It’s been a couple of months since I updated the blog, so I figured it was time! I’m now in Washington, and have been since the end of September. Started working on my van conversion, amidst all the rain and short days, but it’s coming along! Check out my YouTube channel to follow along as I post step by step details of the building process.
This is out of my comfort zone for sure, but at the same time…kinda not? Reason being is that I’ve always had wanderlust, and love to travel, and explore new places. And also, the building part itself, although technically some of it is out of my wheelhouse, the process isn’t so much. Growing up in the bush of Alaska, my siblings and I were always building forts out of whatever we could find. And along with that we helped out dad build cabins, mostly grunt labor of course, haha, but still was exposed to building at a very young age. Then as an adult, I became a licensed residential contractor in Florida and built custom homes for many years. I mostly ran the business side of things, but would often get out and help with some of the actual construction here and there. The more I delve into the van build, the simple little tricks of the trade of construction are starting to come back to me, and I’m more at ease, and confident with what I’m doing.
Before I made it to Washington, I sold almost everything I owned, and I truly mean that! You can see in the picture above that only about half of the van was full, and that was it, that’s all I took. And it felt so liberating to let go of so much stuff. Really looking forward to living a more minimalistic lifestyle, for a little while anyway. It took 10 days of driving, following a mostly southern route, and putting in anywhere from 5-8 hours a day on the road. With my trusty little travel companion, Mikee, to keep me company…although she mostly just hung out in the back sleeping, haha! She quickly adjusted to the van, which is a relief, because she’s going to be living in it, so she better be chill about it! And we are currently working on harness training as well, so that she can go on walks and be leashed to the van when we are camping out.
This trip takes me back to when I first left Alaska, and moved to Hawaii for college. I didn’t know anyone there, had never really done any traveling on my own, but I so wanted to explore and see new things…and of course, chase the sun…which I’m still doing, haha. Then a couple years of Hawaii life and I wanted to venture out more, and so packed my belongings into a single suitcase, hopped on a Greyhound bus and travelled cross country to Orlando, FL. Where again, I didn’t know anybody, I had no job, no place to stay, and only $150 to my name. But, I was fearless and hungry for new adventures. I knew I would make it work, and did, just as I know I will make this new adventure work for me, and thrive with the opportunity to get to travel so freely.
I’m at a point in my life where I have no real responsibilities, no one to look after, no one who needs me to be there every day. I have a job that I love, and that allows me to travel and be mobile. And the wanderlust has been eating away at me, and finally one day I said, why not?? There is absolutely no reason for me not to just go out and do it, to travel and be free to roam around the country and visit all the beautiful places I’ve dreamed of visiting. So, I’m doing it! And beyond excited to get out there and just BE in nature, to revel in it’s beauty and be inspired by it. You will definitely see lots of art created from the inspiration I will have on the road. I already have some ideas from just being here in Washington, and the hikes and bike rides I’ve gone on, so much inspiration all around.
But, for now, I have to buckle down and focus on getting the van built out. It’s quite the challenge with all the rain the PNW has been having, incessantly, droning on, day in and day out. But, I’m making it work, and feel very fortunate to have family here that I can stay with while I do the conversion. I’m hoping to be on the road within the next couple of months, the earlier the better, as I reallllly don’t like cold or snow, and want to be in warmer weather again.
If you’d like to follow along with my van build, and subsequent traveling adventures, be sure to subscribe to this blog, and my YouTube channel!