My name is Andy Best and I live full-time in a camper, seriously. I’ve been in the film/commercial industry for about 10 years now.
I grew up shooting photography alongside my dad and grandfather. It was never pushed on me, it was just something that came to be. It was never something I wanted to pursue professionally, but as I started developing my company I notice how great of a tool it could be to help support my overall business as a content producer for brands.
As my career started to take a turn towards the adventure filmmaking and photography space, I started noticing a shift in myself and work. I noticed that there’s nothing really keeping me in one place and it could be the perfect time to embrace a new lifestyle and pursue and maintain a perspective I was addicted to. A perspective of living outside the norm and allowing a little discomfort in the unknown to keep me feeling ‘awake’. Ultimately I had an opportunity to start living what I preached, simplify life, and share the world that I feel is beautiful with the hopes that others get out and enjoy it too. In turn these people become advocates of the land. Therefore, I saw a window to get rid of all my belongings, get out on the road, and get living.
Tell us about your home on wheels; what makes it perfect for your line of work?
I have a 2010 Jeep Commander w/ a Treeline Outdoors rooftop tent and I pull a 20’ RPod that was made in Oregon and is ultra energy efficient. It’s solar ready, sits high, and rolls on mud terrain tires. As for the amenities, the Jeep sleeps two internally and two in the rooftop tent. The RPod has two full queen size beds, one turns into a breakfast nook. It also has a shower and toilet, bluetooth entertainment system with indoor/outdoor speakers, and a flatscreen TV for those lonely nights in a random RV park. It’s also equipped with full econ climate control, plenty of storage for all my gear, and plenty of power to recharge equipment and run my computers for editing.
This setup is perfect for me, as my goal is to park it at different locations for three or four months at a time. This is to really help me immerse myself in an activities ranging from technical mountaineering, to surfing, and so on; as well as to allow me to really nail the shot and never be upset by weather (because there’s always another day).
Could you offer 10 tips for the aspiring traveling creative that speaks to your daily routine, tricks of the trade or secrets that make living on the road all the more sweeter?
- See, this as a lifestyle change rather than a trip. Thinking this way has really helped me gain a different perspective of the ‘why’ I’m doing this.
- If you’re afraid of managing your own sewage, the daily thought “Where am I sleeping tonight?”, and literally all aspects of your life that most people might think to be the norm, this life isn’t for you. If that excites you, what are you waiting for?!
- If you have nowhere to be, constantly take the wrong turn.
- Whatever you downsize and go on the road with, know that’s still way too much and you’ll constantly be ditching stuff.
- Inherently, we as a species enjoy some routine. Therefore, find one thing that never changes for you and include that in your travels. Whether it’s the same soundtrack to go to sleep to, foods, smells (candles, incense), or like for me it’s exercise. Keeping one thing constant really allows you to feel like the road is home.
- Take the time to eat healthy and get the rest you need. Living on the road isn’t all peaches. It’s a lot of work. If you don’t eat right and keep yourself healthy it could be a miserable experience.
- Talk to people! When you’re out there the whole goal is to gain a different perspective on the world you’ve been living, talk to everyone you see. Stories come from everywhere.
- I feel that it’s more invigorating to not have a timeline on this endeavour. Who knows, this lifestyle could lead you to the most rewarding places on this planet, don’t limit yourself with timeing.
- Put down your camera, phone, book and just exist in the moment every once in a while. This is a unique experience that is important to squeeze all the juice out of.
- Keep a journal.
- Leave a better trace.
To see more of Andy’s work, check out:
Interview by Charles Post