linnea.and.akela | Instagram

Meet The Woman Who Abandoned It All To Live Her Best Life In A Van With Her Dog

Linnea Schmelzer is a 26-year-old woman living in the rugged wilderness of Idaho with her 5-year-old German Sheppard and van named Togo.

Previously working at a steady job as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy company, Schmelzer is no stranger to the outdoors. But when her 5-year relationship came to an end, she felt the need for a change, saying that "I knew in my heart that my life wasn't really what I wanted it to be".

"I had an idea for the layout but never actually drew a design."

linnea.and.akela | Instagram

Leaving her job in Wisconsin behind in May of 2020, Schmelzer bought a large van for $20,000, with plans to renovate it into a home.

Naming the van Togo, Schmelzer did all the renovations herself, installing electricity, cabinets, a bed frame, and a tiny kitchenette.

"I just fit things in as I went, and built what I wanted next based on what made sense to me."

linnea.and.akela | Instagram

Using the space under her bedframe as a makeshift "garage", she stores all of her equipment under the bed, including a shower tent, camping equipment, and her dog Akela's gear.

"I love living the way I do. I value my alone time and being in nature."

linnea.and.akela | Instagram

Not feeling the need for plumbing, Schmelzer says that her "build is very simple; no shower, no water pump, no toilet - but I knew that I would be perfectly happy without those luxuries."

Schmelzer says that now she is often at peace.

linnea.and.akela | Instagram

Schmelzer confided in Daily Mail that she "truly think[s] it's beautiful that we all have different definitions of living a content life", and that with her new nomadic lifestyle she is "often at peace, excited for what [she] will witness or see in each area".

Her simple lifestyle is fulfilling in the way that her past wasn't.

linnea.and.akela | Instagram

Able to travel the world and be closely in touch with nature and herself, Linnea Schmelzer's call to the wild was just the thing she had been searching for.

Could you imagine leaving your material life behind to roam the wilderness in a van? Does the idea intrigue you? Or terrify you half-to-death? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

h/t | Daily Mail