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Betting on Yourself, Finding Your Passion, and Taking Risks with Erica Lewis

Allison Smith-profile-image
Allison Smith
January 10, 2024

TL;DR: Erica Lewis's journey from teacher to motorcycle influencer and van lifer, highlighting her adventurous spirit and embracing new challenges.

Betting on Yourself, Finding Your Passion, and Taking Risks with Erica Lewis

The story of how Erica Lewis went from teacher to motorcycle influencer to full-time van lifer.

The lifestyle of a full-time RVer requires a lot of self-confidence. The belief that you can make anything work is the only reason someone could trade the keys of a stable home or apartment for the car keys of a 20+ foot van.

Erica Lewis has always been someone who seeks the thrill of a new adventure. Five years ago, on an ordinary trip to the gas station, she met a man on a motorcycle. In this moment of fate, her next adventure had found her. She spent the next two days taking motorcycle lessons from the mysterious man in the parking lot, she bought herself a bike, and the rest is history.

Five years later, Erica (also known as Queen.Sit on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok) is now a brand ambassador for Harley Davidson and is undertaking a new challenge: full-time van life. Keep reading to learn Erica’s inspiring story.

How did you get your start in Motorcycling? How'd you find your passion and get your first bike?

I got into motorcycles because I was looking for a thrill. I was just in a phase in my life where I was just looking to be adventurous and just trying new things and one day, I saw a random guy at a gas station I asked to sit on his motorcycle and he was a little confused at first but he said “sure.”

After that, he was like, I could teach you how to ride tomorrow. So in two days, he let me ride his motorcycle, which was worth thousands of dollars, and I learned how to ride in two days with a random stranger. So after that, I bought a motorcycle and I have just been riding ever since.

So from there, you started riding and you eventually started documenting, your rides and experiences on social media and on YouTube. When did you start to share that with the world and try to grow your following and become an influencer? Or if that was just sort of a happy accident?

At that time, I had been a teacher for, like, six years. So teaching is my background. Now, I've been teaching for 10 years, and I love to teach people new things. So I noticed that people were always intrigued, I had a lot of women who wanted to know “how can I learn how to ride?” So I was like, You know what, maybe I should get a camera and just show that is not that hard or show that it's reachable. The goal is reachable.

And so, I put a GoPro on my motorcycle and just started documenting my trips around St. Louis, it would be something – even going to a fast food restaurant, grabbing food. I just wanted people to see that this is just everyday life. Instead of taking the car, I'm just hopping on a bike and I did a few tutorials to show people. How to pick your motorcycle and how to start it. You know, even if you bought one you don't even know how to run it. I would just try to be a gateway to help someone learn how to ride.

It’s great that your passion for teaching and your passion for motorcycles combined in a beautiful way. There are a lot of people who are looking to learn how to ride. In the past five years since you've been documenting your journey, you've become a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador. What was that experience like? Getting the call from them, wanting you to represent them?

St. Louis Photographer Nichole Kolb Willow _ Mohr Harvest Hosts 158 (1).jpg

Oh, it was like mind-boggling. It feels unreal to this day. I still don't think it's real, it's just an insane thing that they contacted me and wanted to work together and I was able to take something that I love doing and I get to work with the company that produces the machine that I love. It just really opened up a lot of opportunities. They introduced me to a lot of trips that I would have never been able to take.

Transitioning from your love of motorcycles to your more recent decision to buy a van. When and how did you decide to fully quit teaching, do influencing full-time, and live on the road in a van?

Well, I went on a motorcycle trip with Harley-Davidson to California and it was an all-women's camping trip and there I saw RVs, airstreams, and different types of mobile homes. I was just like, What is this? My friend was, like, people live in these, and I said no way, and I was able to see a few of them up close. And I was like, Wow– so they can just sit out here all day in the desert if they want to, for weeks, since you just travel in your mobile home. Ever since that day, I was like when I get back to St. Louis, I have to find a way to do that. Well, I started researching and then I realized I wanted to do van life. So once I got home I was like I have to figure it out and somehow, it worked out. I was able to get my first van, already converted from a dealership. Insane.

Doing YouTube videos, making content... I just wanted to take a chance and say, You know, let me pause teaching. Maybe I'll go back next year. But I wanted to give a hundred percent to figure out life on the road because I feel like it would be a little difficult to try to navigate both worlds, you know, it's a huge change. Selling everything I own to pack really small into a van. So, I just wanted to take the year off to really, just really find myself in the van world, and find what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to live, because, which traveling to different states, I was able to see how beautiful different places are, the different weather and try to decide is St. Louis where I want to be, or do I want to pack up and move somewhere else and teach. It just opened up a lot of opportunities to kind of find myself again, I'm a Sagittarius so I'm very adventurous. Trying new things is what I live for.

It sounds like you've already learned a lot about yourself from this experience. What are these discoveries that you've made so far in your time on the road?

I realized that anything I set my mind to, I literally can do it. Riding motorcycles was a very big jump. And I was like, wow, I learned how to ride a motorcycle and now, wow, I'm traveling thousands of miles across the country on two wheels. And then now I'm living full time in the van. That like that's mind-blowing.

Did I really sell everything? Leave the comfort of my loft in downtown St. Louis, which I love, to move into a van. And I was so afraid, it took me two weeks to finally make the jump. I kept telling the dealership: “Hold on, give me one second, let me think about it.” And, you know what, if it's meant to happen, it will happen.

And I just took another leap of faith and so I just really realized that you really can do anything you want to do. The key piece that I'm taking from it is if things don't work, it is okay to go back to doing what you were doing before, but I don't see myself going back. But I just always have that as motivation if things ever get tough. Like, when the weather is too cold, sometimes I'm like, “If you don't like this, you can go back to regular living.”

But it's basically, just knowing that I can do whatever I want to do and that I want to do that while I'm young and not wait until I am too old to really enjoy my life. So I'm taking a lot of chances, at least right now. It is very much worth it just living out on the road and just being free.

Sometimes the hardest thing that we can do is bet on ourselves and take risks. It’s so inspiring how you're diving right in for the thrill of new experiences and taking it all on.

It's only been about a few months too, I'm still new. It's been great though. I'm debating going getting a taller van. But I'm not trying to make a drastic decision and regret it a year from now. I'm just kind of taking it day by day, but I'm loving it right now.

My ultimate goal is to purchase some land and park my van and just have my own little homestead with gardens, a pool deck. You know, the same thing, as a house will have but I'm able to pick up and go anytime.

How do you think like specifically your experience with motorcycling and doing long-distance motorcycle trips help prepare you for the new experience of van life? How is van life different from those long trips on your motorcycle?

I would say that motorcycling definitely prepared me for the unknown. Motorcycling is a little harder because you're outside in the elements so when it rains you're gonna feel every part of that trip. So van life is actually a little easier because I'm able to travel and be protected by my van and then you don't have to spend a lot of money on hotels. So I'm very grateful when I started van life. I thought, wow, I could travel to any state and stay as long as I want without the hotel fees you know, with a motorcycle you have to pay to stay in a hotel or set up camp. Van life is a little upgrade from the motorcycle world but I definitely appreciate both. Van life makes me feel like I'm a little living in luxury a little bit on the road.

Do you ever park your van somewhere and then go on a long motorcycle trip and then come back for your van. How do the logistics of that work? St. Louis Photographer Nichole Kolb Willow _ Mohr Harvest Hosts 47.jpg

I'm fresh into the van life. I'm only five months and so I'm actually researching different trailers to be able to trailer my bike. Because now I have a friend who can drive the van and I'll drive the motorcycle in front of her and we'll go together. Um, but when I'm solo, I don't feel comfortable leaving the van by itself, just yet to do like an hour drive on the motorcycle. Everything I own is in this van. So I’m trying to figure out a system where I can bring my bike with me. I’m looking for a trailer to enhance the experience and I can take both things, I love on the road, at the same time by myself.

You just mentioned that like sometimes you travel with a friend or with friends and sometimes you travel solo. Do you have tips for other RVs or Motorcyclers like when they travel on the road or by themselves? Like how to make friends how to build community and if your friends can't or family can't always come with you how does that part work for you?

For people who travel solo in van life, I would highly recommend getting the app Harvest Hosts because with Harvest Hosts I am in safe locations and know that I'm supposed to be there. In my experience, I've met so many amazing people staying at Harvest Hosts from the actual owners or other travelers, and we happen to meet up and have dinner one night outside of our RVs. Um, so Harvest Hosts has been like the best thing for me of traveling solo because I feel so safe on the owner knows that I'm arriving there so I know someone's looking out for me and I also let my family know where I'm going to be. And every Harvest Hosts location I've been to so far has been safe, it's been clean. It's been just an amazing experience. So I just recommend everyone to get Harvest Hosts to help navigate life on the road, for sure.

Any final thoughts to summarize your experience going from motorcycle to van life?

Sometimes people may think you're crazy for doing things outside of the box, but make sure that you're following your heart and your dream, and don't be afraid to try new things. My family thought I was insane. My grandmother still does. She still is waiting for me to go back to my apartment.

For more inspiring stories of how people make life work in a van, be sure to check out the

Harvest Hosts Adventure Series!

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Allison Smith-profile-image
Allison Smith
Hi, I'm Allison Smith, Harvest Hosts content writer.