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Australian couple transforms van into a tiny home for mortgage-free living

How ‘Burnt Out’ Aussie Couple Embraced Mortgage-Free Living After Transforming Van into Tiny Home

Lorina Priestley and Jake Priestley were a hardworking couple with a successful business, a dream home, and a wedding to plan. However, after achieving their goals, they found themselves in a rut and spending less time together due to their full-time jobs. But the COVID-19 pandemic and a serious injury made them rethink their priorities and consider a radical change in lifestyle. So they decided to quit the rat race, sell their business, and go on a never-ending road trip around Australia in a converted van that they turned into a tiny home on wheels.

The couple had always loved camping and exploring nature with their two dogs, Chino and Mocha. But they wanted to have a comfortable and convenient space to call their own and avoid the hassles of setting up a tent or sleeping in a car. So they bought a Mercedes-Benz LWB Sprinter van, an empty shell that they spent six weeks and about $56,000 converting into a fully-functioning home. The result is a cozy, yet practical, living space that has everything they need, from a full-size standing shower and toilet to a queen-size bed and a kitchenette.

But what makes their van conversion special is not just its features, but also the love and passion they put into it. Lorina and Jake are a DIY couple who enjoy gardening, home renovations, and creative projects. They took pride in designing and building their dream home on wheels, even if it meant learning new skills, making mistakes, and facing challenges along the way. They added personal touches that reflect their personalities and tastes, such as a wall mural that depicts their favorite Australian landmarks and a hanging basket for their spices and herbs.

The couple fell in love with the idea of ‘van life’ when they visited Coober Pedy in South Australia, where they saw many people living on the road and enjoying the freedom and beauty of the country. They realized that they could do the same and explore Australia at their own pace, without being tied down by a mortgage, rent, or jobs. They sold their business and quit their jobs to pursue their dream of full-time travel and adventure.

They acknowledge that their decision was not easy, and that they had to make sacrifices and face uncertainty and risks. But they also say that it was worth it, as they now have more time, freedom, and happiness than before. They can spend quality time together, discover new places, meet new people, and live in the moment. They share their journey on social media, inspiring others to follow their dreams and embrace the van life.

Related Facts

– The van conversion includes solar panels, a fridge, a hot water system, a gas stove, and a foldable dining table.
– The couple’s budget for the conversion was lower than that of most professional builders, as they sourced many materials and appliances second-hand, and did all the labor themselves.
– The couple’s van is named “Caramia,” which means “my dear” in Italian, and reflects Lorina’s heritage.
– The couple has faced some challenges on the road, such as rough terrain, extreme weather, and breakdowns, but they have learned to be resourceful and adaptable.
– The couple plans to travel around Australia for as long as possible, and then consider other destinations, such as New Zealand or Europe.

Key Takeaway

Lorina Priestley and Jake Priestley are an example of a couple who dared to pursue their dreams and escape the rat race to live a simpler, happier, and mortgage-free life on the road. They transformed an old caravan into a tiny home on wheels, designed and built by themselves, and embarked on a never-ending road trip around Australia, exploring the country’s natural beauty and cultural diversity. Their story shows that it is possible to break free from the constraints of society and conventional norms, and to create a life that suits one’s values and desires.


Lorina Priestley and Jake Priestley’s decision to quit their jobs, sell their business, and go on a road trip around Australia in a converted van reflects a growing trend of people seeking alternative lifestyles and values. The pandemic has disrupted many aspects of life, and has made some people question their priorities and goals. The rise of social media and digital nomadism has also made it easier for people to connect, share, and learn from each other, and to embrace unconventional ways of living and working. While not everyone may be able or willing to adopt a van life or a nomadic lifestyle, the story of Lorina and Jake can inspire us to think outside the box, challenge ourselves, and pursue what makes us truly happy.

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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