Partially because we’re crazy, but mostly because it’s something we crave. For the past year Drew and I have been itching for a geographical challenge. Luckily our jobs and careers have worked out so that we were able to dissolve old projects and ignite new ones that will thrive with us being location independent. There are so many reasons why this is right for us, all of which centering around the fact that our souls crave the extraordinary.
1.) Getting down to the basics: Let’s focus on the van/sprinter/RV for a moment. This is not your ordinary van, it’s the “Mr and Mrs Adventure Mobile!” Fully equipt with 20 feet of space, we have narrowed our lives down to the essentials – which has been quite liberating actually. In doing this, our priorities have completely shifted, allowing us to focus a lot more of our time and energy on the things outside our van and inside our hearts. (Post on “How to pack for a year long road trip,” coming soon!)
Special thanks to John with AAA Swap Shop Signs for making our awesome, eye-popping magnetic signs! The smiles and reactions from fellow drivers make driving the Adventure Mobile even more fun 🙂
2.) “You can go your own way”: In the inspiring words of Fleetwood Mac, when you live in a van you can go wherever your heart so desires. Want to travel slow and spend some time writing a book? Have friends you want to visit, mountains you want to climb, fresh air you want to breathe? Or how about driving to Canada, visiting Mount Rushmore or grilling next to the ocean and rolling over to sleep in your cozy, comfy bed? Sprinter van is to people as snail shell is to snail… except our snail shell can go 80 mph… and it has a stove, we win.
The freedom granted by living “the van life” leaves more room for courage, opportunity, character and growth in whatever direction we desire! Our relentlessly aspiring sprits revel in living a reality where truly anything is possible.
3.) Appreciating the simple things: With a strict budget, we have learned how to appreciate the benefits and ease of a simple van-cooked meal, a free sunset, a newly discovered bike path, a warm shower, a local art gallery, 2 perfectly positioned hammock trees, and the list only continues to grow. By simplifying our lives we have come to cherish those things that align with our goals and teach us how to better spend our time and resources.
Another seemingly simple luxury we took for granted prior to living “the van life” is water. With a 6-gallon fresh-water tank to last us generally about 4 days, dish washing, tooth brushing, face washing and all things water, must be as fast and efficient as possible. We find ourselves using less dishes, turning the water off while we brush and jumping into the ocean whenever we can. Each and every day we are becoming more and more aware of the value of this scarce and vital resource that so many have to go with out.
4.) Going with the flow: If there is one thing we know, it’s that the sooner you let go of control and accept the fact that all things change, the sooner you will find peace in just about any situation. Whether it’s the weather, your spouse’s needs, your mood, your plans or the schedule of others, things change and it’s all good. It may not feel that way in the moment, but life on the road requires you to become flexible, and along with that you learn how to be patient and let things settle as they may, you learn to be compassionate towards others, and no matter how things shift, you always find a way to make the best of it because there’s no point in living your life any other way.
5.) “Do it while you’re young”: This is the phrase we hear time and time again from those who had always hoped to travel across America/the world, but for one reason or another, never got around to it. Kids, a house, a cat and dog, we want all of these things one day (we think), but at this point we aren’t ready to close the door on all of the possibilities and blessings that this kind of freedom gifts us with.
And we don’t want to wait until we retire to meet our world. If we start now, we will be able to touch and be touched by so many more lives and lands that we would have otherwise never known, and in return, our lives will be that much richer. Money is just a thing that will come and we will figure out, time is a limited resource and we might as well use it while we have it. If we keep on waiting to live the lives we have dreamed of, there’s too much of a chance that we won’t be able to climb the mountains we dream of climbing!
Oh, and an added bonus: Learning how to live life in an extraordinary way with this guy. I can’t wait to see where this all takes us.