The Paesanos Podcast

Four years ago, Sarah and Brandon Arant moved into a van with their three dogs. Since then, they became the couple behind @LivingInAdvance, a popular “van life” account that has amassed over 125,000 followers and millions of views between Instagram and YouTube alone.

But today, Sarah and Brandon are in the process of selling their van and announcing some major life transitions - all through social media. This episode explores what it's like to be an influencer around one main topic, and how to navigate self-imposed responsibilities to your followers (and essentially your career) when life takes a different path. 

If you want to follow their story beyond this podcast, you can find Sarah and Brandon on Instagram and YouTube. Or check out their website at

What is The Paesanos Podcast?

This podcast is about internet culture and the relationships we build (or lose) as a result. Join Sean Lukasik as he talks with authors, speakers, and thought leaders about their work - and how the internet has played a role, for better or worse.

Sean Lukasik (00:02.354)
Sarah and Brandon, thank you so much for joining me on the Paesanos Podcast.

Sarah & Brandon (00:11.426)
Thank you, we're very excited to be here. Yeah, thanks for having us.

Sean Lukasik (00:14.886)
Yeah, absolutely. I feel like I asked you to be on this podcast at one of the craziest times, because so much has been happening in your lives. But and I know we'll get into that. But let's just start with like a little bit of background on the two of you. And, and maybe you can tell the audience how I found you because you run a very popular social media account, you have a lot of followers. And what's kind of your goal with that account?

Sarah & Brandon (00:44.758)
Awesome. Okay. Well, I don't even know where to start. I feel like we'll start with van life. So of course, my name is Sarah. This is my husband, Brandon. We have been in the van for four years today. Yeah, today's actually today's our "vanniversary," I guess you can call it. Perfect timing. So yeah, we've been in the van for four years. We built it out ourselves and then have been traveling across America and even into Mexico. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (01:01.878)
Wow, that's perfect.

Sarah & Brandon (01:14.302)
It just kind of started out, you know, we wanted to travel and then we were just posting our travels online and then it just kind of turned into something, you know, where other people enjoyed seeing what we were posting.

Sean Lukasik (01:25.718)
Yeah. And for people who don't know and are listening to this, Brandon, you do van rebuilds. Is that right? So how did you kind of get into that? Um, initially

Sarah & Brandon (01:35.882)
Uh, so initially, uh, we were on the road and I just needed money really. And I really enjoyed building out our van and then I helped my brother build out his van and I've helped a few other people like install windows and fans. And I was like, I really enjoyed doing that. And so I posted something on the van page on Facebook to see if anybody needed help. And, uh, people reached out and I realized there was a niche for that and more people, uh, wanted.

me to help them out and then we just kind of did that. Yeah. Since that happened. And so now it's just kind of turned into this whole thing where, you know, that's primarily where I make my money. And so I've really enjoyed that. Got lucky.

Sean Lukasik (02:11.32)

Sean Lukasik (02:21.814)
Well, and from what I've seen, just as someone who's followed along, you're really good at it. I mean, the work that you do is beautiful and, and unique. And, you know, it's a natural fit, obviously, into the social media side. So the reason that I wanted to have you guys on and a couple reasons. Number one, because I think I reached out a while ago about just promoting a product.

Sarah & Brandon (02:28.067)
Thank you.

Sarah & Brandon (02:35.478)
Yeah. Thank you.

Sean Lukasik (02:49.402)
through your accounts because you have a large following and obviously a pretty niche audience, which in the marketing world, you know, we love stuff like that. And, but I wanted to talk a little bit about just kind of the role that the internet plays in your lives. Because it's so interesting to me that you guys seem to be always online, you're constantly posting.

Sarah & Brandon (02:59.35)
Yeah. Thank you.

Sean Lukasik (03:18.698)
And even the times where like a day might go by or a half a day might go by, you seem like almost apologetic for it. Like, well, don't worry, we'll. And so like, let's start by just like sort of in your own words, how do you feel the internet plays a role in your lives and in the way you just kind of go about day to day?

Sarah & Brandon (03:24.61)
That's great. Yeah.

Sarah & Brandon (03:40.786)
Oh man, yeah, I mean, ever since we kind of, let me just say we didn't think this would ever turn into like a career and that wasn't our initial goal. But I found that once it kind of did become work for us, it just encompassed our life to a point where, not in a bad way, but it was to a point where even just the little mundane things like cleaning, like if I'm sweeping the floor, I'm like, how can I turn this into content? Like it's-

Sean Lukasik (03:49.091)

Sean Lukasik (04:07.18)

Sarah & Brandon (04:08.178)
It's almost like it's just constantly in the back of your head being like, okay, how could we be working? How could we be creating? And so, um, I was telling him that it just, you know, I'm sure, you know, having a nine to five, you get to kind of turn off your brain at the end of the day. But when you're content creating, you're always, you always have to kind of be on top of it and always thinking about what's the next move, what's the next piece we're gonna, we're gonna make. So it's definitely.

Sean Lukasik (04:32.074)
And do you feel like, I mean, you know, you like your day to day stuff, you're saying that kind of dictates like, how do I turn this into content? Do you feel sometimes that like, having the followers that you do also puts pressure on how you spend your time? Like, like, is it ever the other way around where you're like, I have to make content. And so I'm going to sweep the floor now or something.

Sarah & Brandon (04:56.474)
Oh, for sure. And that's another big thing I think we struggle with is turning it off because when we really need to, let's say like the past couple of months needing to kind of step back to heel and stuff like that, it's almost hard to turn it off. And so yeah, when we do kind of have like a week without content, we do feel bad and it's like, Oh, people are waiting for us. And when realistically it's like.

There are people too, and usually they understand. So it's kind of nice, but we do come on being like, I'm so sorry we've been gone, you know, and, you know, having to work on that is definitely something we've been working on.

Sean Lukasik (05:30.87)
Yeah. Yeah, Brandon, and I think I think and from what I've observed, it seems like Sarah does a lot of the posting, and you're doing as you talked about the van rebuilds and stuff like that. So how does that play into the work that you're doing? Or do you do a lot of the posting and I just don't see it as much?

Sarah & Brandon (05:43.147)

Sarah & Brandon (05:52.01)
So I'm kind of behind the scenes like with YouTube I do the editing for that and I'll help with certain Reels and stuff edit those together, you know certain things that I shoot so it's very minimal But I'm there in the background. It used to be more we used to be more together but recently I've been taking on more builds and so that's kind of like encompassed most of my time and Content seems to do better

Sean Lukasik (06:13.786)

Sarah & Brandon (06:18.718)
when it's just her. And so, but yeah, so that's basically it.

Sean Lukasik (06:24.526)
Sure. Well, and you know, you two were married a few years ago, I think. And as you're talking about this, this kind of happened and you didn't expect it to have you had conversations in your relationship and in your marriage about how often you post or about the role that these accounts play in your lives because you share

a lot of big moments, vulnerable moments, you know, the most recent, well, there's a lot that's been happening recently. But, you know, I think about Ziggy, one of your dogs going through cancer treatment, and that kind of forced you to drive all the way back across the country and get him to a comfortable place. And as a dog owner and a dog lover myself, I know how difficult that must be. And how hard it is, it must be to just then turn around and share it with

60,000 plus people. So how like what are those conversations like when you talk about sharing those things and taking your personal lives and putting it in front of the world in some ways?

Sarah & Brandon (07:32.51)
Yeah, I mean, honestly, I will say, as I feel like a lot of people do at the beginning, we struggled to set those boundaries of when to post and how to post. Like when is a camera in your face? When is a camera in your face? Yeah, and so I know at the beginning, there was sometimes where it was like, hey, I don't feel comfortable that you posted that. And so being in a relationship and creating content together, I think it's insanely important.

important to communicate and keep communication open and At least run it by them be like hey, this is my idea. What do you think? Is that too much? Should we you know, like Adjust it, you know, whatever it may be and so I feel like that was the biggest thing that kind of helped us was communication and Just being open with each other and how we feel about certain things being posted making sure we're on the same page Of the idea and what's being produced? Yeah

Sean Lukasik (08:24.99)
Yeah, totally. And I imagine it's one of those things too, where, well, and I mean, I can't imagine really, like what, what your comments must be like, or what your direct messages must be like, I'm sure that brings up a lot of stuff, too, if people either don't like something that you posted, or, you know, react to it in a way that you didn't expect. Is that something that happens? And how do you deal with that as well?

Sarah & Brandon (08:52.446)
Yeah, so Sarah doesn't really like reading comments on things because I feel like that holds more weight with her, but I read them. I just feel like I have to. Yeah, I can brush them off, I think, a lot easier. And I kind of laugh at the negative ones more so than actually take it to heart. I guess it's more entertaining that way. Which is nice because then he reads me the nice comments and the funny comments. Right. Yeah. And so I can sift through and filter, you know, and let her know that people actually enjoyed it.

Sean Lukasik (08:56.258)
That's fair.

Sean Lukasik (09:03.105)

Sean Lukasik (09:16.124)

Sean Lukasik (09:21.656)

Sarah & Brandon (09:21.81)
the content you are producing. But when it comes to direct messages and stuff, I know like that can be and I'm going to stick to the Ziggy topic just because that is one that's most recent. You know, I think that's really hard when you're going through a hard time having people messaging you with negative things about it, which you'd think that they wouldn't have anything negative say, but they find it. Yeah. And just kind of.

Sean Lukasik (09:31.194)

Sarah & Brandon (09:46.846)
It's just, yeah, I don't know. It's really tough and having to separate myself from that. And then that does cause us to put maybe like a wall, not a bad one, but like a wall up of like, okay, what are we gonna actually post? And that kind of filters out what we actually put up because if it is a sensitive subject, I don't want to hear anything else. I'm already.

going through a hard time, you know, so I don't want to hear that stuff. So you don't want to make yourself more vulnerable by putting out super vulnerable stuff. Yeah, which, but it's tough because we do want to share. It's just, you know, then you have those bad apples who... Yeah, because it's nice because the support is great. Like when we do have those vulnerable times and people reach out and, you know, with that support, it's awesome. So it's hard to, you know, take both. It's all about balance. Yes.

Sean Lukasik (10:10.53)

Sean Lukasik (10:27.126)
totally. And and I mean, that's the reason why I asked the question because I've certainly seen, you know, comment sections get out of control. And it's almost inevitable that someone's either trying to troll you or they're just a negative presence or whatever. And, and yeah, it's crazy that it would even be connected with, you know, struggles with your dogs or, you know, struggles in general. But yeah, and you learn how to deal with it. You know, I appreciate that perspective.

Sarah & Brandon (10:49.676)
I know. Yeah. Horrible stuff out there.

Sean Lukasik (10:56.894)
One of the things that I've noticed about the two of you, though, particularly, and there are a lot of accounts out there that might, you know, consider themselves influencers, or in the marketing world, we would consider themselves influencers. But the two of you are so natural in the way that you create content, like it just kind of feels like, you know, as a as a viewer, and as a follower, like we know you a little bit, which

you know, might be unsettling on your side, or it might be exactly what you're trying to accomplish, but how do you feel like you accomplish that? Or does it actually come naturally, I guess, is the question. And if so, have you just developed that over time?

Sarah & Brandon (11:28.15)
Thank you.

Sarah & Brandon (11:43.894)
Yeah, I think it's easier to be yourself and be organic and show your true self. Because to me, that's so much easier content to produce than trying to fake something and trying to make it cheesy. And it's just not you. And that's when you exhaust yourself. When you start putting on...

Essentially an act I don't like to necessarily call it that but an act that just doesn't resonate or align with you That's when you're going to burn yourself out from content creating and you're going to exhaust yourself and it's not going to feel Fulfilling if it's not your true self Yeah And I think people can see through that, you know They can see when you're genuine and they can see when you're not being 100% you because it's not consistent You know, it's really hard to stay consistent when you're creating Somebody that you're not sure

Sean Lukasik (12:29.578)
Yeah. So does, does the phone or the camera, like, does that just become like a thing that just exists, like another being almost in, in the van or wherever you're living?

Sarah & Brandon (12:40.822)
Yeah, go ahead. It gives me, I love to talk, honestly. So it kind of like, it gives me an outlet. And it gives me, it kind of just makes, I mean, because it's a community. And so it's like, almost like I'm just checking in with like all of my friends and that's what it feels like we're doing. So anytime I'm on there, like updating people and like getting responses, it's just like such a fun community that I crave. So it's always a lot of fun and I feel very natural doing it.

Sean Lukasik (13:06.062)
There was a moment, I can't remember how long ago, but it was just a totally innocuous thing. You were stepping out of the van. I think, Sarah, you threw sand or something in the air and in slow motion panned over and the sand just caught the wind and ended up entirely in Brandon's face. And it was one of those things that immediately, even to me, I was like, oh, this is gonna go viral because that is absolutely hilarious.

Sarah & Brandon (13:18.51)
Thank you.


Sarah & Brandon (13:26.427)
Straight to the face of the eyes.

Sarah & Brandon (13:35.149)

Sean Lukasik (13:35.854)
Do you know like when you've got something that is just going to like really catch some attention or does it surprise you what gets popular?

Sarah & Brandon (13:43.398)
It's honestly super surprising because like we had that video like we shot it was super hilarious But we didn't post it for like I think a month. I think we forgot about it It was just in our camera roll and then I think I randomly posted it one afternoon because I was like, oh, yeah this video We should post it and I was like she posted a day and Sarah was like, yeah post it and then it just Probably it's like one of our highest views videos It's crazy like how that happens because like the videos that we put so much thought into and so much like effort

Sean Lukasik (13:51.991)

Sean Lukasik (14:05.122)
It's hilarious.

Sarah & Brandon (14:13.11)
feel like don't do as well. It's always the random ones that you just like kind of just throw up. Which is awesome, but it's so painful at the same time. It's kind of frustrating. But exactly. Yeah, that's, that's.

Sean Lukasik (14:20.866)

Yeah, to work really hard and get a thousand views and then just post something like, ah, we need something up there and it gets millions or what? Yeah.

Sarah & Brandon (14:28.618)
Exactly. Yeah. Took three seconds to take. No redo's. It just was like, Yeah, it just happened. And then, oh yeah, here we are. We have this funny video. Let's post it. Oh, man.

Sean Lukasik (14:39.834)
That's funny. Well, what are some of the things just over time that you've learned people really do react or respond to either in a viral way where it gets shared a lot or in a way that generates like a lot of conversation or, or messaging or whatever?

Sarah & Brandon (14:57.098)
I mean, you go ahead. I know what we're about to say though. Well, okay, it could go in multiple ways. I think most of the things that go viral are the ones where people are just hating on what we're doing. They find something to pick on or hate on and then they roll with it. And then you have people supporting us and arguing with them. So you just have people making a thread, just arguing back and forth between each other. And then you just have people just saying...

Ridiculous stuff and that that's usually what goes viral the most often. Hence why I don't know if you saw the fridge Saga that we had when we were in Mexico

Sean Lukasik (15:37.23)
Oh yeah, where you had like a cooler or something and then yeah. Yeah.

Sarah & Brandon (15:39.722)
Cool, we had no idea. So the only reason we created like a five video series of this dang fridge doing stupid things is because people hated the fact that we like, they just didn't like the whole fridge idea of us getting rid of it and everything. And so we rode that out because I was like, oh, they hate it. It's going it's, it's getting us a lot of views and followers. And so we rode that out. And so sometimes we take advantage of that the negativity and

because it gets us the views we want.

Sean Lukasik (16:10.298)
Yeah. Well, and this being a podcast about internet culture, I'm just so curious about, you know, what does get engagement, but also how you as content creators think and feel about that. And it's interesting to hear that you, you lean into it a little bit, you know, for the, for the views and stuff. But, um, you know, how, um, how do you feel about it? Like what, when you really sit back and think about like,

Sarah & Brandon (16:26.723)

Sean Lukasik (16:38.222)
Oh, the negative stuff is what, you know, engages a lot of people. Um, does it like change or skew your perception on either what you're doing or just sort of like the internet culture we live in general?

Sarah & Brandon (16:48.85)
Absolutely. I feel like we've talked about this so many times how it's kind of frustrating how you know It takes a negative thing for it to go viral I don't like that it just brings a lot of negativity onto the internet in general And so that's I mean, that's why we kind of lean into it because that's like, okay We either let it affect us, you know, or we make you we make not make fun of it But you know make fun out of it, you know, it's like let's keep the humor going about it But unfortunately, do we love that?

Sean Lukasik (17:00.046)


Sean Lukasik (17:12.663)

Sarah & Brandon (17:18.314)
things mostly go viral because it's negative, not so much. Yeah, we'd rather our hard effort, like when we take a beautiful video of where we're at or something, or something where we have something to give, like when we're like, check out this spot and here's some tips for this. We want that because people can get something from it. So we much prefer content like that to get more traction, but for some reason it just doesn't. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (17:42.359)

Has that been happening with, I mean, I know you mentioned connecting with Ziggy particularly, and even being surprised at some of the negativity around that, but you also made a major announcement recently that you're selling the van that, that everyone's been following for, for years. Um, what's been the reaction to that? Um, and, and how did you arrive at that decision?

Sarah & Brandon (17:59.182)

Sarah & Brandon (18:08.778)
I mean, I feel like the reaction's been pretty good. I think there's been two different reactions of like, oh my gosh, what, no more van life? And then other people who kind of just like know us are like, what's next? Like, what's the next chapter? This is exciting, which we've had a lot more of. And so I actually really love the support. I know some people are shocked because it came out of nowhere kind of, but we've had just so much support behind it and so many people who are-

Sean Lukasik (18:31.378)
Oh, you guys just froze for a second. I don't know if it's the same on your end. Can you hear me? Okay. Sorry. And the good thing about using this platform is that, um, even if I appear grainy or if there's freezing or something, it still records on both ends. So I'll get the best and I'll have good audio and video quality and everything. So yeah, sorry about that.

Sarah & Brandon (18:34.243)

Sarah & Brandon (18:37.726)
Yes, I can. Do you want me to start?

Sarah & Brandon (18:49.528)

Sarah & Brandon (18:54.96)
Oh, perfect. Oh good, okay, so we don't need to start the video.

Sean Lukasik (18:57.294)
Um, but, uh, yeah, so I don't know if I cut you off there or if you want to just start over.

Sarah & Brandon (19:01.942)
Oh no, you're good. I think I was just saying about how like we've gotten just a lot of support from it, which is, it was a shock to everybody, but we got so much love and support and people who were so excited to see what our next chapter was. So it was pretty, it was quite nice. Yeah, I think the people that are closest to us, I mean, we've kind of discussed selling Van for the past, I think, from the beginning of the year. And so we talked about it with our close friends. So they kind of anticipated. So it wasn't a huge shocker to like our close community, but definitely.

with our followers because we haven't brought that up at all. Yeah. But yeah, most people are stoked to see what we have next coming. And so, you know, so people that really know us today, it's not the end of it.

Sean Lukasik (19:36.183)

Sean Lukasik (19:40.802)
We'll just like

Got it. Got it. Well, and I'm relieved to hear that. But how did you how did you arrive or what went into deciding to sell the van? Because it did I mean, much like the internet itself, it it's, I imagine become such it's your home. I mean, you know, it's where you've where you've started your marriage and where you like started your careers and things.

Sarah & Brandon (19:47.276)

Sarah & Brandon (20:01.357)

Sarah & Brandon (20:08.79)
guys, it's our first home. I know. And I built this thing, we built this thing to last. I imagined us having it when we're kids and, you know, take trips on it and just be like, this is the van we used to live in, blah, blah. But I think recently we've kind of like, not outgrown it, but we realized like how, what, what other things we would want in a van and so we just kind of want a new project and, uh, want to see what, with the knowledge that I've gained, you know, over the years to see what I can create now and just make something. Cooler.

Sean Lukasik (20:13.177)

Sarah & Brandon (20:37.182)
I guess. Let me advance 2.0.

Sean Lukasik (20:38.029)

Sean Lukasik (20:41.698)
Um, and so, uh, were you worried at all that it would affect any of the progress that you made with your, with your followers or with your, you know, more popular social media accounts?

Sarah & Brandon (20:54.182)
Yeah, um, because a lot of times, um, I might slip a secret in here. A lot of times when you kind of stay settled in an area for a little bit, like a house or something, um, followers tend to kind of fall off, um, because they're so much more interested in the travel and the van and everything like that. And so.

Um, it is kind of a scary transition transition. Um, and I'm hoping that doesn't really happen to us and people love us for us and not just our van and our travels. Um, but I guess we'll see. Yeah. I think that circles back to like us being genuine and us being ourselves and organic and hopefully people have. Uh, enjoyed following us, not just our van. And so hopefully that can transition to whatever we choose next. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (21:41.29)
Yeah. How does that feel transitioning into what you might share or how that might be different? Like, do you feel like you're taking a step in terms of your vulnerability? Or, you know, what's your plan with all of that?

Sarah & Brandon (21:59.058)
I think I'm going to struggle with it feels like we're almost starting over maybe, you know, and so trying to find like, um, because with the van, it's easy. Anything you do in a van, people are just going to, Oh, what are you doing in a van? So it's like transitioning to something that's, um, going to catch your eye. That's going to be engaging, you know, and so I think that's going to be a little like hard transition for me at least mentally. Yeah. Cause we don't have for a while, we're not going to have that like flashy.

yard of the Grand Canyon or like, you know, anything like that. And so it's like having a transition into what doesn't seem so exciting, which it is, but it just, I guess, our fear is that it's just not nearly as eye catching or as exciting as, you know, people prefer.

Sean Lukasik (22:32.459)

Sean Lukasik (22:44.542)
Mm hmm. So for people who are just listening and not watching, you're both relatively young, obviously, I mentioned, you know, at the beginning of your marriage and just starting to sell your first home. But do you envision like, what's your thought long term with the accounts that you're building? Obviously, there's a possibility that this becomes a full time

career if it's not already, you know, and, uh, but also one algorithm change or, um, you know, one major change that causes your audience to go in a different direction, um, could be detrimental to things like income, to things like, you know, where you're building sustainability. And I don't mean to say that from like a fear-mongering perspective. I just, I know in, in this world that must be a thought that you have in the back of your head. So do you, do you think about

those things long term as you're building these accounts and how they might be sustainable.

Sarah & Brandon (23:44.59)
Absolutely. Honestly, it is kind of a fear because social media is constantly changing. A new thing is constantly coming out. So it's already kind of hard to keep up with. So I think the one thing that really helps us to not have so much stress behind it is having like your van building, which doesn't rely on social media that much. I mean.

Sean Lukasik (24:05.483)

Sarah & Brandon (24:06.042)
besides getting the word out. It doesn't rely on like posting and stuff. You know, I paint pet portraits. That doesn't quite rely on that either. So I think it's just really important to just always have a backup plan. And I think that takes away a lot of the stress and then brings back the hobby aspect of posting on social media. And that's what keeps it fun because that's as, as much as you can keep it from feeling like hard work.

um, you're going to be more authentic and it's just going to circle back more authentic and enjoy it more. So I think that keeps the fear out of it.

Sean Lukasik (24:38.138)
Yeah. Now you've built, I've talked about, you know, building a large following. Um, and it seems like there would be some responsibilities that go with that as well, having such a large audience. Um, you know, not only being careful in the ways that it could affect you, but being careful about the things that you do and say in the way that it could affect your audience, um, and you do seem very, um, uh, aware of that. And so I wanted to ask, you know,

One example was during the Gabby Petito saga, and because she and her boyfriend were part of the van life community, I know that you were engaged quite a bit and asked a lot of questions and things. So how did you handle that first of all, specifically, and then more broadly, the sort of responsibilities that come with having such a large audience?

Sarah & Brandon (25:35.018)
Yeah, I think it's tough because we try to stay out of like current events and things like that, you know, because we don't want to be a news page, I guess. But like when something big like that event happened in our community, it's like, we almost had the responsibility with our audience to, you know, post about it and show our condolences. Um, I mean, cause we're family on there, you know, and we want to support other family members. Right. Absolutely. In that community. So it, we definitely take responsibility in that and try to.

Sean Lukasik (25:43.064)

Sarah & Brandon (26:03.41)
use our audience in a positive light.

Sean Lukasik (26:07.442)
And, and then, yeah, I guess like more broadly, how do you think about that responsibility or, um, plan for it if you do, or just kind of do kind of take it on a case by case basis.

Sarah & Brandon (26:21.254)
I definitely think it's case by case. It's always so hard because it's just really hard to bring up so many different types of topics and I always struggle so hard like on how to explain what I'm thinking. It's just it can be something can just be very sensitive topics and so we always are doing our part. It's just whether we.

Sean Lukasik (26:42.532)

Sarah & Brandon (26:48.302)
talk about it on social media, we try to avoid it. Cause that doesn't, just because we don't talk about it, doesn't mean we're not doing things behind closed doors. And so we don't want that to ever feel like that determines and if we're doing something or not. And so we kind of try to keep that personal stuff to ourselves instead of kind of flaunt it, if that makes sense. Or throw our opinion on a certain matter. Yeah. What's going on. Yes, yeah. And...

Sean Lukasik (27:13.204)

Sarah & Brandon (27:14.41)
Obviously in the Gabby Petito case, we're gonna support that 100%, you know, in other cases. We like to kind of like filter out and do it case by case on what we post about.

Sean Lukasik (27:26.51)
Do you, I know you mentioned earlier that you, you had those discussions early on about like, Oh, I wasn't comfortable that you posted that or, um, that kind of thing. Um, and so now that you, you are in more of a rhythm or you've had some of those conversations, are there things that you've decided, um, are just like never going to be posted on the account? Um, or is it, is it all something that you're just constantly having a conversation about?

Sarah & Brandon (27:56.322)
I think it's definitely a conversation because I can't think of anything that we're like, we're not posting like this anymore or something like that. Yeah. I think it's more of like, we're not going to post about it yet, but we will when we're kind of done healing from it or working through it or whatever it is and we'll...

Sean Lukasik (28:04.642)
Uh huh.

Sarah & Brandon (28:15.75)
We're usually open to post it. It's just a little bit later. Yeah, and then if we're at a certain location for a few days and we take a bunch of video, it's like, I'll post something. And then Sarah's like, why did you post that right now? Or we're still here. And so it's like, we try to delay our posts. And so something like that. We're like, once we leave a place, then we'll post about it so that we don't have random people showing up, finding our location. So.

Sean Lukasik (28:38.14)

Do you get recognized in public?

Sarah & Brandon (28:43.674)
Um, we have, yeah. Um, I got, I got recognized by my name one time, which I thought was really cool. That's awesome. One time. Yeah. Um, yeah, we have, um, yeah, it's pretty cool. It's actually like, it's flattering. It's like, oh, and then it's like, we love meeting people. So it's just really cool to see the face behind profiles.

Sean Lukasik (29:03.614)
Yeah. Well, and it's not like one of those things where it's like going to happen everywhere you go, or you can't go like shopping, you know, without being mobbed. But, um, so yeah. What would you say? I mean, there's this whole culture of, um, people now who think about building social media influence as a second career, as a side hustle, um,

Sarah & Brandon (29:10.831)
Right. Exactly, yeah. Exactly.

Sean Lukasik (29:30.578)
You know, there there's advice and there are lots of things that they can find on the internet that are resources. But is there anything that you would say about this journey for the two of you so far for someone that's just getting started in it?

Sarah & Brandon (29:47.09)
Oh, um, honestly, being authentic with every single post, because when you're authentic, like, I think that's when things will come to you is when you're really truly being yourself. Um, and posting every day. Yeah. Post often and don't let, you know, the algorithm or trends or anything like that, uh, burden you, I guess just post what you want to.

Sean Lukasik (30:03.418)

Sarah & Brandon (30:13.803)
Even if you're getting 50 views, keep going. Just don't give up. You'll find your niche. Your audience will find you. Just stay consistent. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (30:21.738)
Yeah. And is there any, yeah, consistency. Is there anything that you are, you know, today that you wish you knew when you were just starting the accounts?

Sarah & Brandon (30:33.53)
Um, that's a good question. I feel like before The whole algorithm changed I would have said yes, but now it's I feel like it's so different. Yeah I don't know anymore. It's it's different every week. I feel like so it's like, you know I don't know. It's hard to keep up. I wish we I think one thing this might be a little turn is

I wish we just never were that hard on ourselves. I feel like at the beginning we were very hard on ourselves because we expected something. And when you start expecting things, that's when I don't think it works out too well for you. But I think it's like, just don't be hard on yourself because that'll just wreck you. Don't compare yourselves to other accounts. I think that's huge. That's another new thing. Yeah, it's like, why is this person performing so much better than we are? And it's like, we're putting in more effort or we have more followers or something, blah, blah.

Sean Lukasik (31:03.866)

Sean Lukasik (31:14.009)

Sean Lukasik (31:17.495)

Sean Lukasik (31:26.201)

Sarah & Brandon (31:26.246)
And so I think that's a huge thing. It's just post what you want and be your own page. Yep. Exactly.

Sean Lukasik (31:33.398)
What were the expectations that you had like right in the beginning that you said, you know, you wish you weren't so hard on yourselves.

Sarah & Brandon (31:40.594)
Yeah, well, so I will say at the very, very beginning when we were just posting for fun, um, we didn't expect anything. And then once it kind of became, um, a thing, we started getting followers and our expectations went up. Um, I think it was more just, oh, we're expecting more views. Why isn't this happening? I think that was the biggest thing for us was like, our news aren't there. Why isn't it catching this video is a great video.

and it's so easy to put so much work into a video and then when it doesn't perform well, you just think it's a crappy video. When that's just not the case, it's... Yeah, and then you stop making those videos. Exactly. Instead of not letting that affect you and you just continue making this awesome content, it'll eventually get traction. And so that initial video that didn't do well kind of stops you in your tracks instead of just letting you work through it. Yeah, and I think that's what we struggled with was the views comparison is...

Sean Lukasik (32:26.957)

Sarah & Brandon (32:34.974)
And that kind of really got very discouraging. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (32:38.198)
Yeah, getting caught up in those numbers. That makes a lot of sense. As you've built this, this career, and it's something that you said, you know, post every day and it's, you know, and you do, and you're, you're on there often. Has it affected the relationships that you have in real life, either through meeting people and getting to know people that you never would have met before or, or any negative impact on, you know, friends or family or people who

Sarah & Brandon (32:41.357)

Sean Lukasik (33:07.774)
might not quite understand what type of career you're building.

Sean Lukasik (33:15.918)

Sarah & Brandon (33:16.563)
Me? Um, well, okay. So we talked about this and we loved, I think the biggest thing about social media, I'll just start over. The biggest thing about social media is it gave us the opportunity to meet so many different people that we would have never crossed paths with. People who we find out are very similar to us. People who we find out are actually not even close to similar with us, but we get along with them really well.

It's just a really cool community and the ability to meet all these people have been amazing. Now when it comes to family, I actually feel like they all handled it really well. I don't think any at least on my side, I don't think anyone even bat an eye at it. They're like, okay, like sounds good. I think maybe yeah, I think maybe a few were just like college is a little bit cooler, but you know, whatever. And so.

I think it was a smooth transition for us. I don't feel like anybody gave us any. Yeah. I mean, they know who I am. I'm a loose cannon, free spirit. They're like, we're just not gonna question her anymore.

Sean Lukasik (34:19.544)

I'm sorry.

Interesting and do they have opinions on what and what you post and why?

Sarah & Brandon (34:31.931)
I mean, I'm sure they do but I don't think they express it. But I mean, I think for the most part, it's like supportive though. Yeah. They enjoy seeing where we go and what we're doing. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (34:42.306)
What about like from a larger perspective? You know, we've learned a lot about the impact and influence of social media on our lives on our society. You know, we've seen there are documentaries out there like the social dilemma. There are things that talk about, you know, phone addiction and social media addiction. Do you? Well, what are your thoughts on that? First of all?

Sarah & Brandon (35:09.81)
I think it's a huge problem. Um, I, I think that's what's really hard is, um, setting a boundary for yourself, um, because obviously we do it for work, we have to be on our phones and, um, it can be frustrating. Um, but just setting a boundary and then like, when you're done with work, get off your phone. And so I definitely think it is a huge problem right now. Um, and it's kind of tough cause we're creating content and we're almost kind of like,

aiding in it because we are putting stuff on social media. Um, but our goal anyway, for living in advance was to inspire people to get outside and to do things. And so though we are kind of like feeding into it, we're hoping to still inspire people to maybe get off their phones and then go enjoy the, this earth. Yeah. It does make it really difficult though, because like she said, we're always on our, we're not always on our phone, but we, when we're working, we're on our phone.

Sean Lukasik (35:58.93)

Sarah & Brandon (36:06.83)
filming, we're editing, and then we're also, you know, we need to be on our phone to find the audio that's trending or the skit that's trending or what's trending. And so it just feels like it's constantly always there. And yeah, it's hard to separate. And then when it comes to, we're at an awesome place and we want to experience it, but we also want to create through it. So it's like, what do I want to do? Do I want to just put down my phone and experience this or do I want to

Sean Lukasik (36:19.302)

Sarah & Brandon (36:36.258)
and put a little work that way we have something to post. And so there's always that dilemma and there's always this fine line of experiencing things and then also being behind your phone. Yeah.

Sean Lukasik (36:47.638)
What's the role of like you both, um, Sarah, you make artwork, um, and Brandon, you're building vans, like does working with your hands and working with tangible objects feel like it brings you out of that a little bit? Like, are those things helpful to you?

Sarah & Brandon (37:02.814)
Absolutely. 100%. Especially for me because I get, I don't know, I get in a bad rut or in a bad place like when I'm just like not doing anything with my hands and so yeah, it's just such an outlet for me. It honestly is like therapy, especially like painting, it's like, it's doing something physical which is so, it's almost like a break for my brain. Like after I'm done painting, I'm like, wow, I feel really good. Like it's just like a crazy, it's just crazy how that switches.

Sean Lukasik (37:13.528)

Sarah & Brandon (37:31.426)
When you're on your phone all day and you get off, you never feel good. Yeah. There's no way. And so, um, yeah, I'm way more irritable if I've been on my phone for a few hours a day and then like, but if I'm working on my hands, I get done with the project. Um, you for it. Yeah. Cause I'm like so stoked on how it came out. I'm such a, such a better mood. Yeah. All about boundaries and, um, putting.

Sean Lukasik (37:31.715)

Sean Lukasik (37:40.268)

Sean Lukasik (37:51.287)

Sean Lukasik (37:54.654)
No, I feel that. I mean, like even some of the things that I like to do as hobbies, whether it's golf or hiking, um, you know, those things are great, but then I, I feel like, should I be taking pictures? Is there a way to turn this into, you know, uh, a social media account or whatever, um, and it's hard to like. Balance those things.

Sarah & Brandon (38:07.118)


Sarah & Brandon (38:15.394)
I mean, because it doesn't exist unless you post it on your story. Well, then it's also like, we'll find ourselves, we'll go do something really awesome and we'll just like do it and not have our phones and we'll have an awesome time. Then we'll get back and be like, dang, we have nothing to post for the next few days. It's like, we at least picked up our phone once. And so it's like, why am I thinking like that? You know, it's like, I should be glad that I just experienced it. But then you're also like, man.

Sean Lukasik (38:18.538)
Yeah, exactly. Did I even golf? Yeah.

Sarah & Brandon (38:44.222)
Missed out on work opportunity. It's rough.

Sean Lukasik (38:46.964)

Well, I mean, I, and I appreciate you sharing that because, um, I do think that it is one of those universal things, whether someone has, you know, a massive following online or just someone who goes on social media, I think there's a lot of pressure to post stuff just all the time and, um, and, you know, being really intentional, intentional about, um, doing something without your phone is, uh, important, I think to hear from, especially the two of you.

Sarah & Brandon (39:19.11)
Well, yeah, and that's why we set those boundaries. Like, during, obviously, we're eating together, having coffee or having dinner. We don't have our phones. We tend to play games at night. So like card games, something physical. So then like we're like connecting and interacting and we don't have phones during that either. Not necessarily because like we're forcing ourselves not to have our phone, but like, it's once you kind of get into it, you crave those moments of like connection. And so.

Sean Lukasik (39:37.016)

Sarah & Brandon (39:45.631)
Another thing is like setting boundaries for yourself in those situations.

Sean Lukasik (39:48.49)
Yeah. I was going to ask, are there any like places in the house where you just have said like no phones allowed in, you know, in the bedroom or no phones allowed and at the dinner table or things like that, or is it just like constantly evolving?

Sarah & Brandon (40:05.002)
Um, I do think it's constantly changing because it's, it's very situational of like, okay, what are we doing, you know, during this time? But, you know, I have my like dinner table. I would love to get to the point where we have no phones in bed as well. Um, but when we watch like a show or something, we watch it on our phones. Yeah. Cause we don't have a TV or anything. Yeah. So it's so much easier to like be on that and then get distracted. And so, um, but that's, I have like, you know, we have goals, um, but you know, we do definitely have set.

Sean Lukasik (40:17.304)

Sean Lukasik (40:21.997)

Sarah & Brandon (40:34.026)
boundaries for certain situations. Yeah, especially like day nights and stuff. It's like phones are like nowhere near the area we're in. So.

Sean Lukasik (40:39.854)

Yeah, that makes sense. As you think about this more broadly, and as you're in this period of transition and moving into selling the van, and I know that you've got some announcements planned for this week, so I won't ask you to break any news here on the podcast. But what are you most looking forward to? What are some of the things that you know, this has given you an opportunity to do in your lives that you're really excited about?

Sarah & Brandon (41:08.878)
Um, mine's just, yeah, yeah. Mine's going to be like stupid obvious. So I'm just going to break it because something that I'm very excited about is having a lot more consistency staying in one area for a little bit. Um, because that's one thing during, while you're living in a van, as much as you kind of want a routine, it's very, very hard and so getting my routine back and having consistency.

Sean Lukasik (41:10.818)
But also feel free to break news here if you want.

Sean Lukasik (41:32.798)

Sarah & Brandon (41:36.47)
Um, being able to bike more, um, I'm an avid biker, so I'm excited to do that. Um, and have a garden and eat from the land. I'm very excited. What about you? Uh, I mean, I think I'm excited to, um, get you in a place where, you know, you're excited about those things and, uh, you know, kind of settle into that. Just have a little, have a little rest before.

Sean Lukasik (41:46.05)

Sarah & Brandon (42:05.39)
2.0. Yeah. And I'm excited to create, be able to create and work more with my hands at like a personal basis, I guess, where I'm doing it for me and not just for a job.

Sean Lukasik (42:20.426)
Yeah, yeah. Well, that's great. No, please.

Sarah & Brandon (42:22.494)
And I guess, sorry. I guess like the biggest thing we're excited for is having somewhere for Ziggy to kind of just relax and retire. That was like the main reason we came out here. We're just excited about the other benefits of it. But that's the main reason we're excited to have somewhere for him to just kind of live out his life and hang out. Yep.

Sean Lukasik (42:45.218)
Yeah. Awesome. Well, I really appreciate the time that you spent today. I think, you know, some of these insights are so important, especially from people who, um, are doing the thing that so many others want to do, you know, building, uh, building an influence online, being very consistent with good positive content. Um, and I appreciate how much work that takes and, and how much, um, comes up as a result of, of living life that way.

Is there anything else that you wanted to share? Anything else that you wanted to kind of talk about in terms of the role that the internet has played in your lives so far?

Sarah & Brandon (43:25.026)
Honestly, I feel like... I think just being genuine. I think that's like 100%. There's so many people out there that are just not being themselves. And then you have people looking to those people for, and as inspiration and idols, and it's just unrealistic. And so I just think it creates bad role models. And so I think just being genuine and being yourself, being organic is huge. I think that's so important.

And that's how we keep, because I mean, with so much coming out, like AI and stuff, there's a lot of untrustworthy things these days. Um, and so. Constantly going back to, yeah, your authentic self. I think that'll always win.

Sean Lukasik (43:59.098)

Sean Lukasik (44:07.214)
Well, thanks so much. The accounts that people can follow are living in advance. Um, and, uh, now is a good time to start following because, um, it's, you know, Brandon, you mentioned almost feels like starting from scratch for the two of you, but we know there's a lot behind it and there's a lot that's led up to where you're at today, so I'm excited to see what's next.

Sarah & Brandon (44:20.79)

Sarah & Brandon (44:28.955)
Right. Awesome. We're excited too. Appreciate it. Thank you for the support.