When you hear of someone traveling the world in a van and all the adventures they are having you instantly think “Wow, they are Living the Dream!” You then most likely compare one of your fondest vacations to your regular work week and say “I wish I could just travel and have fun”. That’s exactly what we thought when we hit the road.
Just like a new career you have to learn a whole new skillset and figure things out on the fly. Also, just like a new career experience means a lot, you don’t really know and understand it until you’ve done it for awhile.
We were just reminded that a vacation and life on the road are two completely different things. Six years ago we traveled to the Magical Land of New Zealand for our 1st anniversary and 3 wonderful weeks of adventure; our jobs, traffic and all the worries in the world left thousand of miles away. New Zealand had been the best place in the world we had ever been to and we knew that we would one day return for a much longer period of time.
Here I sit, just outside of Christchurch in my 1997 Nissan Homy van writing this article pondering “Life on the Road”.
As I mentioned 3 weeks vacation is just that, a break from monotonous life of whatever you have back home. Our living in New Zealand in a van for 3 months has been a completely different experience. Take away the stressful part of buying and selling a vehicle you have to drive around and live in and you are still left with everything else in life called living. Back home these issues were things that just happened and we were used to dealing with life back home. But here in this magical place of New Zealand where everything was supposed to be puppies and rainbows like our previous experience it became evident that life still “happened to you” no matter where you were. Three weeks just isn’t long enough a period for life’s unexpected nature to normally show up, give it 3 months and you’ll figure out life is life no matter where you go.
At this point you’re probably thinking you should just stay home and deal with what you know. ABSOLUTELY NOT! You have to realize you can only control what you can control and that the rest of life is how you react to those things you can’t control. Rain for a week, car repairs, sleeping with no heat, limping for miles off a trail, etc. These are all parts of life, the good and the bad. They are going to happen no matter where you are so it’s better to surround yourself with all the good you can. This is what people know but don’t apply to themselves. What do you mean?
Everyone makes choices for a reason, normally that reason is to better themselves in some way. A promotion at work for more pay, a bigger car, eat better to lose weight etc. Life still happens to them and us no matter where we are, there’s always that unexpected twist or problem to be dealt with. If your life consists of nothing but stress on a daily basis in the “normal routine” than all these things life throws at you just pile onto the bullshit to deal with. THIS is what I sit here thinking about while wondering if we will sell our van before our flight back to the states in 11 days. Kelly is beyond stressed as the deal that fell through on our van today because of incompetent people who can’t do their jobs. Just more of life and things to deal with. However, we have just spent 3, mostly awesome, months in one of the farthest reaches of the earth exploring and living a life most only dream of!
Our problems have been:
Figuring out how to buy a van we can live in a different country and finding the right one while staying in an expensive city. All the time wandering around eating street food, drinking beer and figuring out where to get our bikes repaired from the airlines damaging . Not the best of times but far from the worst.
Finally getting the van and bikes sorted and ready to start our awesome adventure and getting hit with 4 days of shit rain and trying to drive to a place where it wasn’t raining. Once again not an ideal situation but we’re on the road looking for adventure.
A 4-5 day car repair where we we’re stuck in this tiny town and hostel waiting on parts. This cost us $1,000 and time we could have been exploring. We did met Ian who owned the local hostel and was the nicest person who baked me 2 cakes for my birthday while we chatted with other cool people at the hostel. Not the ideal birthday but we had cake and company!
3+ more days of rain. Dam there is stuff I want to do that I am missing! We’ll I guess I’m still not listening to a boss or customer tell me I’m doing “it” wrong. We did get to visit a few Wellington breweries and ride the ferry. Oh yeah we need to do laundry and find a shower, is a week too long?
Realizing that Mountain biking in New Zealand isn’t as good as it is in the States. Who cares, I’m still on my bike, let’s ride!
Holy Crap a Cyclone is hitting the country, batten down the hatches, backpacking trip cut short. Lets find an airbnb to ride out the worst storm in 68 years! Sweet a hot shower and cozy bed for 4 days. Yes, it’s pricey but I’m experiencing life in a different country and rolling with the punches on the world’s steepest street.
Oh yeah. Having to write a blog and produce articles, pictures and videos for numerous companies while traveling. Yes I said “WORK”. Kelly and I work, just not like most people are use to. We contact outfitters and outdoor companies to work promoting their companies and trips to people like you who read our articles.We face rejection and the repercussions of lazy bloggers. We do not have actors or a crew so making videos, pictures, and articles on a shoe string budget makes things challenging. Lately it’s felt like work too I will add. We did a ton of stuff here with people and had to keep up to our end of the deal by producing the content we promised. I just produced my 1st professional video for a company on top of everything else we did. But still we’re doing this while living in an amazing place and living life to the fullest. It could be worse right?
So to answer the title of this article
Yes it’s still worth it, it’s still different and there is no way I’m going back to Corporate America and sitting in hours of traffic. No matter the lifestyle people have to deal with life’s problems. So, I’m gonna explore, wander and live my life with no regrets. I am making the most of my life that I can realizing that everyday won’t be perfect but it’s better in my opinion then what is referred to as the American Dream.