The Week Of Van Projects and Hours Behind The Wheel

This Week:

  • I started working on launching my software MVP.
  • The part of van life that people don’t talk about.
  • Road tripping through the north east.

June 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🏠 Sackets Harbor, NY
  • ☕️ Binghamton, NY
  • ☕️ Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • 🌲 Northern Virginia

Live Travel Map 🌎

Metrics From The Week

I tried to keep the streak alive mid-week but we had this massive heat wave in the northeast. I went to bed with enough time to hit 100% but I ended up awake an extra 45m-1hr more than I’m typically awake each night 😅

Business Progress Update

The big update this week was that I finally bit the bullet and decided that I had something good enough that I would stop optimizing and start working on launching.

I refactored some code, added job handling, added an API endpoint, added a web server, decided on a name, bought a domain, then created a new Digital Ocean droplet, deployed my app, and set up nginx and the system services.

As of now I have a public site where I can call the API and it runs the full end-to-end flow, it just doesn’t have any UI.

Thankfully when I was setting up I had documented all the steps for setting everything up (and thanks to ChatGPT for the help). This was largely the same. So, what took me three days last time took me just under 2 hours this time 😎

Which brings me to this decision point that I’ve been ruminating over this week: what should the UI look like?

I was looking back through some notes from and found a suggestion about making this a weekly newsletter, which I actually kind of like. The problem I have is that I just don’t feel like it’s valuable enough. I see this having a UI, I just don’t know what that looks like yet. So I’m trying to figure out the balance here.

Also, in looking back at old notes, I stumbled across a link I had captured to a tweet asking if anyone was building the TweetHunter for YouTube with one commenter saying that he was. I checked out his business and he’s still building it! What was really interesting was the overlap that I have with his value proposition. Seeing that was great validation for me that I think I’m on the right path here.

So anyways, that’s where I’m at. Made some good progress this week!

Final Days At The Cottage

With the heat wave blowing through, I went for a swim! The water was a bit cool but not cold, just the perfect temperature after sweating bullets all day.

A walk through town:

The workout setup:

Lock Icon This content is not ready to be made public yet.

Back On The Road

New York:

First stop: Binghamton, NY for the night and a coffee shop session in the morning.

Van Life Realities

After my morning coffee and deploying my app to my new server, I got back to the van quite starving, per usual. But when I got back it just felt like I was being overloaded with to-do’s and couldn’t handle it.

My solar thought my battery’s charge was different than it was, my drawer cracked from all the slamming back and forth it’s been doing, and I noticed a water leak on my floor: never good.

But I just couldn’t think. I needed food.

I drove to a park, ignored all the problems, and made lunch first.

That’s when I made this video:

I talked about how…

  1. There’s this baseline level of discomfort and movement during van life that I like. It constantly keeps you moving and I never feel l like I can just veg out on my bed for hours watching YouTube. There’s always things to do and at the end of the day I HAVE to drive somewhere to camp. I’ve just found this baseline movement incredibly useful.
  2. Sometimes everything is going amazingly well, I’m camped out in some forest or on the coast and it’s just beautiful, and other times it just feels like everything’s going wrong. I exaggerate a bit, but it was this particular moment of overwhelm at everything that I needed to address that felt like a good representation of the “other side” of this lifestyle.
    • These moments are the price that you just have to pay for the incredible moments of van life. It’s just the cost of doing business.
    • What I’ve found is that because of this, I’ve developed this generalized problem solving mindset. Whatever comes up, I just know and believe that I’ll be able to figure something out to fix it. Some examples of things that have come up:

The double-edged sword of all this is that there is no out. There is no option. You HAVE to fix it because it’s literally your home. This came up when I got my drawer stuck. There was no “ah screw it I’ll just throw it out an buy a new one.” It’s more like “hey do you want to eat dinner tonight? Better fix that drawer!”

It’s these skills and mental toughness of van life that make me continue to feel it’s worth all the discomforts.

And as an update:

The Drawer: I discovered that the front part of the left drawer slide was a good 1/4″ lower than the back, which I hypothesized could be making the soft-close tabs keep unlatching. I remeasured and screwed it back in and WD40’d all the tracks. Day 3 and so far so good.

The Electrical: It seems as though my solar charger only runs into issues when I run the battery-to-battery charger. It’s something like the extra voltage and amps being pumped into the battery don’t dissipate quick enough and so the voltage upstream at the solar charger is higher than the true battery voltage. I dunno, whatever 🤷‍♂️😂. This is a smaller issue than I envisioned and totally manageable.

The Water: By the end of my fixing session all the water had dried up. I had noticed that my hose drooped over in the back. So, my hypothesis was some heat and bumps caused it to fall over and some residual water from filling my tank dribbled out. I ran with that and just did nothing. Day 3 and no more water so I think that was it. Noice.

And boom, like that, the issues have been resolved. Bliss 😌

Driving South

Through northern Pennsylvania:

Coffee Stop #2

Stopped in Wilkes-Barre, PA for another morning coffee sesh.

More Driving

The rest of Pennsylvania:

No pictures from the small slice of Maryland because I was too focused on gripping my wheel with these people speeding by and weaving in and out of traffic 😬😅

West Virginia:

Stopped for a workout and a shower:


And I stopped in some random national forest in northern Virginia for the night, which is where I also happen to be writing this blog post Sunday morning:

Food From The Week

Cooked my first chicken this week! Trying to get some extra protein. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked chicken in my van now that I think about it.

Interesting Content From The Week

Biggest Lessons From A Decade Of Self-Improvement – Tim Ferriss (4K) (from Chris Williamson) – I like Tim’s ideas and lifestyle. I think it’s important to pick whose advice you listen to from the people whose lifestyle you want (with the understanding that you don’t see everything they experience). It feels like some people would say that Tim doesn’t work enough or that he could make more money or make a bigger impact, but he’s really optimizing his life around different goals, a much more sustainable life, which I like.

How Not To Age: The Longevity Book That Blew My Mind | Dr. Michael Greger (from Plant Chompers) – New 600 page book with 13,000 citations covering every aspect of aging, the most common diseases, and how to address and reverse them with diet. Sounds fascinating!

Peter Attia’s health dashboard (from Peter Attia MD) – Just VO2 Max and Strength. The rest is pretty much taken care of by those 2 metrics.

What’s Next

Visiting more family in Virginia!



  1. Oh I LOVED this week in review!! Yay for YOU!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *