Woman Dumps Her Boyfriend, Quits Job, and Lives Van Life with Dog


I think that a young woman named Sydney Ferbrache may have figured out the meaning of life.

The 24-year-old travels all over the U.S. in a van with her dog Ella. Before she took the big plunge and decided to live the nomad life, Ferbrache dumped her boyfriend, worked three jobs to save enough money to buy a van, quit her jobs, and now works remotely from her laptop.

Not a bad plan, if I do say so myself!

And of course she’s on Insta. So here are some awesome pics of Ferbrache and Ella on the open road!

1. A portrait of the traveler.

2. With her constant companion.

3. Looks like a great set-up.

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I was on the road and constantly moving ALL of last year without ever digging to the bottom of my storage benches or really even cleaning out the corners of my van (which was very much needed). So we’ve been taking a bit of a breather in Tahoe with @theasherhouse to reset and enjoy these last couple weeks of staying put. I never realize how important it is to slow down until I’m actually doing it. For now, the plan is to explore California until it starts to warm up and then head all the way to Alaska ??? My goal is to move as slow as possible to soak up everything throughout the PNW and British Columbia. I’ve never been north of Portland so I’m SUUUPER excited to see what this year in crazy, new places will bring. – Also, check out last week’s podcast episode with my parents if you haven’t already! They give great advice to parents/guardians whose loved one wants to live a different type of lifestyle. Plus advice to the loved one on how to best approach the conversation! ❤️ I love hearing your thoughts on each episode so let me know what you think once you listen. HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS. ? PS: you’ll never meet a dog with a bigger attitude than Ella ? This picture speaks for itself.

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4. A cup of tea to start off the day.

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Someone asked the other day “how do you know that you’re not running away from something by doing van life and just starting a new life altogether?” The thing is I know I was running from something. I was running full speed away from everything. My life was the opposite of what I wanted it to be so I ran from it and created a new life. I kept my family and friends close but that’s about it. I changed, my belongings changed, and my perspective changed. I would’ve never been face to face with my past if I hadn’t started over. I didn’t forget about it or ignore it. I ran away from it and then sat in a van looking at the mountains with tears streaming down my face thinking about everything I had gone through. I was always too strong to acknowledge that I had been through shit too. Others may have faced worse but that doesn’t mean my past doesn’t count. A couple years ago I was too busy to think for longer than a few seconds so I just didn’t. I put my head down and went to work. Went to school. Followed the rules. But the rules didn’t help me like they’re supposed to. Being screamed at by my boss and comparing myself to everyone at school wasn’t getting me to where I needed to be. So I ran. And it changed everything.. And I will always be grateful for running. This isn’t to say that you should run too. It’s not a solution for everyone but it was a solution for me, and I’m not ashamed of it at all. PS: I thought there were no dogs while taking this photo but later realized.. that was not the case ?

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5. That’s quite a view.

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Ella was the dog that got me through it. She put her head in my lap when I cried in the desert. She made me belly laugh when we were alone for days at a time. She gave me purpose and showed me love and made me strong. I’ve started every morning and ended each night outside every single day on the road because of her. She’s kept me from hiding out in this little space of ours. She gets me outdoors, she keeps me crazy, and she makes me understand the idea of motherhood. She’s not always well behaved and she’s actually a wild teenager right now. But when she climbs up on the bed and nuzzles her face into my body, it brings a kind of peace I didn’t know before. This child has seen it all. Been with me through what feels like everything. She doesn’t know any one place as her home but if she sees me, she knows she’s there. We’ve laid next to each other hundreds of nights staring out these doors in silence for hours like we were watching a movie. And while the screen might change, my date has not. – Pearl is the dog I got when I was ready. She brings a lightness and breath of fresh air to the table. She lets me cuddle at noon when Ella only wants to do sprints. She’s my right hand while Ella is my soulmate. @theasherhouse pack came into my life once I was ready too. And taught me that I could have a million dogs and love them all the same. Totally and completely equal. Each with a different personality and quality to love. But no dog, for as long as I live, will be Ella. She is a once in a lifetime dog and everything would be different without her.

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6. Made a friend!

7. Happy birthday to the pooch.

8. Riding shotgun.

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This morning we went for a long walk through the neighborhood I grew up in. We walked down the court where I played kick ball with all the other kids, showed Ella the trailhead that leads to my secret hideout, and passed the park where I kissed my first love. My whole life I was so desperate to leave this place. I wanted to escape so badly and would dream of all the places I’d get to explore some day. But it’s funny now that I get to do exactly what I always dreamed of, I drive thousands of miles across the country to get back here. To see the place I deemed mundane and boring. To type this from the kitchen table where I ate breakfast every day before school and had to endure way too many “family talks”. Traveling for me is exciting, intoxicating, and constantly teaches me new things that I would probably never learn otherwise. But being home is familiar, comforting, and re-teaches me all the things I’ve already known but forgot somewhere along the way. – So many of us are desperate to escape. To get out there and leave it all behind. But I wish I would’ve seen this place for what it was all along. Don’t be like me and wait until you return to find the magic where you are now. There’s a kind of beauty in the boring that you won’t find in the excitement.

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9. Working from the van.

10. Looks like quite an adventure!

All I can say is that I’m incredibly jealous of this lifestyle.

What do you think? Does it look like fun or way too difficult for you?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments!