I had a pretty normal upbringing — went to university, married my high school sweetheart, and got a highly-respected “big girl job”… But in my early twenties, I had this insatiable itch to go out and adventure before “settling down for good”.
Shortly after getting married, my husband Ben and I quit our jobs, put all our belongings in storage, and hopped on a one-way flight to Colombia with butterflies in our stomachs and packs on our backs. Since that one-way flight back in early 2014, we spent the next 6 years traveling and living overseas. We taught English in South Korea, hiked to Everest Base Camp, lived as digital nomads in Thailand and Bali, worked at a ski resort in Washington State, built our own campervan on a tiny budget and lived in it while we traveled the West Coast of the USA.
Since I have a background in journalism and photography, it felt natural to document all our adventures on a humble little blog I made mostly for my mom to read. Over the years, that little blog has turned into both of our full-time jobs and we even have a small team that works for usl. Being able to work for ourselves from anywhere in the world has given us an incredible amount of freedom and flexibility that we can’t even begin to put a price on.
If you told me a couple of years ago that someday my husband and I would be running a travel blog that brings in double the money we made at our “traditional” 9-to-5 jobs, I would have called you crazy.
Not only is it my dream — I get to write about one of my greatest passions and help other people plan their own life-changing trips — but it gives me the freedom to design my days how I want to spend them. I can go hiking on a random Tuesday and avoid the crowds. I can wake up when I want, and make time for friends and family without asking for days off. I can work my butt off for a month, and travel the next month. I can work from a campervan or a coffee shop or hotel rooms across the world.
My job allows me to prioritize the things in my life that bring me joy, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
When we made our first van conversion, we had just finished working a winter season at a ski resort and had very little money in our bank accounts, but we weren’t ready to give up adventuring just yet. Building a campervan seemed like a cheap way to be able to travel, so with a total of $3,000, we bought a van and converted it into a tiny home on a tiny budget in less than a week.
We loved waking up in beautiful places and being able to take adventures with little planning (no hotel reservations necessary!).
“Travel is so important because not only does it make the world feel more connected, but it’s also a way to uplift communities, preserve cultures, as well as protect wildlife and ecosystems.”
It was probably the best summer of both of our lives. And when we sold our beloved van as autumn approached, we knew another campervan was in our future.
Ever since selling our van, we’ve been collecting ideas for our inevitable second build. Now that we’re currently building, it all feels a bit surreal - a dream coming to life before our eyes. We’re doing this build quite differently; we have a longer timeframe and a bigger budget to work with. We’re so excited to see how it turns out, but we’re also trying to enjoy the process and document all the steps of our build to help others on a similar path.
I am passionate about educating people about the power of travel — both the good and bad sides. As a traveler, you can have an incredibly positive impact on the places you visit or your presence can be detrimental. It’s up to you to choose.
When you are traveling, your money has a lot of power. If you choose to support local, familyrun businesses and companies that are doing good things for the environment and their communities, your money can have lasting impacts. However, if we travel without regard to where we’re spending our money or without thinking about our impact, we can have the opposite effect. Our presence can be a burden. Our impact will be a negative one.
“We loved waking up in beautiful places and being able to take adventures with little planning. It was probably the best summer of both of our lives!”
Travel is so important because not only does it make the world feel more connected, but it’s also a way to uplift communities, preserve cultures, as well as protect wildlife and ecosystems. I strongly believe that if we all start to really make intentional decisions on our travels, the world will be lifted up in a tangible way.