed, with a mountain landscape in the background

The Sprinter as a work place.

How did it come to this? “We spent so much time traveling before we even had a van that we were wasting money on rent for a condo that was basically just used for storage while we were traveling. Moving into a van made perfect sense for our lifestyle,” explains Nick. They cleverly combine the pleasant with the useful: Nick works as a freelance photographer and blogger, while Maggie is a web developer. A mobile Internet connection allows them to pursue their activities in the van from any location. We have summarized additional tips and tricks for a workplace on two axes for you later on.

A Sprinter in a forest, as a thunderstorm comes up in the sky

Even in bad weather the couple feels safe in their Sprinter.

From geology to photography.

Nick is actually a geologist and photography was originally just a hobby. But after uploading some expressive pictures of their outdoor adventures on Instagram, some outdoor brands became aware of him and offered to work with him. His hobby became his profession, which since then has enabled them to cover their running costs.

Nick’s photo motifs include landscapes, outdoor activities, events and weddings. Often this also results in their next route. They plan to continue their journey in Minnesota to attend the weddings of a few friends. If there are no photo shoots at fixed locations on the schedule, they decide according to their mood where they want to go next: “We base our travels on what we want to see (waterfalls, mountains, stars, etc.) We also have to take into account how warm our destinations are due to the fact that our dog needs cooler temperatures.”

Nick's and Maggie's workplace on two axes: What is important?

  1. The right working model: Go independent or work as a freelancer! Enjoy maximum flexibility and work when and where you want – ideal for travelling around in a van.
  2. The right job: Find a job that does not require your personal presence. The Internet is your best friend here: Meetings and customer conversations can be conducted via video conference, while files – whether small or large – can be exchanged via VPN access, cloud services & Co.
  3. The right equipment: If you are dependent on the Internet for your work, you also have to make sure you have a regular connection when you travel. Your own smartphone can serve as a makeshift hotspot. In addition, cafés and libraries are a good place to go to profit from free Wi-Fi. The latter often also offers the possibility of printing or scanning. If you want a little more comfort, it is worth buying a mobile LTE router for the van.
  4. The right mailbox: The biggest effort is to receive the mail at the right time, at the right place. It is advisable to have permanent access to the letterboxes of parents or other family members. The mailboxes of friends and acquaintances who are on the planned route can also be valuable.

View of Maggie sitting on her bed through the open doors

A new view every day – that is what vanlife means.

Virtual guide through the van.

We found the couple not on Instagram, but on YouTube. Here, too, they are active with their channel called “Drifting House”. On this channel, they share impressions of their travels and also give useful tips, such as how to earn money on the road. On top of that, they lead their community through their van. They bought the Sprinter in California two years ago and then had it converted by a specialist company into a camper van. “We wanted a large van that was also fuel efficient, the handling is great for a vehicle of this size,” reports Nick.

And what does travelling around in a van mean to you? “Seeing something new, anything new, creates a childlike wonderment that is hard to describe and extremely addicting,” explains Nick with a smile.

View from a van at a North American mountain panorama

A normal dining room view from Nick and Maggie.

Nick and Maggie sit in the bed of their camper van and stroke their dog

It is hard to imagine a nicer place to work.

Nick and Maggie sit at a campfire; in the background you can see their van

Sometimes the impressions of the day are processed at the campfire.

A Sprinter in the desert at sunset, in front a white dog

New adventures with the Sprinter.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Nick Zupancich

More Links to explore: Drifting House – @YouTube, @Instagram; Nick@Instagram; Maggie@Instagram; Pushkin@Instagram

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

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