Skip to main content

Woman Quits £100k Job To Live In Van With Her Dog: ‘This Lifestyle Is So Much Cheaper’

After spending eight years at a Big Four firm, a woman in her late twenties, has quit a £100k-a-year job to live in a seven-metre-long van with her pet chihuahua.

Woman Quits £100k Job To Live In Van With Her Dog

Dominique Niemandt, 29, a former director at a London accounting firm was inspired by a desire to break out of her day-to-day routine.

She forked out £25,000 to buy a converted VW Crafter and is now travelling around Europe with her one-year-old pet dog Kevin. She says she now feels “so much freer and so much more like me.”

“Before I felt like I was in a hamster wheel for so long. I just thought there must be more to life. I used to work 60 or 70 hour weeks. On holiday I would be the loser working in the corner. I sort of felt like I didn't have a choice,” she said.

Dominique was living in London and earning more than £100,000 a year before resigning.

Now, she's living off savings and considering taking up a consulting role for a few months of the year to fund her way of life. Dominique said: “This lifestyle is so much cheaper. I've got enough money for nine months. I might work two or three months of a year and then fund the rest of the year.”

“I spend about £250 a month on insurance and petrol for the van, and then it's food and activities, so in total I spend no more than £600 to £1,000 a month.”

Dominique is currently in France and hopes to travel to Spain and Portugal in the coming months.

She said: “I saw a news article in October about vans being converted into homes and a month later I'd bought one. I had a three month notice period at work and then I left in January.”

“A lot of people my age feel pressure to live a normal life but it doesn't make them happy. I want to see people doing what makes them happy.”

“It's not easy but it just feels like you're living - even though that sounds cheesy. Sometimes I still feel like a failure for giving my job up, which is kind of weird. Telling my family was the hardest part - I think they would have preferred I was working and focusing on my career instead.”

Dominique said living on her own can be lonely; However she has met new people along the way and connected with nature.

She said “There are little things that get you through it like speaking to someone in a bakery. If I like somewhere then I'll stay and explore. If not I will try to find the next place to stay.”

“I do a lot of walks and active stuff. Everything is slower in a van. It can take an hour to do the dishes and washing.”