#solofemaletravel

//old wives know that a woman’s beauty is not in her looks alone. Her power is in the way she lies in the sea. In the way she fixes her footing on the earth - Tiphanie Yanique// ✨🌎🌚the more I travel the world, the more I realize we are all the same. Our fears are really the only thing that separates us. I said to myself, “you’ll be ok, you can do this, and you can be scared, you just have to keep going” several times today. So glad I challenged my fears and took these few days to solo travel in the Caribbean. Happy final full moon of this decade, how you livin? #firmlyplanted


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Today my thoughts are simple. I’m grateful to have the circumstances to do whatever is healthiest for me, whether that be hiding in the forest and seeking alone time, or drinking wine and playing UNO with friends in a one bedroom Airbnb.


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This patch collection started as a way to decorate the interior of the van. As my travels grew, it quickly became a way to document all the different places I visited. Even if I was feeling lazy, finding a patch would inspire me to get out of the van in a new town and at least roam the local shops and streets a bit. Now, as the dedicated space is almost filled, I enjoy looking back on each individual memory attached to its very own patch. What do you collect along your adventures?


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I never spent much time in the desert growing up. Born in Oregon, it just wasn’t a landscape I knew very well. And what I did know of it, I honestly didn’t really like. I was too busy exploring lush forests with wet moss and running creeks. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve found a magical connection with the drier land, it’s desert vegetation, and the openness of it all. So if you ever catch a glimpse of the pendants hanging from my neck, you just might notice a small token of appreciation for each of these landscapes. One for the place I called home as a child, and one for the place I fell in love with as an adult.


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This photo was taken almost exactly a year ago. Nowadays, my campsites only require a single camping chair. And while many see a situation of loss, I think it’s so important to recognize how much I have gained. - When you remove everything else and it’s just you, alone, in a vehicle, driving, you face things you didn’t even know were there. You’re required to look into who you are, what is important to you, what is left when you remove the other people or experiences. For me, this is what solo travel has offered. - When I was traveling with a partner, there was so much stimulation, constant conversation, and new experiences, that I never did much work on myself. While living on the road solo has offered many things, the thing I’m most grateful for in my current season of life is the room for self-growth.


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I remember this day perfectly. It started mediocrely. In fact, I actually filed my taxes earlier in the morning. The sliding door was open, the breeze was a perfectly comfortable temperature, and this was my view in all directions. At night, I went to my alotted campground but every morning, I drove to this area. - While this view and this experience were very real, not every day is like this. See, I often feel the need to reiterate how vanlife isn't all glorious, not all camping spots are beautiful, and sometimes the consistent moving around is very, very exhausting. But I'm being 1000% honest when I say that a large majority of my time is spent with breath-taking views, as much fresh air as my lungs can inhale, and completely enveloped in happiness. - Like anything in life, living on the road full-time is exactly what I make it. It's heavily based on my attitude, how much I let things affect me, and how I choose to pursue it. But that's my favorite thing about it. It allows me to make decisions, assess, then change paths based on exactly what I need at that moment. And above all else, that screams freedom to me.


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I've been talking to those in my life about roots lately. How do roots build? Why are they important? How can you nourish them and help them grow? I've been bouncing around from state to state in the last few months and one thing has remained the same. My van is my home. My roots are planted here. While in plain terms it is a vessel towards travel, it has also grown to be so much more than that. It is now my place of comfort and I couldn't be happier.


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Social Media. A magnificent way to keep up with friends. An avenue for engaging with community. A helpful tool for business. There is so much good that comes out of social media. But like all things, it requires balance. It can be overused. Too much emphasis may be placed on it. It often creates judgment and comparison. So I stepped away from it for a bit and it felt super relieving. Basically, this is a long-winded way of saying that I didn't post for over 2 weeks and taking time for yourself is really cool 🙃


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Why does it feel so uncomfortable to make ourselves a priority? Ask for our alone time? Come to terms with the fact that we might actually benefit from moments of silence? - I used to struggle to even imagine a world where I felt comfortable saying, "my overall wellness is better when I take time to be alone with my thoughts each day." Now, I can't even fathom a life where I don't say that. - Imagine what would happen if we put as much time, effort, and respect into our relationships with ourselves as we do into our relationships with others?


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I frequently get asked what the “We” stands for in “So We Bought A Van.” In fact, I frequently get asked a lot of questions revolving around this topic, such as, “why isn’t he traveling with you anymore?” Or “are you guys still together?” Or “why don’t you change your Instagram handle?” I often feel vulnerable or frustrated by these questions. I wrote an extremely long caption a while back, and even an entire blog post dedicated to this. And while I know I don’t owe an explanation to anybody, I recognize that it’s fair to wonder where the “we” comes from. - To recap in a simple manner for those who don’t know, I began this journey with a previous partner nearly 2.5 years ago but have been continuing it solo for 8 months now. Around the time of our split, I had finally completed my website and brand revamp, something I had been working on for nearly 6 months. The domain was already purchased, email accounts were set up, logos were in the works, etc. I knew that changing my “name” would be time consuming but even so, I honestly did consider it. - Here’s the conclusion I came to: I can try to pretend that I got here by myself but I don’t want to. The honest truth is that I am where I am today because of many people, one of them being him. Pretending like that isn’t the case feels like a disservice. The “we” and all that it holds is a vital piece of my story and while that doesn’t mean that there isn’t pain attached to keeping this name around, it feels important. Plus, at the end of the day, it’s just a name on the internet. And there’s so much more to who I am than a handle.


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Today was a day of anxiety. My heart rate was out of control. My hands were sweating non-stop. I had zero appetite. My thoughts were jumbled. Concentration was nearly non-existent. I barely even had the ability to tackle minor tasks. To top it off, an extreme headache usually follows after a heightened state like this. - Today, of all days, was not the day for this. I had a packed schedule from the moment I woke up. I knew I would be busy the entire day until I was too exhausted to work anymore. I tried to accomplish even the smallest things on my to-do list so I didn't feel like the day was a complete waste. There were multiple times I had to stop and do a breathing exercise or talk myself down from a panicked state. - There isn't even much purpose to this. No moral of the story. No loose ends that got resolved. Simply put, on one of the busiest days of my week, I did not get as much done as I wanted or needed to. While I'll kick myself for a little about it, I know that I deserve compassion and grace from myself, even when I'm not feeling 100%. And I have high hopes that tomorrow will be a better day.


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When I get asked about my lifestyle, a lot of questions revolve around the van. What year is my van? How many solar panels do I have? What’s the MPG? And while I LOVE talking vans and honestly could do that for hours, my van is simply more of a means to the places I want to experience. - I am stoked about the 65k miles I’ve put on this van in the last two years because I know how much I’ve seen and explored. I’ve gotten lost down dirt roads, hiked through remote trails, and perused through small towns I never would have visited otherwise. - The world has so much to offer. And while I’m grateful for what I’ve seen so far, I know I’ve barely scratched the surface.


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I’ve never been one to meditate. - As I enter the new year, instead of making a list of resolutions, I am choosing to focus on values that I want to embody. In working on integrating actions and thoughts into my daily life that support these values, I’ve noticed that something keeps coming up and halting my focus: forgiveness, or the lack thereof. - In an effort to work through my struggle with forgiveness, I’m starting each day with a 20 minute meditation revolving around the subject. I’m not an expert and I can count on both hands how many times I’ve meditated, but today I used a quote by Brené Brown to guide my thoughts and I wanted to share it with you guys. - “I’ve never met anyone – personally or professionally – who didn’t have to rumble with forgiveness. That includes self-forgiveness too. Within families and in other close relationships, we love each other and we hurt each other. The question becomes, what has to end or die so we can experience a rebirth in our relationships?”


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I recently took the enneagram, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I was not surprised at all to find that I am type 1: the reformer or perfectionist. I’ve always known this about myself, that I push and challenge and organize, sometimes even to a fault. It can feel like a continuous battle to have personality traits like this yet live in such a constant state of chaos through road travel. - But I’m slowly learning ways to make the chaos somewhat organized and find a routine that works well for me. I find joy in the structure of knowing that I hit my goals for the day, even if they are as simple as taking my vitamins, exercising for 30 minutes, and journaling before bed. And while I used to consider how particular I am a negative quality, I’m finally beginning to appreciate that side of Katie. - So today, I choose self-love by accepting these traits within me and recognizing that they CAN coexist with my current lifestyle. Which enneagram number/type are you?


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The first long-term trip I ever took in the van was driving to Alaska and spending a month exploring the state. I was still so new to the concept of van travel and looking back on the experience, there are so many things I would have done differently. I think this year might include another visit... - Any tips or recommendations for traveling via van to/around Alaska?


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I wasn’t sure if I should do a yearly recap because I'm still not sure how to explain what the year was like. I went through (what I would describe as) the biggest change/transition that has ever happened in my 26 years of existence. There were moments where I would describe myself as the happiest I've ever been, as well as times where I would describe myself as feeling the deepest sorrow I've ever felt. Yet throughout the ups and downs, I found the strength to do something I don’t usually do: make myself a priority. - I'm often crippled by what others will say, how others will feel, or the impact that my actions will have on those around me. I often make decisions based on convenience, popular opinion, or what is considered normal. I frequently choose the safe path of life and often am sacrificing something, usually my own happiness, to do so. - So I decided to change that. At one point in the year, I had no home, no car, and was completely broke. I was sleeping between my parents house and my friends couches, unsure of what my next move was. But the point is that I wiped my slate clean, forced myself to look in the mirror, and asked myself, "what do you actually want?" - This year, I found my voice, rediscovered my passions, took risks in my career, and pursued overall wellness harder than I ever have. I cried more, laughed harder, and smiled wider. But most importantly, I discovered how wonderful life is when you learn to love yourself and be your own friend.


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I came back to Portland briefly to spend the holidays with my family. I haven’t stopped dreaming of California sunshine and coasts since I’ve been back though. People ask where I came from most recently and I quickly respond “California”. Then, people ask where I’m going next and I quickly respond “California”.


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Last year I visited Colorado multiple times, adding up to nearly a month in total. This was the longest I had stayed in a particular state at the time, and even so, I still feel like I barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer. I think I’m overdue on another visit...


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Often, campsites aren’t as beautiful or breathtaking or secluded as I’d like. But last week I found an area of National Forest that was all of the above. Bonus: it even had cell reception so I could work all week. I‘m happy to say that I broke my personal record for the length of time staying in one area in the van!


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I’m usually more of the get-to-camp-and-relax kind of person. This usually means that I’m headed there earlier than most, and often prefer to get to camp instead of stop anywhere. Something I’ve been intentional with lately is pulling over and allowing myself time to just take in my surroundings. Even if it’s just a few minutes, I find that this increases my appreciation for the places I call home each night. Such a simple thing, yet it makes all the difference.


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This fall, my mom and our friend Jana flew out to spend 5 days in the van with me, driving from New Mexico to Oregon. One of the more common questions I get when talking about the road is “what do your parents think?” See, I can explain all the details and how I find parking or where I get water but it’s nothing like actually experiencing it for yourself. We had such a blast together, exploring, getting lost, and site seeing. But most of all I loved being able to share what my day-to-day life is like to these two important people. Thanks for being such troopers, ladies! 💕


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One thing that being in the van has taught me is how much I value alone time. It’s something I’ve learned to love, cherish, and listen to my need for. Last week, I had an urge to be by water so I picked up and drove to Big Sur to get out of service for a bit. I drove over an hour down a dirt road to find a campsite, set up my camping chair, and watched the sunset in silence. It was a simple night but it was exactly what I needed.


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There’s something about going back to my hometown that always throws me for a loop. I’ll be feeling so empowered and strong during my travels but in order to sustain relationships and be intentional with my family, breaks in Portland are necessary for me. I remember the convenience of hot water, a wall plug for my computer, an oven, and indoor plumbing. I start to question myself and my decisions, every, single, time. But then I climb back into my van, hit the road, and everything seems to settle back into place perfectly. Maybe it’s a cycle I need to work on breaking, or maybe it’s like @emilyventures said in her voice submission for @womenontheroad. I need to accept and acknowledge that it will be there, it is a process, and by sitting in it and letting it take me over for a second, it will inevitably fade away and that strength and empowerment will sure enough fill my veins once again.


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Latest featured media with @mercedesbenzmyvan! Feeling extra grateful for my home and adventures this week. Link in bio! - “I definitely had to lower my standards of cleanliness. But for all the dirt, dust and sweat, the lifestyle is always worth it. You give up worrying about little things. That really changed me. My priorities have changed. I live a much more relaxed life today."


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Healing is not linear. It is not a straight, easy line or a 1, 2, 3 step process. It is messy and contorted. It can change - rapidly, intensely, and without warning. Like most things in life, I try to plan out healing, but in the end I really don’t have much control. The last month has been filled with necessary self-care, patience, and forgiveness. I have had to tell myself, “Katie, this is where you are right now and it is absolutely, 100% okay.” I simply have to take what I feel, acknowledge it, and sit in it. And while that used to really scare me, I’ve found that by letting go of the things I cannot change and allowing myself to simply be, I end up taking a step in the right direction. Towards healing.


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"I think one of my biggest realizations lately is that there's beauty in things that are temporary. And I think that used to be really hard to swallow because I felt so drawn to these long-term things, not just in relationships but in life. I'm finding the beauty in the things that are a little bit fleeting and it's okay. How wonderful that you get to experience this moment and it's okay that it might not happen again or you might not be able to replicate it again. It took a really long time to find that and it's made my life a lot easier." • Listen to the entire episode through the link in my bio!


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What does the road mean to you? Lately, I've been asking myself this. Is it a way to travel and see the world? Is it a way to build a relationship with yourself? Deal with something bigger going on? Visit friends and family around the country? - I think the conclusion that I'm coming to is that the reason for road travel changes depending on what chapter of my life I'm in. Sometimes the reasons are heavy and sometimes they are light. But the point is that I still have a reason. So until I don't, the road will continue to be my home and my place of self-discovery.


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When I was in Quebec I met the lovely Mat and Danielle of @exploringalternatives. I'm stoked to be part of their latest video and can't thank them enough for the intriguing questions, quality conversation, and many, many hugs. Link in bio! 🚐


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This past weekend, I attended the Women on the Road Gathering, hosted by @womenontheroad @vanlifediaries and @she_explores. Ever since I drove away from Taos, I’ve been trying to find the words to explain the multitude of emotions I’m feeling. I’m not quite sure if it was the beautifully raw performance from @irawolfmusic, things I’m working through from the workshops and conversations, or the dozens of painful goodbyes, but I am processing. Processing the realization that for the first time in a long time, I finally feel understood. See, I often feel disconnected since I seem to always be on the move, but this weekend, I was surrounded by over 175 women who all share similar lifestyles, opinions, and hearts. It was the most beautiful, moving, and connective experience I’ve had in a very long time. I cannot give enough thanks to all the amazing women who made this weekend possible and all the individuals who were vulnerable throughout the entire process. I am so inspired and will continue to process what this weekend means for a long, long time. - 📷: @meganmcable


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I’ve traveled in many forms - by plane, by foot, by train, and even by boat. The one thing I could never fully get over was how much I hated constantly packing and unpacking my life. It left me in a sort of “limbo” all the time. See, I moved into a van for a lot of reasons, but the #1 reason was just that, to travel. It is, by far, the most convenient form of travel I’ve ever experienced. There is no packing or unpacking. I can reach everything I need within (just about) an arm’s reach. I love my van whole-heartedly but what I love most is the access it gives me to explore new places. When I hit the road, I set out mostly seeking five to seven mile-long hikes in beautiful National and State Parks. By the second year, I was literally googling “weirdest things to see in Nebraska.” Van travel has allowed me to explore tiny corners of states and provinces that I might never have experienced otherwise.


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I’m headed back to New Mexico for the upcoming @womenontheroad gathering this weekend! I’m super excited to connect with a bunch of wonderful ladies and meet more individuals within the community. Also, I’m pumped to be co-hosting a discussion-based workshop on Saturday! This weekend is going to be magical...I can feel it ✨ See you all so, so soon!


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Today marks the 2 year anniversary since Evan and I originally purchased the van. It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling today. I think about how young I felt at the time and how unknown everything was. I think about how Evan and I came together as this strong team to make a shared dream a reality. And I remember feeling like the world was literally becoming my playground, a place for me to explore and find joy throughout. During the massive transition that 2018 has become, I’ve finally learned to look back on these 2 years with a smile on my face, genuinely happy that I experienced such an adventure with someone else, but also that I felt strong enough to continue that journey on my own. So today I celebrate him, I celebrate myself, and I celebrate this van. Cheers to many more years!


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The last few days have been rainy and cold. I’ve mostly been hanging out in my van, with a few occasional long walks around the areas I’ve been parking. While my initial reaction is restlessness, yesterday I decided to embrace the weather instead. I drank red wine and cooked enough homemade soup to feed a family of 5. Then I climbed into bed and watched 6 episodes of maniac on Netflix. It was a really good day.


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I posted this photo a while ago but I think it’s time to revisit it. So much has changed since the beginning of this year. At the time of this photo, I was unemployed and pretty early on in my journey. I didn’t even really know what I was looking for out of life. While I still may not know exactly what I’m looking for, my relationship with myself has improved tremendously. I have this empty slate, this unknown period, to thank for that.


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Some weeks I’m a really good van owner and some weeks I’m a really lazy van owner. Overall, I’ve been quite impressed with my ability to just chill out. I used to stress over the smallest little details, things I couldn’t control, and it really dictated my life. If you saw me 5 years ago, you’d high five me today for still having hair. Maybe I’ve just learned to smile through controlled chaos but I really feel like I’ve learned to let go of the things I can’t control. And I think that’s pretty cool 🙃 - 📷: @bound.for.nowhere


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#ad Before I moved into a van, I imagined myself driving around with the windows down, my fingers running through the wind, and soul-touching music blasting through my home on wheels. But within a few months I found myself beyond caught up with the travel aspect of my new lifestyle, spending more time behind the wheel than enjoying the outdoors. I was traveling at such a rapid pace that I forgot to be present. I found myself overlooking beautiful scenery because I was focused on the next stretch of driving, the next monument, the next city. After nearly 16 months on the road, I’ve finally found a balance. My sweet spot of driving time hovers around 1.5 hours each day, allowing enough time to reset, lose myself in thought, or listen to an episode of my favorite podcast, without losing my entire day to the road. It satisfies all my personal requirements: experiencing something new each day, learning to slow down, and allowing more free time for the outdoors. Because at the end of the day, life is about balance, even when you live out of a van. What would you be able to enjoy more of by driving under @76 miles each day? #76ontheroad #76gas


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It’s time for some overdue honesty. While I've wanted to talk about what is going on, I genuinely haven't known how to because I'm still coming to terms with everything myself. But here it is. • After careful consideration, Evan and I have decided to pursue different paths of life. We both are heavy dreamers and believe that life is too short to do anything but what makes us wholeheartedly happy, and right now our dreams are simply different. • However - this is not the end of @s0weboughtavan ! I am moving forward with becoming the sole owner of our beloved Sprinter and hitting the road again. While this journey may look different now that it’s solo, I hope you choose to stick around. As you’ve heard me express repeatedly, this van is my heart and home and I can’t wait to get back out on the road in the next few weeks. • I am eager to fall and fail, then pick myself back up again. I can't wait for the days where everything goes right and the days where everything goes wrong. But most importantly, I look forward to healing and welcoming personal growth with open arms. • Oh - and I wrote something! Link in bio.


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It’s pretty wild to think that this was over a year and a half ago. It feels like just yesterday I was spending hours researching countertops, solar panels, and more. After everything was purchased for the build, it all sat in the garage as a reminder to constantly put efforts towards this build. While this was, hands down, one of the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on, the outcome has been so extremely worth it.


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I’m sending out a brief note of thanks. Our online presence has been minimal as we’ve been focused on resetting and figuring out our next moves. We never set out in our van with the intention of traveling for more than a year, but you can’t help what you fall in love with. Setting goals and being proactive about achieving those goals can be scary and nerve-racking but I honestly believe if you’re not taking risks then there’s a big chance you’re wasting time. Thank you for bearing with us and being patient!! Current adventures will be back in your feed SOON - I promise 😁


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Our latest featured article is with @theparksapparel and we’re beside some pretty rad vanlifers. Check out “the #Vanlife Movement: What It’s Really Like to Live on the Road.” This is one of the most well put-together articles we’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Let us know what you think! Link in bio!


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The last year consisted of constantly moving around, without much of a home base. The closest thing I had to “roots” on the road were the National Parks throughout the country. Arriving at a new park gives me a sense of home, with familiar signs, uniforms, and maps. I’m continuously grateful for the work, effort, and advocacy that goes into supporting these magical places. 📷: @fleursbyanna


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I’ve had a hankering to drive back to the Jackson Hole area this summer. The camping and views are unlike any other place I’ve experienced on the road. I felt like a kid in a candy shop running around Jackson, Grand Teton NP, and Yellowstone! 🍭🍫🍬 ••• What is your favorite area of Jackson Hole to explore?


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As some of you know, we came home for the summer. We traveled at full-speed for a year and completed our goal of visiting all 50 states. We explored the parks we were interested in and saw all the monuments and cities we wanted to. Transitioning to a more stationary lifestyle for the summer has been even more challenging than I could have anticipated. I can’t stop thinking about places I want to go back to, brainstorming new routes I want to take, and thinking of all the places in Canada I didn’t get to see. • Has anybody else experienced this? What helped you during these transitions? Help 😫 • • •


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The contrast of weather in the last year has been insane! One week we’d be in 90 degree weather swimming in natural bodies of water and the next we’d be bundled up trying to keep our toes from going numb. It’s all part of the adventure 🚐


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Peep our overflowing laundry riding along in the passenger seat. We also finally found a shower after 2 long weeks. Oh, and we had to spend a giant chunk of cash on new tires. Lately the tasks of living out of a van have felt intense, requiring more patience, more deep breaths, and much, much more flexibility. While we love our fast-paced life on the road, we’re both looking forward to some of the ease that comes with being more stationary as we spend our summer in Oregon.


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When we moved into the van we had a goal of exploring all 50 states within the year. We wanted to know our own country better and have it feel more familiar to us. This week was a huge milestone as we began exploring New Mexico, our 50th state. We’ve driven 46,000 miles and spent anywhere from a day/night to a month in each state. We’ve checked locations and events off our bucket list, hiked in (almost) every National Park we’ve been wanting to go to, and learned so much along the way. We’re excited to head back to our home state for the summer!


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Back to another public park! We’re covering a lot of ground this week and long driving days can be challenging. After a day like today, it’s nice to be able to open allllll the doors and enjoy the fresh air. ••••• We listen to a lot of true crime podcasts during long stretches of driving and recently started In the Dark. Has anybody listened to it??? It’s super intriguing but I will say it has us (Katie specifically) a little jumpy...


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A question we get asked a lot is, “what’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened on the road?” Well guys, the other day we caught the giggles HARD because we randomly remembered a story we both had previously forgotten about. •••••• We were recommended a 5 mile hike in Theodore Roosevelt National Park by a ranger. So we set off. 0.10 miles in we come across a river and have to cross it, knee deep. Next was 3 miles of hiking through prairie dog fields while they non stop “barked” at us. But the kicker was when we ran into a bison on the trail. We proceeded to quietly and WIDELY tiptoe around this thing, which resulted in us having to cross said river again, twice. Except this portion of the river came above our waists. We then had to scramble up a giant dirt wall to get back to the car. In that moment things were more than tense but now, we laugh so hard at the ridiculous experience of that hike.


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We spent last week away from the van visiting family. That was the longest we’d ever been away from our home since moving into it 10 months ago. It’s funny how time apart has given us a new appreciation for the way we live, even with small tasks like getting water or thinking about how much propane is left. Living out of a van definitely takes more time, just simply providing ourselves with the bare necessities, but we’ve grown to love every little part of it, even the challenging parts. Who would have thought we could be so attached to 62 sq ft. of cedar-covered-metal?


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Something we don’t talk about often is how much we’re missing in Oregon, between our friends and family. Since being on the road we both lost our family pets without having the chance to say goodbye. The harsh truth is that we miss big moments by choosing the lifestyle we’re choosing. Birthdays, holidays, deaths. It’s part of the sacrifice that comes with living away from loved ones. Most of the time we don’t get very homesick but during times like these, it can be hard to be away from our people.


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Finding free camping. Sometimes it’s as easy as pulling into a beautiful site with a pre-made fire ring, level ground, an amazing view, and plenty of firewood to gather. But sometimes you have to drive 7 miles down a dirt road to find nothing and then you have to turn around on that skinny dirt road and hope that nobody else is approaching and drive back 7 miles. Then sometimes you do that again and another place is a bust. And sometimes even the 3rd location you try doesn’t work. That was us today. It took us hours to find a spot that we wouldn’t get stuck in, wouldn’t get knocked on in the middle of the night, and felt comfortable staying at. It was annoying and frustrating but that’s life. Right after the above mentioned 12-point turn around, we snapped this photo. Turns out the long drive to nowhere was worth the view.


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We’ve never really been that into cooking or paid much attention to what we ate. Recently, we made some major changes in our diet after realizing how much 💩 we were eating. We pretty much cleared out the van and repurchased cleaner products to eat and cook with. While we are, by NO means, the healthiest people around, these changes have really made an impact in our daily lives: quality of sleep, energy levels, headaches, etc. Our bodies are a little happier with us and it feels GOOD to feel good, ya know what we mean? Plus, our food is so much more colorful!!! 🍎🍌🍊🥝🍍🍅🥑🥦🥒🥕🍠


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WE HAVE A SUPER EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Katie landed a job working as Editor-in-Chief for @go_van_com • She wrote her first piece for the magazine. Check it out through the link in our bio! • We’re stoked about the doors this opens up for future plans and thankful to have an income after being unemployed for a while. But most importantly we can’t wait to dive deeper into the van community 🚐


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You know what’s absolutely nuts? 🥜 When we lived in Oregon, we probably only watched a few sunsets a year. Nowadays, everything revolves around them. We always strive to get to camp before it occurs and as soon as it’s done we start dinner. It’s our daily ritual of reflecting on the fun things we did and the beautiful places we saw. It means preparing delicious warm food and looking forward to snuggles during tv. It’s crazy that something we barely paid attention to before is now our daily curfew to get home. • On a side note, we’re “working” on getting up for sunrise. We use the word working very loosely.


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Today we made some phone calls, catching up with friends and family (happy birthday to Debbie, Evans mom!) At one point, someone asked, “so what are your plans today?” Hmmm let’s think about what we did today: drove to the lake (where we stayed until sunset), made and enjoyed coffee, laid in the sun, worked a few hours, went for a dip, read a bit, ate a salad, and shaved. Our Sunday’s look similar to how they did at home in Oregon. The only difference is that we get to experience them in a different place each week 😆


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Yesterday was the perfect day for exploring a park. It wasn’t crazy busy, the weather was great, and the size of the park (driving wise) was beyond manageable. We used to try to tackle the hardest hike in the park but are learning to appreciate doing a few small treks to see more variety. One of our favorites from yesterday was this VERY awesome 45-minute loop called White Domes. The loop was extremely dynamic and allowed us to hike in terrain we’ve never experienced before. Not to mention, the drive out of the park is c-r-a-z-y beautiful. T’was a very good day.


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When we initially hit the road, we had a lump sum of money and a plan. We wanted to see all 50 states in America and see how the experience of living out of a van full-time changed us. We’re approaching month 9 and honestly can’t imagine stopping. While we don’t want to continue putting 5,000 miles on the van each month, we’ve been intensely discussing possibilities in order to extend this lifestyle. After having our home travel to hundreds of amazing places with us, how could we possibly go back to a stationary apartment? The concept seems absurd to us. We haven’t posted much about this but we’ve started some light remote work and are seeking further opportunities. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even convert another van 😉


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W-A-T-E-R 💦 • It is so easy to be unaware of how much water you use. When we first moved into the van, we would run out of water nearly every day (10 gallon fresh water tank) • 8 months later, we’re able to make that water last over a week (even though it did require Katie climbing into other vans and watching people do their dishes with minimal water to learn how). We are SO MUCH MORE AWARE of how much we consume, not just with water. • • RECOMMENDED READING: No Impact Man by Colin Beavan


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This is our first time consistently camping in desert instead of forest. It’s fairly different and we’re not as familiar with the terrain but we’ve been loving it. The contrast of heat during the day and cool nights is a feature we’ve really grown fond of. We are even staying in 1 location more than a night (a rare occasion for us). We can’t wait to explore more desert states as we continue making our way East 🌵


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We’ve spent the last week or so with friends and family throughout California. Our lives have been so balanced lately with personal time, one-on-one time with each other, and quality time with loved ones. Although we’ve said it a million times, we’ll say it once more...we feel so lucky to be doing what we’re doing. Our community is not only strengthening but also expanding. • • Side note: we bought Monopoly Deal last week and have played a range of 5-22 games per day ever since.


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We’ve been a little MIA, between our van being in the shop and losing service while we explored Big Sur. We had an amazing few days of weather and were stoked to be outdoors/primitive camping again. It’s pretty incredible how easily we’ve adjusted into a routine since living in the van full-time. Last night we were asleep before 10 and this morning were able to experience a mind-blowing sunrise. It’s safe to say we’re for sure living our best lives 🌞


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One thing we didn't originally include in our van build was a table. While we were at a van meet-up this summer, a kind soul gifted us a tripod-style table that he wasn't using. We had leftover butcher block from our original countertop and were able to replace the tabletop so it fits with the look of our van. (If you notice Iowa written on the paper it's because we're going there tomorrow to see @chrisstapleton !!!)


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I (Katie) had the incredible opportunity to speak with Laura for the podcast @howsheviewsit about my experience of living in a van with Evan. The first time I listened to this podcast, I was moved to silence (rare) while listening to the stories of other women who are doing life similar to us. There was this immediate connection to these other individuals who I had never even met. Big thanks to @howsheviewsit @the_roamans and @homesweetvan for being vulnerable during this episode with me. Life is so flipping awesome and I love connecting with people who inspire me!!!! Check it out - link in bio!


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Last week we came to Colorado for a van meet-up and have been exploring the state ever since. Today we drove up the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in America. We love Oregon, but Colorado is definitely high on our list.


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Throwback to when the van was just starting to take shape. Working 40 hours a week then coming home to work on the van was exhausting but well worth it. After about 6 months, the van was move-in ready.


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At the end of each day, we make sure to put every item back in its "home" to ensure a clean van. The space is small and easily cluttered but with a little effort, we're able to keep our OCD happy 👫


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Coming down to the wire before we hit the road. Thanks to @vannathetransit for the hammock idea!


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Here's another view of the inside of the build. We're loving the look, feel, and smell of all the wood. The electrical is officially done as well, so lights are working, fridge is running, and fan is spinning!


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Really excited about how much extra storage space we have under the bed, even with the propane, water tank, batteries and electrical system.


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Starting installing our cabinets this weekend. Also got our Nova Kool fridge framed and placed in the van. The last 6 months of work is really starting to take shape and we can't wait for takeoff 🚐


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Newest accessory: Aluminess driver side ladder. We chose the side ladder instead of the rear door ladder to avoid drilling additional holes into the van. We're super excited that it fits perfectly between the two windows. The exterior of the van is nearing completion!


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Dynamat is finished and reflectix is in the works. We had a minor hiccup with our window trim rings, pushing back our build schedule. Patience is a necessary component of building a van! We're looking forward to completing the insulation in the next week or so.


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