6 Things We Learned Our First Weekend in the Van

Travel, Van Conversion

Having a toilet in your van is a game changer. We brought our Nature’s Head with us since we weren’t sure where we would be sleeping overnight and wanted to have a place to pee just in case it ended up being some random parking lot. It was amazing. We didn’t have to look for a bathroom all weekend, and could even just stop on the side of the road and go to the back to pee if we had to. I honestly don’t know how people van life without a toilet at all. I’m already spoiled and don’t even live in it full-time yet.

May Van Update + Why We Painted Our Van

Van Conversion

I feel like I haven’t updated you all on the van in forever, and now that we have it back from Register’s all painted we are starting to make progress waay faster, so I am definitely overdue for a van post!

Back up… painted? Yes, we decided to do a full-body paint job on the van. Yes, it was expensive. Yes, it was 100% worth it. I did talk a little bit about this on the Living Without Walls Instagram, but I have the space to go a little more into detail on here. So, for starters when we bought the van this is what it looked like (not including photos of the 8,000 motocross stickers baked into the paint on the back):

Empathy and Impermanence

Life

Ahhh, empathy. A gift and a curse. Sometimes I think I would give just about anything to be the kind of person who could walk through their day without noticing how people around them are feeling. That’s not a trait I was blessed with. No, I encounter one sad, aggravated, or impatient person and I embody those emotions for… umm… too long to admit, unless I work really hard to avoid it. It’s why I am super selective about who I spend time with and probably also why I love Zach’s usually extremely positive attitude. It does have it’s benefits, I will say. For example, I always know when something is bothering someone and can choose whether or not I want to try to help… just kidding! Ok, no I’m not.

Chocolate Bunnies

Life

Everyone has missed someone at some point in their life. Me, I feel like I’ve done a lot of it. Growing up I had severe anxiety being away from my mom. I remember my aunt taking me to the park to play while my parents were away one weekend and insisting on bringing a framed picture of my mom in her wedding dress with us. I ended up just sitting there crying most of the time.

Am I Dreaming?

Life, Travel

Remember how I was posting all kinds of stuff about signs, and focusing on things you love to do no matter how good or bad you are at them? Of course you do, they’re right down there. Well, I wrote all that stuff fully believing in it and the power of manifestation but now I am here to tell you to KEEP BELIEVING, and as Ben Gravy would say KEEP PUSHING FOR THE DREAM. 

Making New Memories

Life

Yesterday at work I was helping a woman who had her grandson with her for her appointment. He was the sweetest child with the brightest eyes and most genuine, knowing smile. Seeing a well behaved 6-7 year old up in here is kind of rare, so we get excited. I was chatting with him when he came up to me and whispered a “secret” in my ear, and it’s still a secret for me because I have absolutely no clue what he said, but when they were leaving he looked me dead in the eye and told me to “keep making new memories, don’t forget.”

A Week in Mammoth

Travel

There’s something about a small town in the mountains. How the snow-covered peaks can somehow make you feel like such a small speck but simultaneously so on top of the world. How the whole town being buried in snow can make everything that much more cozy. Coffee tastes better, blankets are more comfy, and fireplaces are actually being used for warmth and not just aesthetics. The crunch of the snow beneath your feet, but also the amazing silence of cruising through a deep patch of powder in the woods.

We decided to go to Mammoth Lakes, California for this trip because we know we want to spend next winter in the mountains somewhere. California was a no-brainer because we are still able to make trips and drive to surf, so we took this opportunity to go out and ride an awesome mountain while also scoping it out for next winter season.

What Feels Right

Life

Does anyone else think back on what you thought your life was going to be like when you were older? Maybe you wanted to be a veterinarian, or work for a big company in New York City. Growing up I always had a mental block and couldn’t look past 22 for some reason. Graduating college was this weird black abyss. Then, as I got a little older I just always imagined that I would be sitting in an office somewhere in business casual attire. WTF?

Signs

Life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do for work when we move into the van. I’ve been so torn between wanting to do something mindless that has flexible hours so that I can work whenever I have the time, trying to do something that’s my “own,” like selling my art, or trying to find something that might help me later on in life. It seems kind of obvious when I write it out that the last option is the best but it’s also the hardest. I pretty much have no idea what I could do from the road that would help me down the road, and I also feel like I don’t really have enough skills to land a job doing anything that I might be able to think up.

Yesterday I applied to a few jobs that could possibly be good learning experiences for the future, and are also seasonal so it would allow for travel during the fall/spring and a different job in the mountains during the winter. This is really the goal for right now is to have seasonal positions with travel in the shoulder seasons. It still just didn’t really feel right though. Then, last night I was watching a video that Hannah posted on her Instagram story last night about purpose, and finding what your life’s purpose is. It was also about being creative and doing things that bring you joy even if you don’t feel like you’re “good” at it right away.