Fun Life Crisis – The moment you realize you’re getting deep into normal, responsible adult life and could use a little (or a lot) more fun in your life.
Hi! We are Laura and Joel, world travelers, coffee lovers, and parents to two adorable fur babies.
In 2016 we left our accounting and engineering jobs to try something different and travel the world full time. Up to then, we had rarely left our little bubble in California so we started small by moving to Oregon and exploring the PNW. This is where we fell in love with the outdoors, hiking and backpacking.
Check out some of our Oregon favorites here:
- 30 Incredible Things To See & Do Along The Oregon Coast
- The 11 Best VRBO Vacation Rentals On The Oregon Coast
- Guide To The Best Waterfalls Near Portland, Oregon
As our adventures grew more ambitious, we were looking for a more efficient way to travel the world long-term. We had the opportunity to spend 2 weeks traveling around Iceland in a campervan (which we absolutely loved!) and all signs pointed towards #vanlife.
After that trip we purchased and built out a Ram Promaster campervan that we ended up taking on a journey through Central and South America with our cat Minka – yep you read that right!
Once our trip ended, Joel went back to his 9-5 job while I, Laura continued to work on the blog. What started as a hobby and a place to share our adventures with our families and friends, has turned into a full-time gig for me.
This blog is where we share our favorite travel destinations, the tools that help us travel, and other fun things like social media and photography tips.
Here Are Some Frequently Asked Questions That We Get:
How Did You Guys Meet?
Joel and I met in a High School physics class when we were 17. Somewhere in between the teacher making fun of my European accent and Joel snoozing in class, we managed to become friends. We started dating several years after High School and now we have been together for 13 years & married for 4, co-parenting a kitty Minka and a puppy Quito.
Do You Make Money From Blogging?
Yes, this is my full-time income now. I started this blog along with several Instagram accounts in 2016 as a way to make money while traveling. Working on social media allowed me to learn about marketing, photography, collaborate with various brands, hotels, and magazines while earning a side income.
Over the years I have switched my focus from social media to blogging and my love for travel writing has only grown and gotten stronger. Thanks to ad companies like Mediavine and affiliate programs, I am now able to make a full-time income just off of my blog that is more than my old 9-5 finance salary (and is steadily growing every year).
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What Kind Of Camera Do You Use?
When you’re starting out in photography and blogging, it’s not about the gear, but about practice and learning, no matter what gear you have.
When I first got into travel photography, I couldn’t afford fancy camera gear so I bought a Sony a5100 camera for $450. And to this day, this has been one of my favorite cameras that I’ve ever used because it is very lightweight and small so I brought it with me everywhere. This camera created great photos that were printed in magazines, shared on news articles online, and all across social media. Later, I upgraded to Sony Alpha a7II Camera for higher quality and prints.
What Is Your Favorite Place That You’ve Visited?
This is probably one of the hardest questions for us to answer. Over the years we’ve visited so many places that we’ve fallen in love with so picking just one is so difficult.
A few places that have a special place in our hearts are Mexico, southern Chile, Canada, and Oregon. We love unique landscapes and these places just blew us away with their natural beauty.
For more on these locations check out these guides:
- 10 Best Cenotes To Visit In Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
- 10 Unreal Places Along Carretera Austral Highway In Chile
- 12 Incredible Hikes To Do In South America
How Much Did It Cost You To Travel Central & South America?
When we sat down and decided to travel the Pan-American Highway we had to ask ourselves “Is this something that we can afford to do?”. Thankfully we had savings set aside from our 9-5 jobs and we had started making a side income from social media and photography gigs.
As we traveled across Central & South America, the accountant part of me kept spreadsheets of all our travel costs. On average, we managed to spend around $2200 a month between the both of us on living costs like food, gas, activities, campgrounds, and other expenses. Living on such a low budget wasn’t always super fun, but we managed to expand the trip to 15 months before we returned to the US.
Read More: Van Life – How Much Does It REALLY Cost?
How Do You Shower And Go To Bathroom In A Van?
People always feel a bit intimidated to ask this question, but it’s one that everyone always wants to know the answer to.
We don’t have a restroom in our campervan so during our travels we have to get a bit creative. Public restrooms are usually readily available so finding a bathroom has never been an issue. There is always a grocery store, Walmart, gas station, rest stop, or a coffee shop within a few minutes’ drive.
For showering, we use a solar bag that we fill up with water and leave in the sun to heat up. But the solar shower only works in sunny, hot places. In colder weather, we resort to campground showers, gyms, or Hostels.
Read More: 4 Best Outdoor Showers To Get For Van Life
Did You Get Tired From Sharing A Small Space Together For 15 Months?
I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, it’s not always easy sharing such a small space with another person, especially for long-term trips.
My best advice to someone who is thinking about trying van life with their loved one is to start small with weekend road trips and see how that goes. Once you start a long trip like the PanAmerican, you can’t turn around so easily so it’s best to figure out the daily flow, and chores before leaving. Sometimes the biggest challenges are figuring out how to split the duties fairly (ex. who will do the dishes, cooking, cleaning, research, driving, paying for things, etc).
Read More: 15 Tips For Traveling Van Life Couples
What’s Next For You Two?
Right now we’re enjoying life back in California with our friends and family after so much time on the road.
Our Favorites From The US
Our Favorites Abroad
Van Life Tips
Gear We Use
Our Editing Tips
Still don’t know where to go? Check out our latest posts