Courtesy of Matthew and Renee Hahnel
September 14, 2017

If you needed a good dose of travel envy today, look no further than the Instagram accounts of Renee Hahnel and Matthew Hahnel.

The picture-perfect pair have made a huge name for themselves in the social media world thanks to their jaw-droppingly beautiful travel photos from around the globe.

While the duo has been to countless countries and undoubtedly taken innumerable vacation snapshots, it’s their latest adventure that has everyone talking as the couple, in partnership with EVOLVE, is currently living in a van and crisscrossing the United States in an effort to visit 59 national parks to bring more attention to the National Park Foundation.

Courtesy of Matthew and Renee Hahnel

Courtesy of Matthew and Renee Hahnel

“As huge lovers of the National Parks system, we have always wanted to experience all 59 of these beautiful natural wonders for ourselves,” the Hahnels told Travel + Leisure in an email, adding that when EVOLVE reached out with the idea it felt like a no-brainer.

“The mission was simple,” the pair explained. “Connect as many people as possible to the parks and inspire the next generation of park stewards.”

Related: 9 Incredible Hidden Locations in U.S. National Parks Where You Can Avoid the Crowds

To get to each of their destinations the Hahnels are traveling together inside a vintage red ’88 Westfalia van, fondly named Ruby. The best part of the van life experiences, the Hahnels said is “getting to spend a lot of quality time together.”

“As you can imagine, there's a huge amount of time invested traveling in our GoWesty van to get around the whole of the United States,” they said. “That forced close proximity has given us so much time to learn even more about each other, and it's been a blast bouncing creative ideas off of each other on a daily basis.”

Check out my journey through Glacier NP with @sackclothxashes new sunrise and moonlight blankets! Link in bio ✨

A post shared by Renee Hahnel (@reneeroaming) on

As for the worst part of their new close quarters, the adventure-loving couple shared that they have both given up one of life’s best luxuries: “There's those times when we both haven't showered for almost a week.”

While the couple will still be traveling to new destinations throughout the fall, they shared that their favorite pitstop so far was Lake Clark National Park in Alaska.

“Our float plane landed on this incredible, huge turquoise lake called Upper Twin lake, and we then spent three nights at a remote cabin located on the shoreline,” they said. “During this time, we took the canoe out on the lake for morning paddles, used the owner's motor boat to get us to different parts of the lake and hike into the different mountain valleys, collected countless wild blueberries (and made blueberry pancakes!) as well as fished for some lake trout that we caught and cooked for dinner. We'd never heard of Lake Clark prior to this road-trip, but the peacefulness and beauty there was out of this world.”

As for what they hope their followers will gain out of their epic road trip, the Hahnels simply want others to love nature as much as they do.

“We hope to inspire our followers to show a similar love to our wilderness by visiting and responsibly enjoying these incredible places,” they said. “Unfortunately, there will always be a threat to our parks from large corporations fueled by nothing but greed, and we need more everyday people and companies to be there to support and protect our parks from these threats.”

Check out more of their journey on Instagram here.

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