London-based photographer Jonathon Baxter, his wife Georgia and their pup, Banjo, explore the world in their van, one mile at a time. We caught up with Jonathon to find out more about their #vanlife. Keep up with their adventures on Instagram by following Jonathon @jbax_photography.
Q: What inspires you to travel and document your experiences?
A: Photography has always been something I have been interested in, but I only started traveling 4 years ago, with my wife. Exploring new places instantly became an addiction and documenting what we saw along the way was a must. We love that there’s an endless number of places to visit and so our inspiration really comes from the fact that there’s always somewhere new to explore.
Q: How did you get started living the #vanlife?
A: For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to see America (or as much of it as possible). A year ago, my wife and I decided to quit our jobs in London and spend some time traveling. We have family in America and knew it was the place to go. We also knew the best way to see America was to road trip, so we sought out the perfect van for us to set sail in. That’s when we found Reggie, our heavy Chevy.
Q: How many countries have you visited since starting to travel?
A: So far, we’ve only visited 17 countries since beginning our adventures. Most of them within Europe while we were living in London. However, 8 of those were in the last 12 months and included our road trip around America in which we managed to visit 35 states out of the 50 as well as Canada.
Q: What has been your biggest takeaway or learning experience throughout your time traveling?
A: One thing I’ve realized is that your hometown is someone else’s dream travel destination. There are so many places to explore right at your doorstep. Whenever I’m not traveling, I definitely try and make the most out of exploring and photographing my home, London – which is obviously on the bucket list of many people.
Q: What was the strangest experience you’ve had while traveling?
A: I think one of the weirdest yet most awesome experiences we had was being able to fly a propeller airplane over Los Angeles. We are fortunate enough to know a pilot instructor, who invited us to come out for a flight. As we got in the air the pilot then handed the controls over to my wife who “flew” the plane for a few minutes (and took us into a brief nose dive). That was definitely a pretty strange experience.
Q: How do you balance work and leisure time?
A: The work/life balance is important. I think it is vital to organize yourself when it comes to your work life so that you don’t end up bringing too much of it home with you. Whether that be the physical work or even just thinking too much about it. I often also try to leave work behind when on my travels so that me and my wife can completely focus on exploring and experiencing the places we’re visiting. America was perfect for this as we both weren’t working so could completely immerse ourselves in our adventures.
Q: What’s the most important piece of advice you could give someone considering a similar life path as yours?
A: I would definitely say, planning! We spent over a year of our life saving and planning to be able to comfortably travel to America and see as much as possible. I think a lot of people consider traveling for an extended amount of time to be completely out of reach, but I think anyone can do it with a little planning.
Q: Any tips/tricks or life hacks you want to share with readers?
A: Easily my biggest tip while traveling is to enjoy the moment. For me and my photography I often get too caught up in getting that perfect photo and forget to actually enjoy where I am and what I’m seeing. The last 12 months I’ve tried a new thing where if I really am enjoying a moment, I’ll actually put my camera away so that the moment can just be a little bit more special.
Q: What’s next?
A: Me and my wife are heading back to the UK to do some more exploring around Europe. We are selling our first van Reggie, and the plan is to find something similar so we can hit the road around both Europe and the UK.