Why We Left VanLife: #LifeAfterVan (for now)

mr and mrs adventure, adventures in california, california border, west coast roadtrip, vanlife, vanlife couple, vanlife couple, life after van lifeIt feels like we have lived 5 years since our last post… which was just over 2 months ago… and for some, 2 months may not seem like a long time, but for us we have literally been ALL OVER the place! After finally being able to cross the border back into the Schengen countries again, we left Croatia after 3 long, adventure-packed months, and excitedly ventured off to explore the canals of Venice (WOW)!:

bv kayak, bv kayak venice, kayaking the venice canals, amazing venice adventures, adventure in venice, unique things venice, venice italy, adventure sports venice italy, mr and mrs adventureFollowed by celebrating Halloween in our friend’s ancient Bavarian castle (WOW)!:

max rantz mcdonald, halloween germany, halloween bavaria kempton, chris hoermann halloween party, nachte des schrekens

max rantz mcdonald, halloween germany, halloween bavaria kempton, chris hoermann halloween party, nachte des schrekensFollowed by a few days in Munich, after which we packed up our van, parked her in our friend’s barn and flew back to America! Here we attempted to reorganize our lives and made the time to visit with nearly all of our friends and family before hitting the open road, yet again, in pursuit of a NEW ADVENTURE. Be sure to watch the cute video below of our new “Adventure Mobile”!:

7 days and over 3,000 miles later, we had followed our hearts all the way back to California:

california state sign, cute couple california, california gif, stick on road sign, mr and mrs adventure

mr and mrs adventure, adventures in california, california border, west coast roadtripBut why did we come back? Why did we leave all of the magic and wonder, all of the freedom and space of VanLife behind for the city!? Because maybe, just maybe, there’s a way to have it all

amazing white sands, white sands national monument, national parks in america, mr and mrs adventure, amazing adventure coupleThis past year of VanLife Europe, which we were eased into by 10 months of VanLife America the year before, was absolutely wonderful in so many ways, but nothing, NOTHING could have prepared us for how equally challenging it was.

vnalife problems, things to know about living in a van, camper van towed, van life problems, mr and mrs adventure, vanlife tow, why vanlife is hard

vnalife problems, things to know about living in a van, camper van towed, van life problems, mr and mrs adventure, vanlife tow, why vanlife is hard

vnalife problems, things to know about living in a van, camper van towed, van life problems, mr and mrs adventure, vanlife tow, why vanlife is hardThe biggest thing for us “Western Worlders” was learning the art of letting go. No schedules, no obligations, no structure, no wifi. I seemed to struggle with this a bit more than Drew (being that I am/was a pretty classic Type-A), but with time and practice we both were able to surrender control and expand into our present moments. Living for the now. Needing less and BEING more.

couple underwater, underwater swimming, gopro couple, go pro underwater couple, sexy couple underwater, cute underwater photo, diving right in, head firstVanLife changed us in ways we had always hoped for and others we never could have imagined. It also helped us grow together as newlyweds at an insane rate! So, if we loved it so freaking much, why on earth would we return to the shores of the “real world”?

girl in towel, vanlife couple, couple lives in a van, travel europe in a van1. Because GOALS: Goals!? YES. VanLife Europe was just ONE of the MANY goals we have in life, but now it’s time for us to focus on those that require us to be a bit more connected than we have been living-off-the-grid. While we’ve absolutely loved the wild gridlessness, the time has come for us to return… for a time at least.

vanlife europe, yellow flowers germany, vanlife flowers, couple lives in a campervan, mr and mrs adventure

tour du mont blanc, man with map, mountain man, mr adventure, mr and mrs adventureSpeaking of goals, Drew and his friend Antonio, are currently in the midst of creating an annual event, OutFound Series: an exclusive adventure sports and outdoor innovation festival in Hood River, Oregon! Sounds awesome right!? Well, in order to make all this awesomeness a reality, he needed to set up shop with some fast, reliable wifi in a workable timezone + stability and the ability to have face-to-face interactions with those involved in the event. Stay tuned for more on that!

outfound-logo-over-hood-river-2, outfound logo, hood riverAs for me, I’m working on teaching more yoga (there were NO yoga studios in Europe), publishing another book (this time it will be about our adventures!), creating art (more specifically, jewelry using sand + sea shells + rocks collected on our travels) and developing Mr and Mrs Adventure into a more community oriented experience (so we can start to share some of YOUR stories too)! We had a lot of time to think while spending so much time in peace this past year, so we are excited to finally be able to take action on some of those burning thoughts that have been stored up in our minds. Lots of exciting things to look forward to!

arch du port blanche, quiberon, girl in dancer pose, yoga on the rocks, mr and mrs adventure, brittany rouille2. STABILITY: After 10 months of traveling across Europe, we began to miss the feelings of familiarity and ease. It’s amazing what knowing where you’ll sleep at night, that you’ll have a hot shower if you wish and that the people around you speak your same language, can do for your peace of mind. Polaroid below of Drew taking a shower by the sea in 48 degree weather… yes I did this too! It was the only accessible, working shower that we could find in Croatia in October; all the campgrounds had closed because it was no longer tourist season!

polaroid, beach showers, croatia beach, porec croatia3. PRODUCTIVITY: Working on the road isn’t always as glamorous as Instagram makes it seem, just read the article I wrote for Invibed, Confessions of a Digital Nomad. All of that + the fact that Drew and I are both extremely easily distracted by nature, blue skies and new, curious surroundings, it was incredibly difficult getting ourselves to do anything but ADVENTURE!

dubrovnik buza cliff jump, croatia water, girl jumping in water gif

vanlife croatia, vanlife bosnia, vanlife europe, mr and mrs adventure, camper van and cowsAlso, seemingly simple everyday tasks were known to take ALL DAY. For instance, laundry. Washers were hard to come by and dryers virtually non-existent. You gotta watch our video below for an inside look into how it was really done!:

vanlife laundry, how to do laundry when you live in a van, camper van laundry day, funny vanlife photos, funny vanlife couple, mr and mrs adventure, adventure mobile, vanlife europeAll of this, and more, added to why ADVENTURING is what we prioritized… it was the only thing we could count on! Well that + each other:

mr and mrs adventure, tour du mont blanc, best hikes in europe, 4. CONNECTIONS: Again, we loved the off-the-gridness, but after a while we started to miss some peeps. We found a lot of support and love in each other, but different people play different roles in your life and it grew more and more important for us to be able to talk with (we had no cell service the entire year) and spend time with the ones we love.

boxwood photography, mr and mrs adventure, beach wedding, islamorada florida beach wedding, beautiful beach wedding, dream beach wedding, light beach wedding, dreamy wedding lights, christmas lights wedding, wedding sparklersAfter less than a month of #LifeAfterVan we have become aware of how much it has truly changed us. We miss it, mostly the freedom and simplicity + the amount of nature we were able to breathe in on a daily basis, but being back in LA is good too. The mountains are near and the sea is even nearer. We understand that there is a season for everything in life. For this season we are in LA, spreading gratitude for all the goodness we have and will continue to manifest in this life, and practicing needing less in a world that has so much.

mr and mrs adventure, croatia sunset, vanlife, vanlife couple, couple lives in camper vanParting GOAL: To return to our European van home for another 3-month VanLife stint this summer (and possibly every year after that)! We are planning to explore Cornwall, the South of France, Spain and Portugal. OMG… we can’t wait! But until then, we are being happy right where we are, manifesting all the dreams we thought up in our tiny house on wheels.

hollywood sign from behind, behind hollywood sign, hollywood sign hike, hike to hollywood sign, hikes in la, los angeles hikes

 

 

Comments

  1. Eric says

    We have just stumbled across your ‘You Tube’ Vlogs and have spent a very wet and windy Sunday in Southern Spain watching some of them. We are a ‘little’ older than you guys but four years ago we both gave up our very good careers, sold our house and all our possessions and hit the road in our Motorhome (RV as you call them over the pond), we write a blog http://www.bigmommasgreatadventure.wordpress.com and have had several twists and turns in those adventures. All the best for the future and who knows, we may just se you ‘on the road’ in Europe at some point in the future 👍

    • says

      Aww Eric, we love hearing your story! It’s so important to share the fact that there is another way to live life, a way that allows more room for freedom, love and joy, and less STUFF. Would love if our paths cross one day. Stay in touch, we plan to visit Spain and Portugal in our van next summer (2018). ✌️💚

  2. Lauren says

    Welcome Home you two! Your jouney has been incredible to follow! You guys have been such an inspiration to my boyfriend and I. Five months ago we decided to leave everything behind, buy a travel trailer and explore the country. After four months of traveling across the country (From NJ), we have decided to spend some time in San Diego, California. We are full timing in our 17ft trailer (Helga) until June. Then who knows where the wind will blow us. I am so thankful for all of the experiences we had along the way; even the tough ones. We have grown so much from our journey and I look forward to our future adventures. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences on your blog and social media. You have helped us realize that our dreams are within our reach! We look forward to every post. Enjoy your time back home!

    Your fellow full timing friend,
    Lauren

    • mrandmrsadventure says

      Comments like this are our favorite. First of all we want to say, “GO YOU!” It’s not necessarily the easiest transitioning into VanLife, though it is one of the most exciting things EVER, but again it’s not the easiest and it requires you to EMBRACE THE UNKNOWN. It sounds like you have been soaking in all the goodness that this life of freedom has to offer and that you have been truly enjoying the places this life is taking you. And San Diego! Great choice! Maybe we can make it down for a visit, we love it over there. We are excited to hear where you go next and looking forward to sharing more of our unwritten story with you too 🙂
      Love and adventure all-ways,
      Brittany (& Drew)

      • Lauren says

        Thanks so much! It hasn’t always been easy but it has certainly always been worth it! We haven’t explored much of Southern California yet but are looking forward to taking advantage of all it has to offer. And yes, we’d love to meet you guys! I’ll send along our contact info on instagram. If you’re ever in the area, come visit! We’ll be here soaking up the sunshine until at least June 😎. Best of luck on your future adventures and all you are working on while back home!

        ~Lauren (and Jon) 😀

    • mrandmrsadventure says

      SoCal has so much to love and offer. Make sure you spend some time in Big Sur, it’s our favorite place on the West Coast + camping on BLM land in the dessert + Joshua Tree = ☆

  3. mrandmrsadventure says

    Aww Pat,
    It means so much to know that you are following along! Thank you for always supporting and encouraging us, you inspire us to keep on inspiring 🙂
    Love you,
    B + D

  4. says

    Welcome back you 2! It’s been fun following you since I found your blog last year and this post was well very well said. It’s so true about the seasons of life…the key to being happy is realizing that one is not necessarily better than the other. There’s always trade offs, pro and cons, pluses and minuses to everything in life…but I’ve come to realize that really it’s not “Where you are” most of the time in life…it’s “Who you’re with” that matters. Happy Holidays!

    • mrandmrsadventure says

      You always have the most thoughtful comments 😌 And you’re right, it’s who your with (including your own outlook/internal dialogue) that matter most ❤️ Where you are is just an added bonus 😉!

  5. Pat Redhouse says

    You give me adventure and excitement. You open my mind and fill in with awesomeness.
    You two are young and fun.
    So happy to know you and share in your experiences.
    Love, Pat

  6. says

    Welcome back to LA! I hope you manage to get in some winter hiking in the San Gabriels. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures here and on FB. Regards, Hal

  7. Rocky Salt says

    I have absolutely loved dipping into your adventures. The pictures you take are truly remarkable. If you come back to the UK in the summer, make sure that you drop by The Wyndham Arms in Salisbury on your way down to Cornwall. (and be sure to let me know when – I’d hate to miss you.) Best wishes and good luck for all your future projects. Rocky x

    • mrandmrsadventure says

      Rocky, you will forever be one of our favorite new friends gifted to us by our adventures. We hope we do get to visit Salisbury again if only to see you and the Wyndham Arms again! Lovely to hear from you 🙂

  8. Aimee G says

    I have loved reading and watching your adventures and look forward to more to come, whether at home or abroad!!! All the best to you both, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy everything including New Year!!! Aimee from Nalgene aimee@nalgene.com

    • mrandmrsadventure says

      Aw Aimee! Thanks so much. We still use our Nalgenes daily… in fact they literally never leave our side! Mine is sitting next to me as we speak, smiling and waiting till I pick up again, which is never longer than 5 minutes 😉 More stories to come all-ways!

Leave a Reply