UTAH (ABC4) – Brianna Madia made a major switch after realizing that she had slipped into the life she swore she would never have.

When Madia found herself in a Groundhog Day situation working nine to five at a software company, she purchased an old Ford van she’s dubbed “Bertha” and loaded the car with a few necessities along with her two dogs. From there, Madia took to Utah to escape.

Brianna Madia working at a software company

“I settled on the deserts and canyons of Utah because something about that landscape was so freeing to me,” she told Good Morning America.

Madia found inspiration for her adventure in an old recorded speech by Alan Watts, a worldwide “philosophical entertainer,” where he discussed how we often compare life to a journey, though it’s more appropriate to compare life to music because the point is not to get to the end of the song.

Brianna Madia dancing in the streets of Utah

In reflecting on her experience, Madia said, “the biggest lesson I learned from living in the van is that when you move into a vehicle there is a certain comfort in having to choose the things that you really care about.”

For Madia, that didn’t include much. During her stint of van life, she relied on a double-burner Coleman camp stove to cook and a little green hose to shower.

Madia has since wrote a memoir about her time traveling across the American Southwest in search of a more intentional way to live called “now here for very long.”

For a deeper dive into Madia’s adventure, you can purchase her book here.