Guest Feature: Malorie Irvin
Back of House Guest Posts feature some of our favorite people from across the industry sharing their expertise. If you would like to be featured in a future issue or know someone who would, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malorie Irvin is an event professional who has been working in live events for 10 years, with a strong specialty in staffing and hospitality. After the recent launch of her outdoor consulting company, NotBad Travels, she sat down and taught us about how she used her unique skill set to build a new brand. My first event was postponed while I was home in Indiana, taking a quick break between gigs. A few days later, I was no longer going back to Mexico to finish the run of events as they had been cancelled too. All of a sudden, my income and insurance no longer existed, and my career was in question. I spent a few days with my family, upset and scared, but I was grateful to have such wonderful parents who I stay with when I am not on the road. I come from a pretty tough love family, so being told to, “suck it up” or “it could be worse” were common statements throughout the household as I held back tears of uncertainty.
I had bought a Dodge Promaster back in December of 2019, with intentions of having someone turn it into a mobile home for me while I was on the road working. While I was in Mexico, the person I had hired finished one partial wall, the ceiling, solar, floor and bed frame. I brought it back home to work on it some and to have a family friend take over, but then COVID happened.
Suddenly I found myself with finishing nails and a hammer and started putting walls up myself. I decided that without a full-time job I was going to turn my long days of unemployment into long days working on the van. I spent a few years determining what I wanted in a van, and a lot of time on YouTube and other media outlets learning from other Vanlifers. I had no intention of renovating the van myself originally, but was determined to not sit around and sulk while the world felt like it was shattering around me, so I got to work. I found peace during my build and can confidently say I know all the ins and outs of my van, “The Breeze.” I frequented a local hardware store near my parent’s house in southern Indiana, and towards the end of my build the owner would see me walk in and ask, “what are we workin’ on today?”
I spent days sitting in my van wondering how it would work for me and my needs, and I feel like it turned into the little eclectic cabin I had envisioned. I may not have been spending hours on emails and spreadsheets, but I became a plumber, electrician, carpenter and solar expert over the course of 3 months. I was determined, and my father continued to reassure me that this was a blessing and that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this goal otherwise.
I finished the van and soon after decided to set out on the road. I’ve been traveling in my van for three months now, keeping myself socially distanced and keeping up with all guidelines no matter where I am, which is usually in the wilderness.
I understand things are bad for us in the music industry and feel they won’t get better until there is a vaccine, but we can’t let that stop us from living, truly living. I am now focusing on my travel, research of amazing places, and am sharing that information on my blog, NotBad Travels. I have gotten to see friends I haven’t seen in years, accomplish new climbing and hiking goals, and be where I am the happiest, in the wilderness. I have also started working on a new company concept, taking my knowledge of VIP experiences and my passion for the outdoors, and launched NotBad Travels – Concierge for the Adventurous Soul. My focus is working with couples, friends or groups and providing them a week or weekend they’ll never forget. You can find out more, start your adventure or learn about Van Life on my website, www.notbadtravels.com.