It all started with a simple question : “Do you want to quit everything and start living full-time on the road?”
Of course I did. I’ve been asking him for years. Living in a house and traveling once or twice a year wasn’t enough for us. We are nomads at heart. We had traveled across the United States and Canada but never had enough time to really enjoy it all.
So just like that, we were all set. At the end of our lease, we would quit our jobs, sell or give everything away, and take our beloved dogs with us on our new adventure.
We first bought a pickup truck with a cab. But when we tried to build a house out of it, we soon found out that it was way too small.
A friend asked, “Why don’t you guys buy a Westfalia?”. Two weeks later, we became the proud owners of a green 1973 Volkswagen bus and named it Pickle.
We quickly learned that living in a van wasn’t as romantic as it sounded.
You’re going to be cold. Sleeping in your winter coat is only funny for a while.
You’re going to be dirty. Forget about that hot shower every morning.
You’re going to break down. Being stranded on the side of the road is quite stressful.
You’re going to fight. Two not-so-patient adults and two dogs in a small space. Enough said. And you’re going to be broke. Damn you Canadian currency!
But those are just a few downsides compared to all the wonderful things you’ll experience.
You’ll wake up in the middle of the night to gaze at the stars.
You’ll watch the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen.
You’ll drink beer and laugh with all the amazing people you will meet.
You’ll learn mechanic skills working on the bus by yourself.
You’ll use the sun as your alarm clock every morning.
You’ll have howling coyotes as your neighbors.
You’ll eat like kings from dumpsters full of still fresh food.
You’ll swim with your dogs in the cold water of gorgeous lakes.
You’ll soak in hot springs until your toes are all wrinkled.
You’ll hike to the top of mountains to enjoy stunning views.
I can go on and on with that list.
But the most important thing of all is freedom. That’s all we asked for when we chose this lifestyle. Excuse me now, I need to go, I have a whole world to discover.
To follow our adventures :
The husband @vwpickle
Volkswagen love is in our blood. We met in a high school German class when I was 15 and Mike was 16. He had a Volkswagen even then. In our thirty-five years together (and counting), we have always had at least one Volkswagen. Mike grew up with buses, karman ghias, beetles, sciroccos, rabbits and vanagons. We were both raised here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and started camping with our families as kids, and have always enjoyed being outdoors.
In 2014 we purchased our 1990 Westfalia. We named it Maximillian. We liked the idea of being able to explore, camp, cook, relax, and sleep in the same vehicle. The van allows us to travel into the wilderness on forest service roads, or easily park in the busiest of downtown streets. We started our @Westytrekking Instagram feed last spring, and were quickly amazed at the interest and followers of van life.
Through local friends, and social media, we have acquired an ever growing van family. From our first camp outing with these other van lovers, we knew we had found a special niche and would forever be hooked into this lifestyle.
For us, van life simply gives us the means to decompress, relax and explore. It allows us opportunities to trek into Canada, make day trips along the coast to watch the sun set; camping in a ski resort parking lot to make first tracks the next morning. Sometimes we roll along dirt roads to stumble across the perfect camp spot for the night.
We are passionate about the community that van life represents for us. We enjoy sharing time with van loving friends that we have met because of these mini rolling homes. Van lovers come in all ages, backgrounds and places. Our van love is our commonality. We eat together, we laugh together, we explore and hike together. We love on the kids and dogs together. We discuss the latest upgrades on the vans, and talk about new travel plans.
The other part of our beloved van life is the quiet road trips alone, just the two of us and our faithful traveling dog, Avalon. A perfect day is a spontaneous day spent driving. Enjoying the sights. Stopping. Taking photographs. Visiting old places we remember. Exploring places new to us. Relax. Breathe……. Our lives don’t have enough of this.
We travel as far as we can in the time allotted before needing to return to work and other responsibilities back at home. We look forward to marking places off of our bucket lists of sights to see and roads to explore. There is an entire world for us to see and experience, and we’ve only just begun.