Leaving Corporate Life Behind to Find Fulfillment on the Road
Nicole Butterfield travels in her DIY renovated Nissan 3500 NV. She had some help from family but mostly planned and converted her camper van with her own blood, sweat, and tears.
The front of the van has bucket seats and a huge console with tons of storage. It can be curtained for privacy and heat retention in the living area. When entering the main living area from the side door, there is a cabinet that houses her emergency use toilet and can be used for additional seating for company (the cabinet, not the toilet 😝).
Nicole’s kitchen is painted in a bright and cheery gray/blue color. She installed a Camp Chef stove/oven combo and utilizes a small fridge that pulls out on drawer slides. She incorporated one regular 110-volt outlet, and the rest of the van is directly hooked to DC power for energy efficiency.
Nicole successfully worked in the corporate world but wasn’t happy. She quit her job five years ago and is now a self-employed, freelance graphic designer and the owner of two different companies! She’s living a simpler life and, as a result, feels very happy. Nicole’s main passion is her greeting card company, Little Red Card Co, where she makes cards, calendars, and other paper goods. She hopes to one day develop it into her main source of income.
Her self-built couch/bed combo has a step that pulls out and has a place to mount her hinged table– converting the couch into a work or dining area. The couch can also be converted to a bed by stowing the step and flipping down the back of the couch, thereby opening up the space and allowing access to a huge closet next to the bed area.
Nicole put her artistry to work on her ceiling, painting scenes reminding her of her childhood travels and her family. She also added a skylight above the bed to let in light and air; it’s one of her favorite amenities in the van.
“Somebody who wants to live a similar lifestyle to this or who’s debating it, I would say just go for it…nothing is guaranteed, like tomorrow couldn’t be there, so why not spend today doing something that you love?”
She has garage space in the back with lots of under bed storage for items she doesn’t want to store in the main part of the van, as well as a backup camera that she couldn’t live without!
Nicole’s tiny journey has added so much to her life. Her life experiences have taught her that living tiny and being free to travel and enjoy life means so much more than having ‘things!’
To see Nicole’s full tour:
You can follow Nicole on her Instagram at Nicole Butterfield
Check out her company on Facebook Little Red Card Co
Purchase Nicole’s creations on Etsy Little Red Card - Etsy