Hey there Wayfarer Fam!
My name is Allison, founder and voice of the outdoor adventure site, She Dreams of Alpine, and I’ll be popping up here on the Wayfarer Vans blog from time-to-time to share with you stories and tips from the road as my partner, Michael, and I navigate the United States in our Wayfarer Van in search of adventures that not only take us to new and exciting places, but that also challenge us to live a life that feels more aligned with our future goals and vision.
Only a year ago, Michael, and I were still (happily) living in Bakersfield, California, working steady corporate 9-to-5 jobs and feverishly living for the weekends!
And now… Well a lot has changed to say the least.
We are currently traveling the United States full-time in our Wayfarer Van. No more corporate jobs, no more structured schedules, and no more minimum 4-weeks vacation time. Just rubber to the (dirt) roads in search of Americas most beautiful campsites, best climbing areas, and jaw-dropping hiking trails.
Michael and I worked hard for a little over a year to make this little dream of ours a reality. We lived on one paycheck, moved into a house with 3 other roommates, and sold off A LOT of our stuff all while building my new online business, She Dreams of Alpine.
It’s easy to sit here today and think that it was all so easy and effortless, but I remember the weekends I had to give up (the weekends that were so precious to us for adventuring into the Sierra Nevada Mountains) in order to build my business on the side of my full time job. Though admittedly, I often found ways to still get outside even when I was working. I remember going to Bishop, California one weekend with Michael and setting our van up in a spot with just enough LTE cell service that I could tether my computer to, but also had beautiful views of Mount Tom, dusted in snow, as my new office view from the van.
A large part of what made our goal to travel full time right now a reality was our Wayfarer Van. Before we made our decision to take a year off to travel in our van, quit our jobs, and continue to grow my business we had just bought our brand new Promaster Ram Van and had it outfitted with a conversion van kit by Wayfarer Vans.
After sleeping in the back of our white Jeep Liberty anytime we headed off into the mountains for about 4 years prior, getting this van was a dream come true. It made it way easier to pick up and go on the weekends, and it made the cold winter nights in the Sierra Nevada Mountains way more comfortable. After only a few weekends with our Wayfarer Van, we got to thinking, “How can we do more of this?”
And now here we are… puttering our way up through Colorado and setting our sights on Canada. All thanks to a big dream, a lot of hard work, and a cozy, portable adventure vehicle.
Before Michael and I head off down a dusty road in search of a new campsite for the evening, let me leave you with a few final parting thoughts about “van-life”, adventuring, and pursuing your biggest dreams.
1) It’s not really about the van or “van-life”. Having a van creates comfort, ease, and portability for your adventures outdoors. It helps make the “pick-up and go” 10-times easier, and helps to bring in some creature comforts like a cozy bed, a place to clean dishes, and sturdy shelter from the elements, but most importantly, the van is a vessel to getting you outside doing what you love the most. One of the reasons we love the Wayfarer Van team is because they truly get this. When customizing and considering additions for your van, don’t lose sight of why you bought your van in the first place: freedom, adventure, and the simple life.
2) Live a life driven by your curiosity. I’m a big believer in following my curiosity. It’s led me to fall in love with the outdoors, summit some of the tallest peaks in the US, backpack into new and remote wilderness areas, take solo-road trips into the mountains, and even to start my own business. It’s so easy to operate your life from a place of, “safe” or “known” or even to operate it from a place of “fear”, but if instead you look at your life as a platform for curiosity, your world will open up. I think owning a van opens this curiosity driven life to a whole new level. Use your van as an opportunity to say yes to new opportunities and to new adventures.
3) Commit to living your life on purpose. No matter what your situation is like right now, make a commitment to yourself that you’ll do everything it takes to live your life on purpose. What does that mean? It means that if you have a dream or a goal or a vision of how you’d like your life to look, that you passionately pursue that dream every single day. For Michael and I, it was to see more of the world and spend more time climbing, hiking, sailing, and exploring places we haven’t had the opportunity to explore yet. A chance for “slow travel” instead of rushed weekend adventuring. We knew our van would open up this dream into a reality that we could easily afford and save up for. Whatever your dream is, commit to making it a reality every single day, and when you lose sight of it from time to time (because let’s be honest, life is like that) recommit to your dream until it is a reality. That’s living on purpose.
Do more of what you love, prioritize adventure and curiosity, live your life dedicated to pursuing your dreams and let your van be the vessel that helps get you there, whether that be to new camping spots, epic hiking trailheads, or even just an opportunity for a new change of scenery if you are laptop bound for the weekend.
Alright my friends, I look forward to touching base again soon with more lessons and adventures from the road. Until next time.
Allison – She Dreams of Alpine