This coffee loving, vanlife living inspiring human is truly living her best life and exploring New Zealand on the way.
Originally from Germany, Lisa Jansen arrived in NZ to study. That was over 13 years ago now! Today, Lisa calls New Zealand her happy place. It is where she found herself and her tribe, and like most people that live here, she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
Moving to New Zealand was a catalyst for change for Lisa. As someone who was not very active and had challenges with her weight, it was the perfect opportunity to find the strength to make changes to her lifestyle. She signed herself up for the Auckland Half Marathon and through perseverance, she completed the distance on the day. Finishing her first half marathon gave Lisa the encouragement and strength to really believe in herself and take on new adventures and challenges. You can now find her out kiteboarding, surfing, paddle boarding and hiking around in the beautiful New Zealand bush. All epic activities that are now part of her daily active lifestyle.
Being more active and overcoming her self-doubts around what she could and couldn't do, encouraged Lisa to also work on other areas of her life. She embarked on a self-discovery journey, reading countless books about personal development, the importance of purpose and meaning, being mindful and staying true to yourself. All of that helped her create a life that she loves and to transform herself into someone she is proud to be. It also inspired her to write her book One Size Does Not Fit All - Discover Your Personal Path to a Happier Life.
In 2017, Lisa came to a crossroads with her life. While she had a great (very busy) job, friends and income, she was missing fulfillment and purpose. She made the spontaneous decision to buy a campervan and go travelling around New Zealand for the summer!
Well you may have guessed it, Lisa absolutely loved it and that summer turned into all year round vanlife! The combination of the freedom, simplicity and minimalist lifestyle, gives Lisa the opportunity to give everything she is doing the time it deserves. The game changer was when she realised how little she needed to live a happy life and that she didn't have to work long hours to support this new lifestyle. This freedom and time also meant Lisa was able to reconnect with her creativity and start writing again. Turns out vanlife is the perfect environment to write a book! So that one summer of vanlife has stretched into 2 and a ½ years and counting.
Vanlife hasn’t been without its challenges. As a self-described introvert, Lisa is totally comfortable spending time on her own. However, she does miss being part of a stable community at times. She meets many incredible people on the road, but with everyone moving around so much, the deeper connections can be missing.
Lockdown was an interesting experience for Lisa, who ended up safely parked up in a camping ground in South Brighton, Christchurch. But not being able to go anywhere meant the van began feeling a bit smaller than it used to. The all in one living/eating/sleeping space means a fair bit of juggling around and having a permanent bed and an easier work setup would be ideal in the future. For now the smaller van will do (it’s much easier to get into more intrepid places) but a bigger van might be in the cards.
Today, Lisa believes that her happiness is 100% within her control. She might not be able to dictate everything that happens to her or around her, but she can always control how she responds to it. That’s what ultimately makes the difference between a happy and an unhappy life. Being a lot more active has also played a big part in her happiness. Getting out and about in nature is what makes her feel about herself. In creating this life of contentment Lisa firmly believes if you really want to change something in your life, the first thing you have to do is create space for it. It’s pretty amazing what opportunities find you and what doors open when you create space for it.
What’s coming next for Lisa? Well, more of the same. The flexibility in her lifestyle means she’s open to opportunities. There’s always more writing to be done and adventures to go on. With a new podcast out recently called Life Done Differently, Lisa is also working on her next book. Whatever she gets up to, we know if will be about her life, on her terms.
Her billboard message is Be Fearless. But Don’t be Stupid.
Where to buy Lisa's book
Best option in NZ right now is www.mightyape.co.nz as they have it in stock. But it’s also on Amazon and most other major online bookstores. And there is a Kindle version as well, available through Amazon.