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Single Mom Documents Life Living In A Van With Her 3-Year-Old Son As They Travel The Country

Photo: TikTok
Jayla Hardimon travels country with 3-year-old son in van

Jayla Hardimon, a single mom from California, has dedicated her life to traveling the country with her 3-year-old son Kareem in a van.

Two years ago, Hardimon was taking college classes while working at McDonald’s as her sister and mother helped her raise her toddler. This allowed Hardimon to save up enough money to follow her dream of exploring the United States and showing her son the world.

In February 2021, a friend offered Hardimon a broken-down 1998 Dodge Ram 35000 van. In an interview with the Today show, Haridimon claims she accepted it “as if it were fate.”

Now, Jayla Hardimon and her son document their life living in the van and traveling the country.

She got right to work: fully gutting the van, ripping out the seats, installing wall insulation, and adding childproof locks to the cabinetry. After a 6-month-long renovation process that was documented on her TikTok account ThisTravelMom, the van was child-friendly ready to hit the road.

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Since then, Hardimon and Kareem have traveled to Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

They frequent campgrounds where they each have made a lot of friends. Kareem likes to play with other kids at the sites while Hardimom enjoys listening to live music with her friends.

Haridom says she travels full-time as a single mom because money returns, but time doesn’t.

The van is equipped with everything they need, from a propane burner stove to Kareem’s large toy collection. The van also includes a bathroom with running water, a sitting area for dining or working, and a full-size mattress.

Hardimon shares the two’s adventures on her TikTok account, where she posts day-in-the-life videos, grocery hauls, skin-care routines, and what her toddler eats in a day. She shows that it’s possible to raise a toddler while traveling the country in a van, and by doing so, inspires others to embark on the same journey.

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Hardimon answers her followers' questions about being a content creator and earning enough to fund this lifestyle. When people started asking if Kareem went to school, she shared a guide on how to homeschool while on the road.

She has a lot of people who look up to her and want to do what she does. One person asks “How do you make money to travel and other personal needs? Single mom who wants to do van life with my daughter.”

Most call her a supermom and applaud her for creating core childhood memories for her son.

“This is so cool! You’re providing such a unique and fun childhood for your son”

“You are an awesome mom! I know he is young but all of this will stay with him. sending good vibes,” another adds.

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Maddie Haley is a writer for YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers pop culture and celebrity news.