28-year-old filmmaker pays $700 per month to work and live in a renovated cargo van

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a nomad, just ask 28-year-old Trent Arant.

About four years ago, after a breakup, the filmmaker moved out of his house in Atlanta, Georgia, to hit the road with his dog, Millie. Since 2018, he has lived over 20 cities and visited over 20 U.S. states, all while living and working as a full-time independent contractor from his van.

“Van life has really put life into perspective for me,” Arant tells CNBC Make It. “Being able to travel around the country and experience all these unique people and unique places … I’m forced to go out of my element and experience things I wouldn’t normally experience.”

The freedom that comes with being on the road is equal parts thrilling and lonesome, he says.

“Living in a van is not as glamorous as it seems on social media,” Arant says. “It’s fun and adventurous, and I feel like I’m living life right now, but I do feel homeless sometimes. I don’t necessarily feel like I belong anywhere.”

It isn’t exactly a freewheeling, zero commitment lifestyle, either. Arant only pays about $700 in monthly payments for his tricked out a 2020 RAM ProMaster Van, but he spent almost $10,000 on renovations to make the recreational vehicle a home.

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