Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rolling Out

Written by Karen.
Over the past six months or so, Adam and I have spent countless hours talking about how we would start up our travels again once a window of opportunity opened up. What would we do differently?  What mattered to us about traveling?  What were our short-term/long-term life goals now?  What worked and what didn’t work?  Did we still want to travel, or was it time to do something else?   
Surprisingly, we have now been on the road for nearly two years.  We left SFO on a one-way ticket to Bogota, Colombia on October 30, 2012; seemingly a lifetime ago, and yet in other ways, just yesterday. We have been traveling slowly ever since, zigging and zagging our way through the continents of South America, Europe and Asia by train, plane, bus and auto with our 20-pound backpacks, exploring our world and ourselves slowly.  And, we’ve loved it.  But times change and priorities change.  

So, we’ve decided to make a few adjustments.  First, we want to travel even more slowly.  And secondly, we want to travel with a home - our home.

Our favorite times traveling thus far have been when we rented apartments in various cities and became just one of the neighbors exploring and participating in a new community.  But, rivaling that experience, we’ve enjoyed the freedom we had when we camped around France and the western United States in a VW Vanagon, one rented and one that we own.  

So, the logical conclusion is to combine these two preferences and travel in our 1984 VW Vanagon - named Chinook - for awhile. We may still want to rent apartments in various towns and cities and become part of the community for awhile, but we also want the flexibility and the freedom to pull over and camp on the beach or near a mountain lake with the conveniences of our own home.  

Of course, the floor plan of our rolling home is roughly 108 square feet, so the opportunity and feasibility of multiple modern conveniences are somewhat limited by space.  But we now have electricity, lights, toilet and shower capabilities, and lightweight storage installed in Chinook to provide those things that make our lives more comfortable and homey.

We’re going to take a trial road trip up the western coastline to work out the kinks and see what other vehicle preparations we should make before finally taking off.  Where?  Not exactly sure yet.  The calendar has a lot to say about what direction that we will finally take.  It’s coming up on October, so our route will most likely be south.   For how long?  Not exactly sure.  For awhile, I hope.  As long as we can keep Chinook running.  I’m optimistic.  Adam…well….he’s just hoping we eventually make it to Puerto Vallarta.  

Welcome back to habitation, Chinook!  Everybody back on the bus!  


Anonymous said...

That is awesome! How did you manage a toilet and shower in your vanagon. Post pictures .. So cool!

Enjoy your trip.

Observers of Life said...

Hi Anonymous!

Thanks for reading our blog post! I'm thinking of writing a post about prepping our vehicle for an extended overland road trip with pictures. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Hi Karen

I'm glad to hear that you are back on the road and that your sister is doing well.
We will look forward to seeing you in Vallarta this winter. Zumba awaits.


Observers of Life said...

Hey Darlene!

Great to hear from you. Zumba was such fun - I can hardly wait to join the group again. See you (hopefully) around the holidays.


Anonymous said...

Yes please do can't wait my girlfriend and I are so excited to see the pictures it must be cool in there. As girls on the road we are creeped by some of the facilities..

Can't wait .. Keep on movin..