We had a chat with Lisa Andersson – the digital nomad, solo entrepreneur and founder of souli collective, a Swedish brand offering handmade spiritual oil blends. Apart from that, she’s also a surfer living the coveted van-life many of us are dreaming about, and we got curious about what it’s like being a business developer living off the grid, and how to find that perfect work-life balance.
What’s the best thing about van life so far?
The freedom, accessibility, and closeness to nature. Seriously, it's so much freedom to be able to choose your backyard and where you wanna wake up and spend your day. If it's next to the ocean, in the middle of the forest, or next to city life. And with accessibility, I mean that everything we love is suddenly so close to us. Everything is within reach. Eating meals outside, meditating in nature, chasing waves, skateboarding, morning dips. Nothing of that becomes a project. It's just there. No distance to the hobbies and activities that give us energy and make us feel alive.
Living in a van makes me feel the zest of life and fulfillment. And I believe that fulfillment comes from the small things in our everyday life. It's not about that event every second weekend or trip once a year. Fulfillment comes from when you're living your days in line with what your soul craves. When you include and embrace the small things that bring you pure joy every day. And for us, van life makes all of this possible.
What aspects of life work equally well or even better in a van, and is there something that doesn’t work the way you expected it to? For example, it seems like you work from the van.
Oh yes, it was not as easy as I thought, haha. I think I somewhat romanticized "working from a van". I am slowly finding routines that work and I'm better at not getting caught up in all the fun stuff that I'm surrounded with. You know, it's harder to choose laptop time when there are waves outside, right? So I told myself: I can work in between and I have the opportunity to be flexible. So if we wanna be at the beach during the day – I can work at night. But that didn't work out so well for me, and it ended up with very little work being done, hehe. So I'm currently experimenting with what works for me and finding the right approach and balance.
Apart from that tho, it works very well and I love to have work mode inside or outside the van. It's such a luxury to work with beautiful views and taking breaks with a dip in the ocean. It's like when you're falling in love with someone and that person is the only one you want to spend time with. I think that was what happened with van life and the activities around it. So hopefully with time, now when it becomes our everyday life, it's easier to show up for work. Since I love what I do <3 Running my own brand @soulicollective and freelancing with creative projects within branding & visual storytelling.
Has your new lifestyle changed your perspectives on life and nature, and/or your behaviors?
100%. Both the new lifestyle and all the amazing people you meet along the way. Such a reminder to enjoy life fully. And our behaviors have changed A LOT. Everything from the amount of water we are using compared to when we lived in an apartment, to being better at eating leftovers, to using the gifts of mother earth for washing and drying. And we don't consume anything more than we need. We have everything we need in the van and are not getting affected by advertising from stores/brands etc. that can spark a feeling of lacking/needing certain things just because it's new and fresh. So I'm definitely more sustainable with this minimalistic lifestyle – and feeling more filled with life than ever.