Audrey's home on the wild roads

Meet Walden, a 1995 GMC Vandura, and his owner Audrey Bienek who transformed him from an ordinary van into an awesome travel van and the ultimate way to live in freedom.

Where it all started

“One day my best friend and I had brunch and after a few mimosas, she’s just stopped the conversation and asked, ‘If you could do anything what would you do?’ and I knew instinctively that my answer was, ‘I want to live in a van and travel.’ And that’s where it all began.”

The van Walden

“Building the van was definitely the hard part. My dad spent his whole life working with his hands, we had a garage full of tools and he knew more than he would let on. However, he didn’t trust me to use any of the tools on my own – so building the van was always on his time.

I’m also a visionary, so it was always an uphill battle convincing him my ideas were possible. After we did the insulation, the floors, and got the base of the bed set up, he laughed and gave me a hug when he told me he could, ‘see it’. That was such a sweet moment, from there we really found our groove and he accepted my ideas and I accepted his teaching.”

Audrey’s for remaking a van:

  • Watch YouTube videos and get inspo on Pinterest and Instagram. Take notes and plan it thoroughly.

  • Think about what you want to use the van for and build the van to suit the need that your goal entails.

  • Do not be afraid to ask for help.

Travelling with Walden

“My best friend and I travelled for 100 days on the road, almost 17,000 miles, through 11 states, 3 countries, and 28 different national parks. Our budget was small, our diet limited and our showers rare. We hiked through beautiful landscapes, made it to the tops of mountains, stood under waterfalls, ran up volcanoes, camped in the cascades and outside of canyons, walked through countless forests, kayaked on lakes and rivers, danced in the desert, splurged when we explored cities and soaked in the peace we felt on the coast. Above all, we wandered wild.”

The best thing about your Once Upon book

“I had been talking about making a photo book of the trip but it felt overwhelming. When I realised your app organised my photos by dates, I was relieved and really excited. And now, having the photo book, I realise how special it feels to hold these memories in my hands. It’s irreplaceable.”