The Conklin Family Created the Hippy Van Travel Lifestyle in 1915
Tik Tok, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms are full of vloggers posting about their hippy van travel lifestyle. You know what I mean … they have converted a van, bus, or trailer into a cozy, luxurious mini home on wheels and have taken to the highway. They travel from trendy location to trendy location, documenting their adventures for their devoted followers who are envious of their free-wheeling, nomadic lifestyle. The COVID pandemic made this lifestyle even more appealing. More and more people seized this opportunity to become digital nomads, working from the back of their hippy vans as they wandered around the country.
What if we told you that the hippy van life – both traveling and sharing travel adventures with the public – is not a new phenomenon? In 1915, the Conklin family, Roland, Mary, and their children embarked on a cross-country trip in their “Gypsy Van”, a home on wheels that Roland Conklin designed and built. And the family’s travels were documented in a series of articles in the New York Times. Let’s learn about the start of the van life culture with these colorized photos.