Our personal Van Life adventure. Stories from our travels.

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Category: The Vantasy Life

Is Vanlife Right For You?

Is Vanlife Right For You?

Van Life is not all sunshine and rainbows. From the time its an idea to when you’re actually in your van there are lots of bumps along the way.

Some of our obstacles when we first got the idea seemed huge:

  • We had two cats and we didn’t think traveling with them would be pleasant for them or us
  • We owned a house
  • I had a new car and car lease payment

We had huge support from our parents who volunteered to cat sit during our journey. We then worked very hard and found someone to rent our home and someone to take over my car payments. Those were just our big setbacks to this lifestyle, there we also many more concerns that made taking the leap into vanlife difficult.

We may be a little extreme, but we created and shared a “Pros and Cons” document. We create Google Docs and Sheets for everything and this was no exception. We compared potential good things about vanlife and some potentially really bad things that could happen. We had a lot of similar concerns, but our pros seemed to really outweigh the cons. We wanted to do van life for a deeper reason, we wanted to use it as a way to grow together and as individuals. We knew this adventure could bring a whole new appreciation to the world.

There is a lot to learn while on your adventure. There will be struggles so learn to “roll with the punches” as a fellow vanlifer (or horse trailer lifer) once told us. There are going to be some ups and downs. There are going to be some hot nights, cold nights, and unexpected break downs. You must be patient and learn how to respond correctly in these situations as it can be extremely frustrating.

You must be comfortable enough with yourself to take this journey. It isn’t easy to do something completely against societal norms. People do not take early retirement. We are conditioned to go to college, get a job, get married, and get a house. Once you do that then (maybe) you are able to enjoy life.

Our Opinion

Why can’t you do that when you are young?

Van life takes a special kind of openness to new things. Being open to doing new things, seeing new things, and meeting new people is a great part of the adventure. Looking back on our adventure a great pro to van life is the amazing community!

Click here to hear more about the pros and cons and other things to be aware of when deciding if vanlife is right for you

A Journey Ends But Growth Continues

A Journey Ends But Growth Continues

Last week we pulled our van into the driveway of our parents home completing a unique and memorable chapter of our lives. We had been living in our van and traveling the country for the past six months. As we unpack our van and say goodbye to our traveling lifestyle I wanted to reflect on what this adventure has provided us and our thoughts after completing this journey.

When we first came up with the idea that’s all it was, an idea. “Wouldn’t that be cool” we told each other as we researched online about vanlife. Now that our journey has ended we say “That was so cool!”

Living and traveling in a van is a unique experience and it isn’t for everyone. We were fortunate to have each other on the trip to handle the ups and downs that come with experiencing life in a whole new way. Was it easy? Heck no, but it was so worth it.

Through our travels we have deepened our connection with each other. We experienced amazing things together but we also experienced loss, van breakdowns, and bad attitudes. Everything that happened was part of the journey and a huge opportunity for growth.

While traveling with a partner you are in close quarters and you see the good and bad of each other’s days. You learn how to better take care of each other, and best of all take care of yourself.

Nothing went as we had planned, and that’s the beauty of the exploration. We did a year worth of planned travel in 6 months. Could we have stayed on the road longer, yes but after seeing so much beauty across the country we were ready to be home again. We felt our journey was ready to end.

We have two cats so they were a large influence as to why we came home early. It’s like being without your children for a long period of time. We also have a small business which allowed us to travel and take time off without being employed. Due to our responsibilities and wanting to grow the business we also felt it was time to get home and focus on our business.

We would not change anything about our journey. It was beautiful physically and spiritually. We have both become better versions of ourselves and have a greater appreciation for life. This wasn’t the intent of the journey but a huge positive of our vanlife adventure.

We understand for people interested in this lifestyle there are a lot of different opinions out there. You see people that portray vanlife as having nothing but fun and that can be misleading. You also see people quitting vanlife upset and unhappy with the journey.

We want to give our opinion. 

Vanlife was the best decision we ever made. We got to quit careers that were no longer making us happy and we got to break the cycle of everyday mundane life. We appreciate everything we got to see and do on our adventure. Our vanlife adventure taught us lessons we will use for the rest of our lives.

  • Appreciate the small things
  • Be aware of all the beauty around you
  • Live simply
  • Choose love and happiness
  • You create your environment
Witnessing The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Witnessing The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Monday, August 21st Jonathan and I awoke early excited to witness the 2017 eclipse. We had not got into any traffic despite all the speculation surrounding the event. We got to enjoy the eclipse from a small town in Oregon near the bottom of the totality path.  Around the Oregon area they had country music festivals, electro-dance festivals, and lots crowd drawing experiences. I loved how we enjoyed the weekend away from it all.

We arrived Friday evening to Brownsville, Oregon in order to be certain we could camp around that area. We were surprised that not more people were around, but also loved the low key weekend ahead. We found a spot around 7pm in a residential area just past the town. The next morning we had no plans and made the most of our small town experience. Saturday morning we drove around to find a perfect viewing area for the next day and we found a field near a small community that we thought would be great. It had no buildings to block the view and a great clear view of the sunshine.

The rest of Saturday went quite slow. We got so bored that we started learning some Acro-Yoga in the park, I’m sure the locals thought we were crazy. We did so many things throughout the day to entertain us: read, took a walk, trimmed his mustache, sat downtown, listened to locals heckling tourists, made phone calls, and anything to help the time pass.

Finally it was night time and we were able to get a spot close to the field. Before bed we sat our all our supplies for the next morning: Camera, tripod, GoPro, GoPro tripod, accessories, eclipse glasses, and water. We went to bed anxious for the upcoming morning.

 

THE ECLIPSE

 

We woke up later than I expected at 7:30am. We got all the supplies prepped and were out in the field a little after 8am. We enjoyed our breakfast while prepping all devices: testing the glasses, setting up the tripods, calibrating cameras, and all the small details. Then it was time to wait. The moon would first cross the suns path at 9:04am. We didn’t notice any change in the suns light, but at 9:05 I decided to look up. The first bite of the sun was taken by the moons shadow.

The changes were slow, but every 5 minutes you would look up and the sun was missing more and more. Once the sun was 30% covered you could start to see differences in the surroundings. The suns rays seemed less strong and it was slightly darker like it was late afternoon. Once the sun was about 50% covered you could start to feel it become chillier and much darker. Near the end the sun becomes nothing but a sliver. The sliver shrinks and shrinks till the real magic happens. The sky around turns a dark blue and the corona of the eclipse shines before your eyes. The blue sky, the blackness of the moon, and the sun beams hugging the moons surface is absolutely beautiful.

It only lasted 52 seconds so we had to be sure to pay attention. The street lights turned on and for a brief second our surroundings were like those of night time. It was a quick change and then out pops a small sliver of the sun and it was daylight again.

I wouldn’t say the eclipse changed my life, but it was an amazing experience. Even if for just a brief second daylight turning into night is a spectacle to be seen.

Full Eclipse- When the moon covered the sun