Our Travels in California: The California Coast

Our Travels in California: The California Coast

Most of our January was spent on the coast of California. We had many long days watching the waves crash in as we worked. After spending 3 weeks on the coast though, it was time to drive east. Most of our travels at the beginning of this year (up until sometime around April) will take us east, in fact, we plan to go all the way east to Florida. So, after 3 weeks of beach waves, sand, and ocean smell, we made our way to Joshua Tree for a weekend of exploring before leaving the beautiful state of California and making our way through Arizona.

We broke our time in California up into two parts as we wanted to include as much detail as we could without them being overwhelmingly long to write or read. This is the coastal part of our time in California; next time you can read about our days in the San Diego and the LA areas as well as Joshua Tree.

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The Vulnerability of Van Life

The Vulnerability of Van Life

After we decided to do van life, we were full of excitement. Yeah, the build would be hard, but we’d figure it out in a month or two and be on the open road. It was adventurous and exciting! I mean, it still is, but there’s a lot more reality mixed in with the excitement. One of the big, hit you in the face, type of realizations I had in our first two months was just how vulnerable van life can be. And I’m not talking about the part where I document our journey online, that’s vulnerable but I can control what gets put out there.

But van life is so vulnerable in the sense that everything you own is with you at all times.

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Government Shutdown Impacting National Parks

Government Shutdown Impacting National Parks

It’s no secret that the government shutdown of 2018/2019 is far too long, having far to large of an impact, and is just overall ridiculous. We watch every day to get the latest information only to find out that nothing has changed. And, I’ll be honest, as terrible as it is what our country is doing to its employees, we didn’t really think it had much of an impact to us. We don’t work for the government, we don’t rely on food stamps, and are just overall incredibly fortunate for our situation amid all of this chaos.

**Update:** As I was posting this article to the blog, I heard news of a 3 week stop-gap bill that will allow government agencies to open temporarily until a final budget is put in place. This is fantastic news and will greatly impact the lives of many in a positive way. However, please keep in mind that while things are on their way to being put back in order, the National Parks are still in disarray and this shutdown will potentially have impacted ecosystems for many many years to come.

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Where do we want to go in 2019?

Where do we want to go in 2019?

We have big plans for 2019 and are looking forward to hitting the road soon. In 2018, between building out the van and being in Oregon for the holidays we only had two months to explore in the van. Of course, we made the most of our time and went all the way out to Maine and back;  with stops in so many cities and national parks along the way. That was only two months worth of travel, though. Imagine where we can go with a whole year ahead of us!

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What's in your Mattress?

What's in your Mattress?

Did you know traditional mattresses are actually toxic? This is not something I knew until I started looking at what mattress options we had for in the van. And no, I have not been sleeping on the floor until now, I just never purchased a mattress before. If you are like me, when you went from living at home to moving out, your parents let you take the mattress you had already been sleeping on with you. Which is awesome and amazing that as a newly adulting human, you don’t have to add buying a mattress to your ever-growing to do list or never-ending to buy list. But, that mattress that you’ve had (for probably far too long, it’s suggested to get a new one every 7 years, by the way) is potentially toxic unless your parents were into that sort of thing and set you up right from the get-go.

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Van vs. House: what we miss

Van vs. House: what we miss

Since the accident in Nashville (if you haven’t read about that, check it out here!), we have been living in other people’s homes. We have spent time with my grandparents, my dad and siblings, Ben’s family, and even a few days in a hotel (we had some free nights we’ve been saving). And, let’s just say, it’s a weird adjustment.

Obviously, the adjustment to living in the van was bigger because we had to figure out where to sleep each night, where to get water, where to dump grey water, how to cook with the limited power we had, and so much more. But we were so busy with that adjustment and trying to get our feet under us that we didn’t really have time to miss too many of the creature comforts we no longer had. Now that we are in and out of other people’s homes, we have come to notice the differences and some of the things we miss (and don’t miss) about both the van and a house.

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What Happened in Nashville? And Why we Rushed Home.

What Happened in Nashville? And Why we Rushed Home.

After almost two months of traveling, we had gone from Oregon across the US to Maine then made our way down to Nashville on a Sunday. I was really excited about going to Nashville, we have visited many places on a whim, but Nashville has from the beginning been a place that I specifically wanted to see. I didn’t really even have a reason, I just felt like it would be a place I’d like. For a variety of reasons though, Nashville was disappointing, to say the least.

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80 Day Obsession: Phase 2

80 Day Obsession: Phase 2

Days 27-50 have come and gone along with one of my FAVORITE workouts of the whole program: Phase 2 Leg Day. I guess I’ll jump into this 80 Day Obsession update by talking about the workouts, then we’ll discuss nutrition, continuing these workouts on the road, and what I’ve learned.

The workouts in Phase 2 are definitely more complicated than in Phase 1. Phase 1 is where you learn about different moves, how to have proper form, and find your baseline for what weights to use. Phase 2 combines a lot of different moves from Phase 1 together into compound movements to create a longer burn and keep things mentally interesting.

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Travel Jewelry Book Tutorial

Travel Jewelry Book Tutorial

As we get closer to the van being finished and us traveling full time, I have started to think more about all of my stuff and how I’m going to store everything. My focus right now is specifically jewelry. Previously, I had a fancy jewelry box that was way bigger than I needed but I could keep everything tidy and untangled. Since moving into our temporary home I’ve been storing all my jewelry together in a bag that is a small step up from a ziplock. Seriously. It’s a mess. The rings catch in the necklaces, all the delicate chains are tangled together, and I’m pretty sure I have all of my earrings but there’s really no way for me to know for sure in all that mess.

So, I started looking at all the cute options I could find to store my jewelry on the road.

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