There are moments in life when you can catch yourself feeling utter joy and contentment and realize, “this is what life is all about.”I remember having this realization two years ago as I watched the sun set from the deck of a house boat in Halong Bay. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was inching its way behind one of the bay’s iconic rock formations, leaving only a burst of orange above our heads. There were about 15 of us staying on the boat that night. A handful of people decided to take kayaks out before the sun was gone. Some even decided to jump into the freezing water and swim (yes, Pete was one of them), but I was content on the roof deck; taking in everything around me and talking with the other travelers; listening to their stories and telling my own.
We bonded over places we’d been and laughed about our travel misfortunes. We’d been in Southeast Asia for about four months at this time, but it was in this moment that I first recognized how full of life and happiness I felt living this way; nomadic. Living in and exploring nature’s beauty all over the world, connecting with people from all walks of life, immersing myself in new cultures, playing music with strangers, feeling at home wherever I am because my best friend is by my side; that’s what life is about.
Flash forward six months, Pete and I are back at college finishing up our senior year. Our classmates are all stressing out over interviewing for any position they could snag with their business degree. Pete and I, however, didn’t stress about those kind of things. I thought it was strange back then, like, “should I be stressing about that crap too?” Looking back on it now, I think it was because neither Pete nor I knew we would be happy landing some entry-level office job and beginning our magnificent ascent up the corporate hierarchy. We were never ones to follow the beaten path, and life after graduation would prove to be no exception.
The idea came to me through Instagram inspiration (of course..). I found myself obsessing over the van life. The simplicity of living minimally, on the road, meeting like-minded people, and endless exploration enthralled me and reminded me of how I felt that evening in Halong Bay. I shared my infatuation with Pete and needless to say, he was all in. So with the support of our families, and a combination of ambition, determination, optimism, and naivety, the adventure began.
From exploring Europe, to backpacking Southeast Asia, to living out of a van, we've experienced a variety of different traveling styles. Here are some tips for making the most out of your adventures, big or small.
Living in a small space can put some strain on a relationship, and we're no exception. Taylor opens up about the challenges of being a couple in 80 sq. ft. and how these tribulations can either pull two people apart, or bring them closer.
This book is perfect for anyone who is interested in converting a vehicle of their own or for those who simply want to see exactly how we transformed an old airport shuttle bus into our traveling home. Find out more about the eBook contents and get your copy here!
We've been on the road for a full week now, but I wrote this blog post the day before we hit the road as full-time vanlifers. Not only did I want to write down my hopes and dreams of what our new life will look like, but also my fears and hesitations.