traipse [treyps]; to walk or travel about without apparent plan but with or without a purpose.
Traipsing About chronicles the life, adventures, traipsing, and thoughts of Dakota (that’s me!) and my wife Chelsea.
Our first date was a month in Eastern Europe (Chelsea flew to Prague to meet me for the first time). Our second was three months in SE Asia. Since then, we’ve van tripped, biked, and traveled all over. This podcast interview best explains our approach to life.
When we’re not van tripping or bike traveling, we’re digging into piano/language study/drawing (Dakota) and gardening/indoor plants (Chelsea), and actively working to build community. Always a balance between adventure and connection to a place. In that vein, after three years on the road, a desire for community prompted us to land in the outdoor playground of Bend, Oregon as a home base.
I’ve written a lot about my evolution from hard-driving business guy and intense outdoor athlete to a more balanced lifestyle. My days are now a rich mix of creativity and language learning, outdoor fun, and some business sprinkled in too. If it’s not piano and languages, it might be bikepacking the Colorado Trail or Oregon desert or learning to draw portraits. Or getting my Italian citizenship, which will happen SOMEday.
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I think of this site as two parts:
- A practical guide to living an intentional, streamlined life aimed at pursuing dreams and developing new passions (like piano and gardening in 2020, the most random, crazy year ever).
- Insights, helpful resources, and stories from our travels to help (and inspire) you to explore the world or your backyard.
These are practical posts discussing how I run a business and keep track of our lives from afar:
- How I built my business (and why I shut it down a decade later) plus how to create a strong financial foundation
- How to make friends, avoid envy, stay in the present moment, or design your perfect day.
- Anki, the power tool for learning a foreign language (or anything!)
- How to escape the busyness trap and decrease distraction from social media, and simple tools to make it a reality.
- How to prep your house and rent it while you travel.
- The Secret Weapon, my Evernote-based time and task management system that helps me manage my life.
For my angle on life, plus pursuing adventure and your passions, check out these posts:
- Downshifting from van life, or why we hung up the full-time travel spikes.
- Spinning into the unknown, or why new trips and challenges are good for us.
- Volunteering with refugees in Salzburg or at a farm animal sanctuary.
- My rationale and path as an athlete to adopting a vegan lifestyle
- Hard choices, easy life
- My approach to staying fit, plus my GarageFit setup and workouts.
- For a T. Rex philosophy on failing, check out those drawings!
Bikepacking and Bike Touring
When we aren’t traveling in the van, one of our favorite ways to travel is via bicycle.
In 2014, we rode 4,000 miles west to east across the U.S. In 2015, we toured a few thousand miles through Europe. 2019 featured two months riding in Spain and Portugal. Since then, I’ve focused mostly on bikepacking off-road terrain.
Some posts in this realm include:
- Advice for a new cycle tourist
- How to bikepack on a plant-based diet
- Resources for launching a cycle tour in Europe.
- Total stats for our 2014 U.S. tour and 2015 Europe tour
- The nuts and bolts of touring and bike touring FAQs.
- Bikepacking: 700 miles on the Oregon Timber Trail, an adventure in the Chilcotin Mountains of Canada, the magical Colorado Trail, multiple trips in Oregon (coast range, desert, mountains) and more.
All the Van Posts!
Here’s a list of all the posts about DIY Sprinter camper van, which I built out in 2013:
- Main van build post.
- Detailed in-process buildout photos.
- How to install solar panels on a camper van.
- How to install an Espar heater.
- Favorite upgrades to our van (Part 1 and Part 2).
- Upgrading my van batteries to lithium
- How to install a gray water tank (with fancy remote valve!).
That’s enough reading to make anyone nod off. Want to follow along? Type in your email below to get the 2x/month newsletter.