- I've gone to areas and I knew it wasn't where I should be.
And it's not like when you GPS it tells you, you know, which side of town's the Black side of town.
I'm just very friendly.
You speak to everybody "How you doing?"
You get your groceries, you get whatever and you just leave.
But I'm not gonna let someone else's opinion of me, based on my skin color, effect how I live my life.
If I wanna go there I'm gonna go and then if I don't feel safe then I'll leave and that's the beauty of the lifestyle.
(gentle acoustic music) My name's Crystal and I've been living in a vehicle for three years and living full-time on the road for a year, in my van.
I was married, second marriage and the second marriage was not going well.
We were basically living like roommates and it had been like that for a couple years, so I wasn't happy, he wasn't happy.
We were very, very deep in debt and I was trying to figure out how can we get out of debt, how can we pay what we owe, you know?
I started downsizing my own stuff to let him, you know, show him, you know, we can live with less and live well and, so when I saw he wasn't on board I just kept going with the mindset that the marriage was done and watched everything I could on YouTube about tiny houses and the next think you know I'm recommended van dwelling.
What is van dwelling?
And so the first three videos I was like "Oh my freakin' jeez."
It's almost like a light bulb and I was like "I can do that!"
(laughing) I just left, left the husband, left the condo and hit the road and that was it, never looked back.
I feel like life is really meant to be lived and we're not really living it.
We're living for bills.
We're living to pay bills, we're living to keep a roof over our heads.
So right now I'm living on my YouTube money.
It's not much.
It consistently is right around the 600 to 700 a month mark.
I was hoping YouTube would fully support me, it's just not right now.
It was just a journal for me.
If I'm not doing anything that day I'll just jump on live and we'll just chat.
Yeah, there we go.
Hi Andrea and Debra and T&T and Krystal with a K. Carla says "I'm a Black American "and I would like to know, "are there lots of Black people doing van life?
"I am concerned."
There are quite a few Black people living the van life.
"Good to know there are more of us Black folk "out here on the road."
Yeah, there are.
I run into people and of all age ranges too, just get out there and do it.
108 watching and 100 thumbs up, that'll do it for me, thanks guys, I love you so much.
Mwah, bye family!
There are some people who are currently looking for a van, there are some that are in a vehicle or a van and there are some that are just wishing and hoping one day to do it and there are some that know that they can't do it, but they wanna live vicariously through me, so they wanna see me succeed.
There's really no logistics to this trip at all, except hitting some states I haven't gone to yet, that's all.
And I try and do meetups, so that I can meet some of my subscribers.
I like being able to put faces with names.
- Hey there!
- Hey lady!
- How are you?
- How are you?
- I'm doing good, it's nice to see you.
- What's your name?
Linda, Linda, Linda and you got a van!
(gentle upbeat music) - A hundred year old lobster, I don't know if I wanna eat that.
(laughing) What are you looking for?
- I've looked at a couple vans.
I don't want one that I have to rebuild and do a whole lot of stuff to.
- But don't skimp on a good van just 'cause you're afraid to build it out, because you can always go to a salvage place and pull parts out of a vehicle that are in good shape and put them in a regular van.
- Most of the people that you see on YouTube are full-timing and they're out West, they're chasing the t-shirt weather and I'm not going to be about that for a while, so I need to develop a tribe of people, people I can travel and connect with.
- You go on Bob Well's website, the actual website, go into the forum, join the forum and go into the women's section and you could just type in there "Who's from the East Coast?
"I'm from Maine, I'm looking for a tribe "to kind of hang out with and do some part-timing van dwelling," and whoever answers you, then you can kinda, I mean, but trust your gut.
- Honestly, a Black woman on the road.
You don't, I mean, I don't have a problem.
If you're Caucasian, you're Caucasian, but we see you everywhere, but you don't see Black people doing things that are fun and that are weird.
We can do things too.
- Okay, all right, let's go do some laundry.
(laughing) I would've never in a million years thought that I'd be traveling the whole country, never.
I would still be in Virginia if my mindset hadn't been, you know, to live tiny.
I would still be stuck there working jobs that I didn't like, you know, disappointed with life.
I think a lot of people are realizing that the American dream is not necessarily everybody's dream.
It is not necessarily the only dream.
I'm living my dream.
(gentle uplifting music)