Ever since last summer when I officially decided to make this van life happen, I had a plan (a vague one at least).
Before hitting the road in June, that plan had evolved into a much clearer idea of how I was going to be spending the upcoming year. My intention is (was?) to do a full year on the road: north for summer, south for winter, and as much as possible in between. I figured I’d eventually wander back to WV to see family and friends before taking off to wherever I had decided to ‘settle’ somewhat. Although my route wasn’t completely set in stone (as I wanted to allow for changes and additions along the way), the outline was there and the road ahead looked pretty clearly defined.
A friend back in Maine told me “the plan is just the point from which we deviate”. This statement made vague sense at the time; now, I relate to it on a deeply personal level.
Coming up on almost 4 months of road life. Specifically, it’s been 120 days of constant travel: rad adventures, new faces, new places, good days, bad days, and more- all mixed together over a span of 17,000 miles.
Am I still in love with this whole vanlife adventure? Overall, yes, but that’s becoming a bit more complicated to answer with full honesty.
Hanging out on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah
This trip has unveiled plenty of stunning views with vivid colors, but some of my favorite scenes have been the lakes I’ve visited along the way. Most have been as equally cold as they are beautiful (a fact I know due to swimming in the majority of them), which isn’t really surprising being as many are fed by snowmelt and glacier runoff.
Sitting at about 9000′ elevation, with all that snow on the edges… you can imagine how warm this water was
Making my way through the Midwest, South Dakota was the stop I was looking forward to the most. First up the Badlands, followed by a visit with my friend Ashley in Rapid City (since I’ve known her she’s told me how pretty the Black Hills of SD are, so I was pretty siked to check them out finally!) Continue reading
Aren’t you scared?
This is the question I’ve been asked more than anything (even more often than ‘have any free candy?’, and trust me, I get that one a LOT). “Aren’t you scared of traveling alone? Of hiking by yourself? Of being in strange towns where you don’t know anyone?” Continue reading
When I asked for recommendations on a place to visit in Michigan a few people had mentioned the Upper Peninsula, and some vague references were made to Pictured Rocks being ‘pretty nice’.
That was definitely an understatement.
Leaving Acadia National Park in Maine felt premature, there definitely was more fun to be had in that northeast corner of the states, but this girl was ready to start heading west (FINALLY). This segment was over the course of a week, and to summarize immensely: drove approximately 1800 miles, hiked some mountains, crossed the U.S./ Canadian border twice, and hitchhiked for the first time. Continue reading
I’ve had a few people ask about my camper van build- how much it cost overall, what components were the most expensive, etc. This post is for you my friends!
Working my way up the East coast from West Virginia, I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to stop along the way, but one goal was clear: get to Maine. No specific reasoning as to why, just an unmistakable gut feeling that I NEEDED to get there.
“I wish I could do what you’re doing, you’re so lucky!”
Lucky? Me? Maybe, but not in the way I think this phrase (that I’ve been hearing quite frequently as of late) is meant. Continue reading