Wow! First blog post…

This is a blog! Welcome to my blog! 😀

Aloha mai kākaou, my name is Leilani. I am new to this blogging thing, but it sure has been something on my mind for quite sometime now. I know I really should have started this years ago during my backpacking trips… But I didn’t and lets not dwell on the past!

I actually will be concentrating here on dwelling in a van, if you can believe it. Just for some background information; me, my sweetheart, and our doggie Kawelo officially moved into our Ford E-350 on Halloween, October 31st of 2015. We started thinking about it several months back. I think Hoapili just mentioned it in passing, he probably came across an article or post on social media and couldn’t get over how cool of an idea it was! He was quickly on board, although I can’t say I was as easy to convince. Live in a van?? Are you crazy?! I’m not homeless! But as we learned, there are these amazing ways you can design and create quite the little tiny home for yourself, which just so happens to be on wheels!

Prior to our “out of the ordinary idea” for our home and lifestyle, we rented a 3 bedroom house in a nice quiet neighborhood, paid outrageous electric, (rent wasn’t really that bad for that size of a house, but in all honestly, 2 people and a dog do NOT need that much space!) we paid for cable, internet, a phone line because we didn’t have signal and water. Once we thought more and more about van life, we were both ready to go for it, especially with how much it would save us and how easy going on adventures would become-we already lived 45 min from school, and drives to most places on the island of Hawaiʻi, where we live, could take upwards of 3 hours! Call us spoiled rotten kids from the small island of Maui, but we really dreaded driving roundtrip anywhere on this island! And getting a hotel was always out of the $$ question, so van life seemed like a perfect solution! We could be wherever we happened to be on the island, drive to a far away place, and be able to sleepover either right by that hike, beach, waterfall, or whatever adventure awaited us, or near by and definitely not 3 hours away! We could literally take our home with us, wherever we went. What a trippy concept!

We talked through a lot of the details, mapped out a lot things, and then began slowly searching for the right van. Postings on Craigslist seemed few and far between, and the ones that were on there were often rusted, old, and had tons of miles. There were none of the Westy’s we saw all over the internet as the ideal home one wheels and we were beginning to think we would have to ship one from the mainland! Anyway, we ended up finding the one and only at the Ford dealership here in Hilo, who was selling it for a Mauna Kea tour group who was selling it as a third party. It came with a nice lift, added 4-wheel drive, and with a topper-tall enough for both of us to stand up in! Which, was pretty much a deal breaker for me, I stand at just above 6’0″ and Hoapili at about 6ʻ3″ish I think. I was instantly in love.


As much as I feel like I need to catch up on about our van life adventures, I think I will end the post here. I will be back soon to give updates, share how we live our lifestyle, and hopefully answer any specific questions anyone may have about van life, our lives, and anything else I can answer!

Me ke aloha nui,

Naʻu nō,



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