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.
We’ve always been good at listening to our gut. This time it’s telling us, “Let’s slow down for a sec. Let’s take a side-step from the hustle and grind of this self-sustained life we’ve created. Let’s focus on projects we’ve been putting off and grow skill sets we haven’t had the time to nurture. Let’s indulge in a little consistency — we’ve earned it.”
If you’re planning on giving up the static 9-5 office job to travel around the country in a van, you need to have a rough idea of how you’re going to fund your new lifestyle. Check out this blog post to learn how passive income can help sustain your traveling lifestyle.
From September to November 2018, we traveled from the east coast to the west coast, and then back to the east coast again. That’s right. We traveled the width of the country twice in only three months and it was insane… insanely awesome. Read all about it here!
We caught up with a couple of our vanlife friends, Matt and Ali, who share insights on their expenses while living on the road. In this post, they share an extremely detailed list of their expenses over a two month period (traveling from coast to coast) with the intention of helping others financially prepare to live their dreams!
We’ve partnered with our good friends at Duluth Trading Company for an epic cross-country road trip - Portland to Portland. Throughout the next four weeks we’ll be making our way from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. Read more about this legendary trip here!
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine. We're sharing 8 lessons we've learned while traveling both internationally and on the road here in the U.S. that have changed the way we live our lives and look at the world around us.
We get asked about how we make vanlife work with a large dog like Snoop. Here's how we make sure Snoop loves living the vanlife as much as we do and some tips and tricks on how to make living on the road with a dog possible.