When you ask most people what they’d do if they suddenly came into a lot of money, they usually start with their homes. Mansions, country houses, and vacation homes are common fantasy purchases, with most people agreeing that when you come into big bucks, you should buy a big home. But when pitcher Daniel Norris got a $2 million signing bonus from the Blue Jays in 2011, he went in a completely different direction. His big purchase? A 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia.
For Norris, living out of a van was the life he dreamed of. Instead of becoming attached to big house, a mortgage, and a city, he chose to live a life of freedom and exploration. “I think the simplicity of it all was the most appealing,” he told WJHL. “I grew up with a simple lifestyle, and I knew going into professional baseball that would be tested. In my mind there’s no need for luxury, or at least society’s sense of the word.”
Norris’s van has all the basics: kitchen, sleeping area, closet, and, most importantly, wheels. And he puts them to good use. Norris, now pitching for the Detroit Tigers, spends his down time travelling from one beautiful, natural spot to another. A surfer, Norris makes sure to hit plenty of beaches, along with plenty of beautiful wooded spots out in the country.
And thankfully for us all, he documents his journey through social media, taking beautiful photos of the people, places, and waves he encounters along the way. We’ve collected a few of his best as a reminder that a good life doesn’t necessarily require big money.