Albuquerque duo chronicles the life nomadic on their web site Vankookz » Albuquerque Journal


Kevin Arnold and Dani Dukes journey the nation of their outfitted van. (Courtesy of Vankookz)

“Advencha earlier than Demencha!”

That is the motto each Kevin Arnold and Dani Dukes dwell by.

The Albuquerque natives make their dwelling by touring around the globe – by van.

Kevin Arnold has opted for dwelling a van life and touring the nation.

The couple then paperwork their experiences on their web site,, in addition to their YouTube channel.


The transition to van life was simple for the couple as the thought got here up years in the past whereas attending Burning Man.

“One of many camp mates got here to Seattle and we had a small house,” Dukes says. “He was like, ‘How a lot do you pay? If you happen to got here to Australia you possibly can dwell with me.’ We regarded into it.”

Dani Dukes chronicles her travels at

bright spotThe pair have been 30 on the time and the age restrict to get a working vacation visa in Australia is 31.

“We took off on the journey and haven’t stopped,” Dukes says.

Whereas in Australia, Arnold and Dukes seen the variety of surfers dwelling in vans and touring across the nation.

The couple was ready to save cash – and the start of their van life began.

“We purchased the van in Australia and it was actually costly, and we have been determining the way to make it work,” Arnold says. “We discovered a van for $500. The man that we lived with was an electrician and helped us out.”

Kevin Arnold backpacking the Hoh River Path to the Blue Glacier at Olympic Nationwide Park in Washington.

When the couple acquired again to the US, it was time for them to downsize.

“Simplifying is more durable than it’s to develop,” Dukes says. “We had a landlord who stated, ‘Persons are like fish. So long as you could have area, you’ll purchase issues.’ ”

“We nonetheless pack the necessities,” Arnold chimes in.

Their present van has all of the necessities, together with outside tools and kayaks.

Dani Dukes and Kevin Arnold grew up in Albuquerque and each journey the world dwelling a van life.

Arnold says the van has a “pimped out” water filtration system that was put in simply earlier than the tip of the yr.

“The dad and mom acquired reverse osmosis water on their sink,” Arnold says. “I wished that very same system in our van. After all you want heat garments and energy is all the time good. We’ve photo voltaic panels on the van, which helps to cost all of our devices.”

Whereas the couple seems to be for a easy sort of life, there may be room for a splurge at occasions.

“One in every of our greatest bills is meals,” Dukes says. “We deal with ourselves properly. I need good natural and pasteurized meals. We by no means exit to eat. After we get to a brand new city, we glance up what farmers’ markets are round.”

Kevin Arnold chronicles his travels at

Arnold continues and says the subsequent splurge is on outside gear.

The couple has seen extra visitors on their web site and YouTube channel because the pandemic began.

The couple has downloadable data on the way to construct your personal van, in addition to a journey information to locations like Baja California.

“Lots of people have made the bounce right into a extra sustainable way of life,” Arnold says. “We’ve met lots of people selecting to dwell out of their autos. We’ve been to festivals for nomadic life and it’s thoughts blowing to see how many individuals are shifting in the direction of this new way of life.”

Arnold and Dukes take pleasure in their travels that take them far-off from their hometown of Albuquerque.

Kevin Arnold, left, and Dani Dukes have opted for dwelling a van life and touring the nation.

They each went to Sandia Excessive College.

“I grew up in New Mexico and it’s stunning,” Duke says. “With all of our travels, it’s given us new eyes and appreciation for the place we come from. We actually find it irresistible now. There’s all the time someplace to hike and be outside. It’s a particular place.”

Arnold loves the problem of determining the subsequent cease of the journey.

“We’re all the time on the lookout for federal tenting websites,” he says. “On the finish of the day, we are sometimes extra drained as a result of it takes a lot work to plan all of it out.”

Dukes enjoys reciting their motto “Advencha earlier than Demencha.”

“Our outlook is that we have now to do it whereas we will,” Dukes says. “We’re 35 years outdated now and there’s no method we will see ourselves ready till 65 and retirement to do it.”

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