Real-Life Motivational Speaker Lives with Family in a Van Down By the River

DALLAS, Sept. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — When motivational speaker Matt Havens told his extended family that he was selling his house in Dallas, Texas to live in a van, he was met with some skepticism. But like Chris Farley’s famous Saturday Night Live skit, Matt and his wife Megan sold their five-bedroom home and moved into a van that you will occasionally find parked down by a river, or a lake, or a national park. 

Now you might think that downsizing from a five-bedroom house to a 90-square-foot van is scary enough. But anxiety levels seem to raise a bit more when people find out that Matt and Megan also have twin 8-year-old girls who are embarking on this journey with them. You heard that correctly – that’s 4 people living within arms-length of each other in a van down by the river. 

Matt didn’t have any intentions of comparing himself to Matt Foley, Chris Farley’s SNL motivational alter ego. But their shared name, similar age, and chosen profession are too much to ignore. So Matt Havens has started to lean into the comparison by wearing a Matt Foley emblazoned t-shirt on stage, and he recently began publishing a weekly podcast called “Down By The River.”

“I’ve never fallen on stage or broken a table like Matt Foley, but I do try to bring a lot of comedy and entertainment to the stage, so I figured why not just embrace the comparisons where it made sense,” says Havens.

While Foley was a failed motivational speaker, Havens is quite the opposite. After a 13-year corporate leadership career, Havens began his full-time speaking career in 2016 and now travels the country and abroad as a motivational speaker and business growth expert. His clients have included companies such as RE/MAX, Lockheed Martin, Principal Financial, and many other Fortune 1000 companies.   

A busy speaking calendar makes the logistics of van life a bit more challenging, but the Havens family is enjoying all of their new experiences. Matt’s wife and daughters do get plenty of breaks from van life, typically staying in hotels when Matt has to fly off for a speaking engagement. 

The Havens family does however have a finite amount of time they’ll be living in their van. 

“The plan was never to do this permanently. This was a rare opportunity coming out of the pandemic to travel the country with our girls and give them an education unlike any other,” says Havens. “Our goal is to visit all 50 states in one year.”

After their journey is over, the girls will go back to traditional public school and the Havens family will settle back down, possibly in one of their newfound favorite destinations. But for now, to paraphrase Matt Foley, they’re trying to go out there and grab the world by the tail and wrap it around and pull it down and put it in their pocket!

You can follow the family’s travels on YouTube and Instagram. For more information or media requests please email Matt Havens at Phone: 309-306-1781

SOURCE Matt Havens