Sydney Ferbrache has been on the roads with her van for over 2 years. With the name of ‘divineontheroad‘ on social media, she also has been blogging to finance her journey with her dogs. She covers many topics in her blog from earning a remote income to having dogs in a van. One of the most inspiring side of her journey is that she is a solo traveler. By reading her blog or listening to her podcasts, you will be able to answer many of your questions about being on the road.
|Hobbies / Interests||My dogs, photography|
|Number of Countries Visited||🌍 2 (in van)|
|Social Media Accounts||Web/divineontheroad.com|
What was the first sparkle to consider to start your journey?
I was working at a restaurant downtown Chicago about 70 hours a week. I felt miserable and broken at 23 years old which just felt so wrong. My boss had serious mental health problems and abused the staff pretty badly. He thought I showed up late one day (not knowing when I was actually scheduled) and fired me on the spot along with 2 other employees for no apparent reason. I had already been looking into van life but this was the moment I knew “it’s go time”. Instead of taking my job back (his boss immediately offered it), I said no. I bought a van and followed by dreams. I did not want to fall back into the trap which would’ve been so much easier to do. But not worth it at all.
What are the good and bad parts of traveling solo? Were there incidents that you were afraid to be alone?
I have always loved being alone. I am my favorite company and enjoy hanging out with just my dogs more than anything. So, I tend to really love being by myself. The only downside is the appearance of being alone to strange men on the road. I’ve gotten nervous when men approach me at a gas station or anywhere and makes a comment about me being by myself. I look vulnerable so I have to play this “cold” person to them when it happens which isn’t really fair because I don’t want to be! But anything to stay safe. I’ve never been afraid of being alone really. Just small instances that make me slightly nervous. Nothing has ever “happened” though to make me afraid. Just be aware and very smart on how you travel so you stay safe!
What did traveling solo thaught you in life? And what’s your ultimate goal? Do you see your self doing this for the rest of your life?
I don’t think I will travel full time alone forever. But no matter if I find a partner or not, I will always need time away by myself to process and find myself again. There’s an addicting freedom to exploring the world alone and I don’t want to give that up ever!
I don’t have an ultimate goal. Because I have a deep passion for what I’m doing, I don’t see any reason to stop. I wake up happy with this lifestyle every day and until I don’t, I’ll keep doing it! Traveling solo has taught me EVERYTHING. It taught me who I am, what I want, how to be at peace with myself, how to love myself, how to take charge of my life, etc. It has taught me responsibility, safety, preparedness, awareness… I could go on. I would never have known who I truly am if I never did this.
Did you get online or offline lessons about blogging or social media? Or you were totally self-learned? What do you suggest to people to improve themselves in this area?
I did take one course and I’m currently working on one of my own! It taught me a lot about blogging and SEO. But I taught myself 90% of what I know. While I loved the course, a lot of what I do now is social media-based and that’s completely self-taught. I love marketing and I love the way social media gives us our own voice. You don’t have to pretend to be anyone (although some people do). But you can be entirely yourself and attract the people who are interested in similar things! I suggest you not ever try to be social media “famous”. Too many people care more about numbers than their mission. Who cares about numbers. Care about your message and the people who DO follow you. Stop paying so much attention to the people who DON’T follow you.
How much does it cost to build a caravan like yours? And how much time would be needed? What would you advise to people about choosing the right caravan and equipment to take with them for some weeks’ journey?
Well, it’s hard to answer these types of questions because they vary DRASTICALLY per person/van. Materials for a van like mine could cost you $8,000-$15,000. Considering this is my house, that’s pretty cheap. Build times vary from 1 month to 2 years. Mine took 2 months but I had help. If you’re renting a caravan, bring a camping chair & bug spray. Bring a few good books. A disposable camera. And a box of wine.
Are you able to make a considerable amount of money from your Instagram account and website?
I don’t know what a “considerable amount of money” means. I make enough to keep traveling which is why I’m still traveling. If I didn’t make enough money, I wouldn’t still be living in my van! I make money from Instagram posts & stories, blogging & my podcast. And, I also freelance often for writing and web design. With all of those things, I do make plenty to put gas in my tank and my dogs.
Where was the first destination you went to with your van?
The first place was Wyoming! Yellowstone specifically.
How many days do you stay in a destination on average?
About 7 days.
Planning or inspiration?
Lots of Pinterest!
Have you ever faced with a wild animal during your journey?
Nope! I’ve seen lots of cows on public land where I camp. But never bears or snakes which is usually what people ask.
Talent or hard work?
I’m not sure how to answer this. Working hard is a given. Talent can be created. I wasn’t born with the ability to Lightroom a photo well.
Which camera do you use for your photos?
What’s your favorite van food?
Pasta with a bunch of photos!
Can you describe Ella with 3 words?
Soulmate, adventurous, perfect
Do you consider writing a book in the future?
100% I hope to write a few
Comment in the below for the travel niches that you would like us to interview with!