Hello Wayfarer Wanderers!
While life has been peculiar these past several weeks, we hope life just hasn’t stopped either. Yes, there are new precautions we all need to practice to keep us safe and healthy, but where there’s a will there’s a way. This blog celebrates the ingenuity and wanderlust of our Wayfarer community, so here’s a little dose of inspired living.
We recently caught up with Kandra and David of Colorado Springs. As they were sharing their story, I couldn’t help but think: you (and only you) have the potential to create the life you seek…and it doesn’t matter how unconventional it is.
In 2016, this duo jumped into the rock-climbing scene with both feet. While they had individually dabbled, it wasn’t until both started climbing together that the casual hobby turned into a die-hard passion.
Originally hailing from North Carolina and Maryland, the pair ventured to Colorado for work. Their love for the great outdoors kept these two trekking to the high country on the weekends to practice their new love: rock climbing. Now, if you’re a rock climber, or you know someone that climbs, you know it’s not just a pastime, it’s a legit lifestyle.
Weekends soon didn’t cut it. They wanted more.
At first, it started out as just a joke. “He would randomly mention the idea of living out of a van,” said Kandra, “but then I started to do research and seriously started to consider it. We realized we would regret it if we didn’t do it now. We have low responsibilities. No mortgage, no kids, no pets. This is the time to do it. No real risk to doing it.”
So, they set out to make that joke a reality.
“We began the process of transitioning from traditional full-time jobs as PTs to more flexible contract-based jobs as travel PTs. These contract jobs usually last three months and allow us to take time off between contracts,” said David. “It was perfect! We’re both PTs, so this work setup allows us to make an income and gain the flexibility to travel and enjoy the outdoors. It was a win-win. We just needed a vehicle to make it work.”
“I mentioned our goal to a friend at work and she referred us to Wayfarer,” said Kandra. “As we began to look into it, the idea began to unfold. At first, we didn’t think we could afford a custom conversion van, but once we started to compare the costs of living in a house versus buying and living out of the van, it made financial sense.” So, they downsized and tested living out of their van on weekends for a few weeks before permanently moving into The Van in April 2019. Yes, they just celebrated a year of mobile living!
“Now, we realize this is probably not a lifestyle for everyone, but it works perfectly for us,” said David. “The Van is our permanent home. This allows us to travel anywhere in the U.S. and work. Between contracts we are able to enjoy prolonged road trips to our next work destination.”
To date, their work assignments have taken them to Olympia, WA and Palm Springs, CA. “We pick places that are near really cool places that we want to visit,” said Kandra. Chuckling, she also admits, “and we love to follow the good weather.” While in Washington last summer, they spent time climbing at some of the surrounding areas including Smith Rock, Index, and Squamish. While in Palm Springs they spent most of their days off climbing in Joshua Tree and Red Rocks.
The Van, as they affectionately call it, has been an integral part to making this lifestyle work and it has taught them a lot along the way. “Living in the van you realize what’s really important,” said Kandra. “You don’t need much, but having the right mindset is key.
Since moving into our van, we are now minimalists by design and necessity. We’ve learned that experiences are more valuable than material possessions. We don’t want to look back and regret that we missed out on life.”
“For us, time is irreplaceable. We want to make the most of our time, and getting two weeks off a year wasn’t enough, so we did something about it, and it's been quite the ride figuratively and literally,” said David.
As for what’s on the docket next? Their plan is to travel to Arkansas to visit Kandra’s sister and take in some mountain biking and climbing. This summer the duo is also prepping to finish knocking out all the 14ers in Colorado – you heard me, they have only a handful left before climbing all 58 of them! Did I mention they like to climb?
So, there you have it, another great adventure with a fellow Wayfarer! Where will your Wayfarer Wanderings take you next?
Until next time, happy travels Wayfarers!