Story by Ian Horgan |

August 9, 2017 |

Q&A with Wayfarer Wanderer Shanna Trenholm

Wayfarer Vans: Where do you live?

Shanna Trenholm: San Diego.

WV: How long have you had your Wayfarer Van?

Shanna: About 4 months.

WV: Does your van have a name? If so, what is it? Is there a story behind it?

Shanna: Yes, her name is Millie.

I named her after my maternal grandmother who (along with my mom) was like a parent—and one of the funniest and kindest persons I’ve ever known. My grandma was tiny and spunky, just like my van.

I like feeling as if I have her spirit with me when I travel.

WV: What’s your favorite spot you and your Wayfarer Van have been, so far, and why?

Shanna: Oh, it’s so hard to pick one favorite place! In June I drove 3,000 miles in 3 weeks spending time in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. I loved the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado—something about that place is magical—it’s ancient and timeless.

WV: What was the first thing you learned/discovered when you took your camper van out for its maiden voyage?

Shanna: I learned that I could easily live in my van for extended periods of time. Three weeks was a piece of cake. I had everything I needed, and I was very comfortable.

Fortunately, I didn’t make too many missteps as to what I brought with me—I’m a minimalist, so I pack light—there were only a few things I needed that were easily obtained along the way.

I also learned that I love being on the road, traveling (slowly) on my own timeline and going where my whims take me. I’m looking forward to my next trip in a few weeks!

WV: What’s been your biggest challenge while traveling in your Wayfarer Van and how did you overcome it?

Shanna: My biggest challenge was finding a place to sleep—sometimes. This wasn’t a major issue, and fortunately because of the size and stealth factor of the van, I could pull over at a rest stop or city park or whatever and take a nap if I needed to. Some days, though, I drove far too many hours looking for the perfect place. The way I overcame that issue was to NOT break camp on the weekends. I’d be sure I had arrived to wherever I was going on a Sunday-Thursday—staying put on Fridays and Saturdays. That plan pretty much solved the problem.

WV: Do you have a favorite or essential travel item that you never leave behind? If so, what is it and why?

Shanna: I have two. My Goal Zero Yeti 400 power station. It keeps all my devices and my lights charged and I can recharge it while driving or via my 50 watt Renogy solar panel. The other travel essential is my 20-quart Orca cooler—that thing holds ice for several days—fresh food is key to staying healthy on the road.

WV: Do you have a big trip planned or in mind? If so, where and why?

Shanna: Well, I just took that 3-week trip in June 2017, and I am headed back out for another 3-4 weeks this month (August 2017). I plan to travel to Wyoming for the total solar eclipse on the 21st and I’ll travel through Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon (where I used to live) and back to San Diego via the length of California. That should add another 3,000 to 4,000 miles to my Wayfarer!

WV: What has been the most memorable experience or pleasant surprise while traveling in your Wayfarer?

Shanna: I’ve had so many memorable moments. I love how my internal clock adjusts to the natural rhythms of nature—I wake up with the sun and go to bed, most nights, shortly after sundown. I’ve seen many gorgeous sunsets and watched the full moon rise over the mountains with the murmur of the Arkansas River (Colorado) for a soundtrack.

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it is to sleep, and just be, in the Wayfarer van—it truly is my second home!

WV: What is it that you love the most about your Wayfarer Van (could be an unexpected benefit)?

Shanna: I love how stealthy it is, how much storage I have inside, and how everything—the benches, the storage, the kitchen, and the table are just the right size—nothing more and nothing less. It really is perfect.

WV: Why did you choose a Wayfarer Van and what advice would you give to others who are considering Wayfarer?

Shanna: I didn’t want to spend time looking around for someone to build out the interior. I wanted something modular, clean, and minimal that was already proven and done. I don’t have the time, tools, or inclination to get into a lengthy build process—I just wanted to get on the road! Plus, integrity and quality is really important to me—Ian at Wayfarer, and his product, have both those qualities in spades!

I’d encourage others to do their research, look around, and decide what you really need. Systems like bathrooms and running water, etc. might seem enticing, but mostly they are a hassle. I have no desire to clean out waste tanks, and I didn’t want to worry about systems failing. Simple is best!

WV: Final words or comments—anything you’d like others to know?

Shanna: It’s a cliché, but life is so short. Ask yourself, like I did, “What are you waiting for?” There’s never a perfect time—the time is right now. Don’t regret not doing it. There’s so much to see in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico—and all from the comfort of your little home on wheels!

Wayfarer Vans – Final Words

Shanna and Milo (her traveling pup) really live by their own words of advice, “what are you waiting for?”

Before Shanna had purchased her Wayfarer Van we’d mentioned she could rent one, testing it out before making her final decision. Instead, she opted out of renting because she didn’t want to give herself any excuse and purchased ‘Millie’ plus her Camper Kit, sight unseen.

Since then she’s been on the move and we’re amazed at how quickly she’s overcome some of her initial hesitations.  In fact, she’s become so successful at breaking down those fears, getting out there and experiencing life through travel, that she’s helping to educate and share with others who are thinking of doing the same. On her website and blog you can learn more about: the joys of solo travel, how she plans for extended road trips, her favorite gear, and much more.

Shanna is a real inspiration, traveling solo for thousands of miles, stopping and soaking in all of life’s experiences.

If you want to follow her, Millie and Milo’s adventures you can also find her on Instagram at @averagewhitevan