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Cooking in the van

I’m a strong believer that food is the way to the heart. Cooking in the van has been and will always be my favorite part of the day. Food is central to how I show and feel love. It isn’t just about the food. (Let’s be real, it’s mostly about the food!) It’s also about sharing life and intentional, quality time with family and friends. This is something that is deeply rooted in my family heritage and my childhood growing up in India. We brought those family traditions with us when we moved to Seattle; even today, nobody misses dinner at my parents’ house! We make sure to share one sit-down meal daily, a rarity in our time and western culture. 

When I decided to build my own tiny home, I knew that the kitchen was going to be an important part of the building. I wanted my van to represent all of the core aspects of my life!  So, I took the time to add small touches that made my van feel like the home I grew up in. In this post, I’ll share some of the ways that I incorporate my family traditions into my van life to hopefully inspire you to do the same!

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Grocery Shopping

As a child, I remember running to the market every Wednesday to get groceries with my mom.  We would grab our market bags and walk down to a road lined with stalls that spilled over fruit, groceries, flowers, spices, and toys. You name it! You could hear the bargaining and smell the amazing aromas long before the stalls came into view. It was my favorite day of the week! We moved to the states when I was 12, and I missed our market day dearly. Luckily, I discovered farmer’s markets and always buy local and sustainable when I can! 

I invested in these reusable bags to help carry my goodies back to the van in the spirit of sustainability. Gotta care for the planet I love to roam, and every small effort adds up to making an impact.


While I boast a mean stir fry, I still love to keep a few cookbooks handy for new inspiration. If you are anything like me and get into a rut cooking the same dishes over and over again, you’ll enjoy these two cookbooks for all of your adventures! Filled with delicious recipes to keep your nights fresh and exciting!

An amazing and informative guide to a plant-based, sustainable lifestyle. I learned so much from this cookbook, and the recipes are fire! While I do not fully follow a plant-based diet, I love some veggies and often opt for vegetarian meals.

Skratch labs, had road warriors in mind when they crafted their packable adventure meals! Some entertaining recipes have sparked my creative side.

Pots and pans

Take it from me; it’s worth investing in a high-quality set of pots and pans! After one too many charcoal chicken and charred fried rice incidents, I finally caved and bought a good set. Now I won’t cook with anything else.

Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate

I wasn’t really a coffee person until I started building my van. I would rise early and work sunup to sundown, and you better believe I needed a cup of joy to get going. Coffee with all of the fixings became part of my van ritual. (If you drink it straight black, we can’t be friends. Kidding! But you’re a freak of nature.) Now I can sit up on the deck soaking up the sunrise, enjoying the fruits of my labor with coffee in hand. Here are my coffee (or tea) must-haves!


This may not be a fan favorite, but I love cleaning, and with van life, it’s essential whether you enjoy it or not! It’s a tiny space so things can get out of hand pretty quickly. I make it a habit to tidy up every night before falling into bed. Do you clean your dishes after every meal? Or save everything till the evening and do one big batch? 

Cooking in the van

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Meet Priya

here to break societal norms.

In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time. And I’ve never looked back.

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