Hi, we’re Chan and Kyle! We love travel, coffee, beer, and adventure! In 2022, we quit our jobs, sold everything we own, and left to travel the country in a campervan. Sounds familiar, right? One thing we’ve noticed since becoming immersed in this lifestyle is that a lot of people feel the same. Which is awesome news because there is such a wonderful and vibrant community of vanlifers/tiny home dwellers/nomads! So why did we decide to join?

Being overachievers and perfectionists, we both barreled our way straight from high school, college, into career building, with the ultimate goal of buying a house, having kids, etc. etc. - the typical “american dream,” right? The problem is, we started to feel that this path just didn’t fit for us. We got married in February of 2022 and were faced with the next steps of our life: buy a house and start a family. But we both felt burnt out, overworked, and unfulfilled.

The day-to-day grind started to feel empty. Why were we working so hard to afford an overpriced mortgage, to raise kids we would never get enough time to spend with (as we would be working to afford said mortgage and kids)…? We wanted something more.

We felt that we needed to get back to nature, to traveling, to just LIVING again. We were living in a suburb outside of Boston, MA at the time. Kyle was working as a civil engineer, and Chandler as a registered nurse. We barely had enough time or energy for ourselves. We felt disconnected from nature, as everything required a commute in traffic to an overcrowded parking lot, just to get some fresh air and hopefully “recharge” before Monday rolled around again. After a trip to Burlington, VT, it just clicked for us. We didn’t know what we needed to do, but we knew something needed to change, and it needed to be drastic.

From that point on, things just seemed to fall into place. We started looking into vanlife, but were discouraged by how expensive it can be to buy a van, and didn’t have the space at our apartment to work on a DIY build.

Cue Chan’s brother, Zach. During a random phone call, Chan mentioned how they were looking into vans and just wanted to travel. Zach had built a van for his daughter-in-law to use while she was doing some traveling and volunteer work, and she just happened to be selling it. On top of it, Chan’s brother was offering to help us finish the build to accommodate two people for a longer period of time. It was a no-brainer, we bought the van and spent the next few months selling almost everything we owned and giving notice to our jobs.

It was one of the scariest, and most exciting, things we had done. This is how we knew it was worth it - it made us feel alive again! In May, we took Amtrak from Boston to New Mexico, where Chan’s brother lives, and spent the next month getting everything ready. We set off in June and have been traveling ever since! We set up this blog as a living journal to document our experiences, and hopefully share some useful tips and info along the way!

How we found each other

Shout out to Tinder for facilitating this beautiful love story! We matched on the app back in 2020, a month before the pandemic shut everything down. We very quickly had to figure out what mattered, and it was clear from the start that one of those things was each other.

A global pandemic may not be the best time for a burgeoning relationship, but we weathered every storm together. It simply made us stronger and now we feel that we can get through anything together (which was certainly put to the test again when we transitioned to spending every waking hour together living in a van!)

After a year of dating, we moved in together with Chan’s mom, as Chan and her mom are very close and had been living together since she moved to Boston. We all became closer than ever.

Kyle and Chan got engaged in Rockport, MA, while watching the sunset, in December, 2021. By February, 2022, the 5th to be exact, we were married. When we know what we want, we don’t waste any time! After we got engaged, it was clear that we just wanted to start our lives together. When any day could be your last, why waste any of it?

We wanted the day to be simple, a quiet celebration of love. We had the ceremony in our living room, with just our moms and a justice of the peace present, and we couldn’t have been happier. There were no frills, no distractions. It was a simple, wonderful day, and the perfect way to begin our adventure.


Why “Atoms of Us?”

You may be wondering why we decided to call our blog “Atoms of Us.” The idea came from the passage we included in our wedding, which is an excerpt from the book The Amber Spyglass, by Phillip Pullman, which is as follows:

I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.

Our wedding day was one of the best days of our lives, and was intertwined with the many changes that led us on the journey we’re on now. Finding each other gave us the courage to take the risks necessary to live the life we want and this passage is very meaningful to us. When we decided to leave to travel in our van, and to document our journey along the way, the name “atoms of us” seemed fitting, as it encompassses everything that makes us who we are - all of our values, decisions, people we meet, mistakes we make along the way. We would like to share with you some of the atoms of us, and hope we can continue growing and learning along with you.



Our chariot is named Martin (Marty for short). He is a 2002 Chevy Express van outfitted with electricity powered by a roof-mounted solar panel, bed, running water (bonus: water heater), external shower, wood countertop, fridge, and custom-welded ladder, all done by Chan’s brother, Zach. Stay tuned for a more detailed post about our van build!


HI, I’m Chandler, but you can call me Chan! 😁 I am a silly, sensitive, kind-hearted human who hopes to spread some light in this world. I’m a natural introvert and have a knack for being painfully awkward at times. I love all things autumn and spooky! Haunted houses, pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves, scary movies…that’s my jam! My favorite movie is Spirited Away, which I have rewatched far too many times to count. I believe that being a jack of all trades is a good thing and am always trying to expand my skill set. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian by day, dancer by night (not that kind of dancer, you sicko 😉). I took dance lessons until high school, ballet being my favorite but I basically tried them all (jazz, modern, lyrical, tap, you name it). I always had a creative side, and was involved in choir and musical theater throughout high school. I moved around a lot growing up, so the nomad lifestyle has always been a part of me. I am quiet at first, but once you get to know me, you’ll see my goofy side. After getting my Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Penn State, I worked as an RN in the Boston area. I worked in an inpatient psychiatric hospital on a unit specializing in addiction, then I worked in the operating room, and lastly worked as a home care nurse specializing in mental health. Like I said, I’m always trying new things! Although I loved my patients, the system at large is deeply flawed and I felt there were many barriers preventing me from truly being there for them the way that I wished I could. I hope to still make a difference in the world and share positivity along the way! Welcome to our blog, it’s great to meet you! 🥰


👋 Hey, I’m Kyle. I’m terrible at writing about myself. Hence, why I’ve spent most of this morning gazing out the window at trees glistening in the cool autumn sun, daydreaming about more coffee. I can be pretty unfocused when I want to be. Most of the time you’ll find me deep in my head overthinking everything. But when I snap back to reality I can be fairly extroverted at times (given my social battery is charged up). This inner dichotomy is a trend through most of my life. Growing up I was a townie, born and raised in Somerville, MA. My interests bounced between sports and nerdier interests such as the pokemon and yugioh metagames, animation, and xbox live. You’d usually find my face burrowed into a gameboy or comic book if I wasn’t at the park playing basketball or stickball with friends. Yet, eventually, I found myself on a path towards being a young urban professional. After 4 years at UMass AMherst getting my Mechanical Engineering degree I switched concentrations and got a job as a Civil Engineer because of relevant internship experience. After that I spent most of my 20s doing CAD, drinking beer, bouncing from hobby to hobby, and learning to accept adulthood. After COVID I was starting to feel burnt out and ready for a change. Still in the same city I grew up in, approaching 30, and having just got my PE license at work, I was starting to feel stuck. Life was on rails and there was nothing I could do to get off the train. Lucky for me I had just married this awesome chick and jumping off the train together didn’t seem as scary as it did alone. Getting out of town to see what the rest of the world has to offer has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but is also already one of the most rewarding. So I’m excited to get to share our story and what we learn along the way. Stay tuned! 🤙