Haily & Romain

Haily is from Connecticut. Romain is from France. Their dog, Pinto, is from Nicaragua. They all met on a tiny Caribbean island. And now they live in Canada in an even tinier place, a 1996 Dodge Campervan. Together, they offer online yoga and wellness products to travelers on a budget. Find out how they help people through their journey in a van.

I found my future on a Caribbean island. Two years ago, I quit my job, put on my backpack and traveled to a two square mile speck of sand off the coast of Nicaragua to teach yoga. This was the start to my solo traveling life.

How long would I do it? A year? Maybe two? I wasn’t sure.

I’d always been inundated with material things. And the thought of being without them for too long quite frankly freaked me out.

Within a (very) short time, I met Romain, a Scuba dive instructor from France, who was running a hotel, bar and restaurant.

And in even shorter time after that, I had found a tiny puppy, that would later be a giant, and would help keep us warm in our campervan in Canada.

Little Corn Island doesn’t have cars or motorbikes. It doesn’t have full-time electricity or hot water. It was difficult to get the supplies we needed. It does have breathtaking beaches, the most chill vibe and people who would become life-long friends. Living in such a remote place wasn’t always easy though. Eventually the country was too unstable for us to stay in it, but I learned how little truly I needed and what mattered the most to me.  

It wasn’t the material things I couldn’t live without. It was the people (and animals) I love, wellness, art and choosing experience over things.

That was when we decided that vanlife was for us. It was the perfect way to share our love for travel, the planet, and helping people along their journey to happiness and health all while discovering what living wildly well meant for us. 

We came back to the states and bought a 1996 Dodge Explorer, 230. It was already a camper, but a lot of work needed to be done. We wanted to make it our own and be self sufficient in power. Everything needed to be torn out. We installed solar panels, LED lights, and redesigned the interior based on our needs. As an integrative nutrition health coach, the kitchen was important to me. We made more counter space and storage room for our essential cooking supplies. Now, we make sure our fruit and veggie hammock and spice rack are always fully stocked.

Traveling has taught me that food doesn’t have to be just what we eat. We can feed ourselves with creativity, healthy relationships and joy. We can fuel ourselves with time in nature, with good conversation, with singing a goofy song while we drive along a bumpy road. Living in a van allows us to spend time on our passion projects, and we’re lucky enough to share those. We went from a tiny island, to a tinier van. Living this small made us realize how vastly huge our world is and what we have to discover. If there’s any advice we have for you, it’s to make your own paradise, wherever you are. Dig your toes in the sand, snow, dirt—whatever. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Follow Haily & Romain of Create Nourish Move

Produced & edited by Kathleen Morton of Tiny House, Tiny Footprint.
Photos courtesy of Haily Cryan.