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Photographer Captures the “Van Life” While on a Scenic Road Trip Across America

Travis Burke

Plymouth Voyager, Ford Econoline, Dodge Ram–these were some of the full-sized vans that came around during the 1980’s,  and they were all the rage if you wanted space and comfort. Some of them were produced longer than others, as newer, smaller versions of the family van were introduced to the motoring public. Still, for those that experienced full-sized vans, there is no replacement for the generous amounts of space these V-8 powered behemoths brought. Perhaps this was what a grandmother had in mind when she purchased a 1994 Dodge Ram, but little did she know that it would inspire an epic adventure for her grandson, Travis Burke.

Travis Burke travel photo van life

There it was in his grandma’s front yard as a 28-year-old Burke, from Oceanside, California, made up his mind to customize the spacious van into a home away from home that could travel across the US. Spending $8,000 and nearly half a year of work, the Dodge Ram was fitted to be like a small camper. Today it has a sink, a fold-out bed, a mini fridge, microwave, dual solar panels, storage space and a generator to boot. With the customized van all set, Burke began his marathon road trip. So far, he has generated quite some interest in his journey, and now has 190,000 followers on Instagram.

Travis Burke travel photo series

So far, Burke has spent 16 months touring some of the most scenic places in North America, turning him into a professional adventure photographer. Among his stunning photographs are that of the Milky Way Galaxy as well as some exquisite hidden waterfalls.

Travis Burke travel photography

He and the van have traversed in excess of 60,000 miles across the US and parts of Canada. Burke’s time is mostly occupied by documenting the fantastic scenery, and collaborating with various sponsors and brands to fuel his profession as an adventure photographer.

Travis Burke travel photos

Admittedly, this lifestyle has a downside too, such as juggling meager finances, and being alone away from family and friends. But all things considered, he would not have it any other way. He refers to his current existence as the “van life,” and is at the end of the day an incredibly satisfied with the journey as well as the chance to share it with others through his images.

Travis Burke travel photo

“I really hope to inspire people to get out and explore their own backyard,” says Burke. “You don’t need to plan an elaborate vacation to wind up in a beautiful and unique landscape. I constantly try to push myself to the next level and I hope that I can creatively encourage others to do the same.”

Follow the exploits of this land roving adventurer here.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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