https://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Smith-Rock-Marsupials-rappel.jpg 435 580 Dakota https://www.traipsingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Traipsing-About-logo-white-background-450x156.png Dakota2018-03-08 22:20:012021-11-10 20:56:38Downshifting from Van Life
Downshifting from Van Life
I’ve aimed to write this post for over eight months. (All photos in this post are from that time frame too!) It’s for anyone dreaming of traveling long-term, and also for those living that dream wondering, “Will we do this forever?” *** As long-time readers know, Chelsea and I launched our van trip in fall 2013 for a four-month jaunt down the coast of California. “FOUR MONTHS IS SO LONG!” our friends opined. “Don’t forget Oliver,” said Chelsea’s parents as we dropped our fuzzy companion off for cat-sitting. Little did we (and my unsuspecting in-laws) know we’d live the van life for three years, not four months.
Dakota! Another interesting, thoughtful post.
My first thought was: I want that van! (Drats, they’re not selling!) I’ve just passed eight years on the road with no home base to go back to, though I have a van in Europe for the summers. When I first hit the road full-time I thought of it as an experiment, and now I think: the experiment continues. There’s definitely a cost that goes along with any choice, along with the benefits. We all need to go where we feel moved to, but it’s helpful, I think, to realize that no combination of travel/non-travel, living here-or-there, this-food/that-food will really lead us to some kind of ultimate happiness, because it’s not found outside ourselves in ever-changing conditions. Be happy, then travel and live and eat as you wish! I enjoy reading about your adventures and your mindful and intentional good works!
Well done, mate, both of you.
Dave Adair recently posted…“The light of eternity” (Four hikes in the Dolomites)
THE VAN IS MINE! Hahaha. I think the life you’re living is awesome. Your point about only finding ultimate happiness inside ourselves rings very true to me. Maybe one of these days we’ll meet in person…we’ll definitely be back in Europe for a bike tour sooner or later. Til then, keep living your dream!
Loving this — nodding my head the entire time. So awesome to see you guys doing so well, I’m inspired to be more intentional about these choices!
Awesome! Thanks Loren. Seems to me that you’re quite intentional about your choices, always pushing and examining what’s next and why. Looking forward to connecting in person somewhere in the world someday sooner than later! Maybe we can go for a run, and this time I’m not going to bike for 3 months beforehand… Cheers!
DOWNSHIFTING FROM VAN LIFE is everything. THANK YOU for writing that. I needed that. We are so similar and it felt necessary and comforting to read what you wrote!!! We have a 6 week trip coming up in April and THAT will be the time for reflection: house vs van or the balance that I’m craving. You’re awesome!
Thanks Pamela! It took forever for me to sort out what the heck I wanted from travel for this next phase, and I think this post sums up my thought process. Glad it helped!
Love, love, love this post! It echos so much about where we’re at with traveling full time as well. And we, too, miss a certainly depth of community involvement. Seems we are just a few years behind you in the trajectory. So happy you love where you’ve landed. Cheers!
It’s funny how social we can be on the road and yet it doesn’t quite fire all the cylinders for some reason. It’s good to swing the pendulum from static to free sometimes just to see what the heck it feels like. You two are doing that well! Here’s to finding that balance, whatever it is, that works great for you. Lots of cool places to land when you’re ready! Howdy to Martin for me.
Sounds like you are officially “Bend Fit”. 😉
Looking forward to meeting you somewhere in this big world in 2019.
BIG hugs to you and Chels. xo
It’s allll relative with the #BendFit levels, but I can hold my own in about 7 sports so I suppose that counts for something? It would be so cool to see y’all overseas in 2019! Big hugs back at you and Don. Good luck with trip planning!
Your article inspired many thoughts, centered for me around the notion of contrast. Laying down roots hits the spot because you’ve been in constant motion. Let’s say you transitioned from stream to tree and I imagine that before your stream phase, you’d been treeing it up. Similarly, warming up by a fire or in a hot tub feels (to me) extraordinary after a day of snowboarding, but undeservedly indulgent if I spent the day inside watching Netflix. Eating tastes best when I’m hungry and sleeping feels great when I’m overtired. Along these lines, the way you concluded the post felt right: You’re not done moving and you’re not done being still. Like seasons, these drives naturally change. The most important lesson I take from this is that we can bounce around without “committing” to one style or another as what we are and what we do. It’s our nature to transition and we should relish switching gears when our guts tell us it’s time.
Great post, my friend! Looking forward to some two-wheeled, two-board, cookbook club, and maybe even some running if I can sort out my hip/IT band. And maybe mix in some simple hanging out… 🙂
Running?! That’s just something we do when the mountain biking trails are muddy or snowed under. Ok, FINE, it’s not that bad. But I still want the bumper sticker that says “0.0: Running Sucks”…even if I did run 10 miles yesterday…
Great read – it really resonated with me. The underlying theme here for me is commitment; to a place, a group of people (community), a partner. Stoked to see how this story writes itself 🙂
I thought it would! You figured out about 13x faster than most people rocking van life that it isn’t satisfying to roll 300 miles every 1.5 days to a new destination. Smart man.
What a great update! It sounds like you guys found a great balance in this new lifestyle. A sense of community is what makes any place a home. I’ve also been more motivated to participate in local marches and other progressive events and I’ve made so many new and fun friends. It’s a good reminder to me that making friends as an adult and maintaining personal relationships is a very intentional act. Be well!
Well said! Making friends after we’re out of school/our 20s has to be intentional because we all don’t have as much open space in our schedules. Since we do have the time, we love hosting gatherings and bringing people together for various events. Feels like a worthwhile way to spend some time and energy. Hope life is great for you and your family out east!
Thank you for the interesting reflections Dakota! I just got my first van yesterday and completed the first step in making two years of dreaming into a reality. I was particularly interested in your sharing because I envision my ‘van life’ to be a balanced lifestyle of travel, play work and longer periods spent within communities that could possibly become the seeds of a new long term home one day. I’m beginning my journey without a home base, so we’ll see how it all unfolds 🙂
Welcome to van life! Way to make it happen. I think you’re kicking things off with the right mindset! Take it slow and don’t get caught up in go go go and maximizing the number of destinations. Cheers!
Dakota great post which resonated strongly with me. My fiance and I live in Park City, Ut and after 5 years of selling real estate and her doing nursing we hit the road in our Sprinter back in 2015. Traveled the U.S., Canada, and Mexico then headed over to New Zealand and bought another van over there. We rented our house and left on our adventure! Your post hit it on the head! We are back in Park City now asking ourselves the same question, “Where do we want to put down some new roots?” After working on life tasks we are hitting the road in search for a new home base with Bozeman, Durango, Crested Butte, Bend, Driggs, etc on the list. Life is all about balance and even if you are doing amazing things on a daily basis, the deeper, long lived connections are vital to our species.
Thanks for sharing.
Hey Jeremy! Sounds like you two had a great adventure that will continue. Watch out for the Bend vortex is my only advice…it can be hard to extricate yourself from this place. Or any of those towns on your list, for that matter. Good luck with your search and drop a line when you’re in Bend if you want to catch a ride!
I accidentally moved to Bend in 1978. It was so very different back then.
I lived there for 32 years and couldn’t wait to leave. I now live in Sunny Santa Barbara and LOVE the outdoor life here. The winters in Bend changed over the years to become a hassle and hazard. I still follow the Bulletin online and every single winter it’s filled with auto accidents.
I raised my two sons in Bend and it’s a great place for families.
Thanks for stopping by, Loretta. Glad you’re digging SB. I went to school in SLO, just north of you. Gotta love the Central Coast!
We frequently hear that Bend has changed dramatically! I guess it’s all perspective. Growing up in a small town, then living in Portland, this feels like a perfect middle ground for what we are seeking. The access to nature and awesome people here greatly outweighs the other potential headaches for us, at least for now! Cheers.
Excellent write up on how you feel. As I approach the world of medicare [omgosh, how COULD I be that old already???], I am thinking of getting a van. Researching everything. Which is how I came to your blog. Yeah, that’s the wisdom of older folks there, Dakota. You got it baby. Figuring out what makes the world right side up to each of us. Community is important to many, not so much to others who have had it up to their eyeballs. My plan is to travel during the nice weather months, and hibernate into the community in the winter. Figuring out which van to get is the biggest obstacle, then how to DIY on the build out. Very good article. I look forward to reading the rest.
Very interesting post Dakota! Sounds like we have got much in common! We hit the road next week to volounteer 2 weeks at Burning Man, then ridding the OTT and finally heading to Descent on Bend before going back to Quebec! It would be nice to meet you and Chelsea around Bend, or around Quebec City if you plan on driving up here one day.
Sounds like an excellent adventure! Drop me an email when you’re heading to Bend and we can get out for a ride (or not, ha) or at least some food. I may be traveling then, but if it works out, great. Best of luck on the OTT!
Long time listener, first time caller. I love your blog and it is definitely an inspiration for myself and my small family. I don’t know if it has ever been on your radar (at least I know it was never on mine until recently) but adventuring in Japan is pretty awesome. I just moved here a few months ago, and my wife (a former Portlander) said it is like Portland, but better. There are a lot of trails, waterfalls, and pure untouched nature where we live (Island of Kyushu).
Thanks for dialing the hot line, Pat! Appreciate the nice comment. Sounds like you all are choosing a fine adventure in Japan! I’m hoping to bike tour through Japan, S. Korea and/or Taiwan sometime in the future and your description of Japan makes me want to make it happen sooner than later. Thanks!