Hi! We are Laura and Joel, world travelers, coffee lovers, and parents to two adorable fur babies. In 2016 we left our finance and engineering jobs to get out of our comfort zone and travel full time. That same year we also started this travel blog to help people like you get out there and explore the world!
What Is Fun Life Crisis?
Fun Life Crisis is that feeling that you get when you’re deep into 9-5, responsible adult life and could use a little (or a lot) more fun in your life.
We’re all familiar with the term ‘Mid Life Crisis’ which means a strong desire for a change. That is how we felt when we were working our 9-5 jobs in our 20s spending most of our days tied to our work desks paying off all of our bills.
We both felt like there was more to life so we slowly started to venture out on adventures whenever we could. Some weekends we headed into the mountains for a weekend backpacking trip and other times we booked a last-minute trip to visit new places like Bali, Mexico City, and Beijing China to see what else is out there in the world.
While our desire for travel grew, our yearly travel was limited to our two-week vacations. So…we quit our jobs! While everyone around us thought it was a crazy idea, it was exactly what we needed.
Our Move To Portland, Oregon
Up to that point, we had rarely left our little bubble in California so we decided to move out to Oregon for a change. We ended our lease at our apartment, packed everything we owned in a U-Haul, and started driving north until we reached Portland. We had no plan, no place to stay, just a strong desire to try something new.
We ended up settling down in Portland for a year. This is where we truly fell in love with the outdoors, hiking, and backpacking.
Check out some of our popular Oregon posts here:
- 15 Fun Things To See And Do In Portland, Oregon
- Guide To The Best Waterfalls Near Portland, Oregon
- 30 Incredible Things To Do Along The Oregon Coast
- 10 Memorable Places To Stay In Bend, Oregon
As our adventures grew more ambitious, we were looking for a more efficient way to explore 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.
In 2017 we returned back to California and converted a Honda Element SUV into a camper. We had this great idea that we could travel in our SUV and camp at free spots.
While we did spend a month and a half road-tripping around in our converted SUV, it wasn’t the most comfortable way to cook meals and sleep at night. We quickly realized that two adults, a 70-pound Doberman, and a cat could barely fit into a small SUV like this (who knew right?). So we had to rethink our strategy.
Traveling The Pan American Highway
This is before van life really took off so again, all of our friends and family thought we were crazy for doing this. But there is nothing like visiting destinations that everyone deems as ‘dangerous’ and seeing for yourself that the world is not as scary as the news and media make it out to be.
During our Pan-American road trip, we drove through 15 countries from Mexico all the way to Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina.
Some of our most memorable experiences included sandboarding in Huacachina Peru, hiking amongst some of the tallest palm trees in the world at Valle de Cocora in Salento, and ice climbing on top of the Perito Moreno Glacier In Argentina.
On this trip, we met locals and made lifelong friends with other van lifers traveling the same route. We did our entire Pan-American trip with our cat Minka, always sticking to the mentality that anything is possible if you really want to make it happen.
Where Are We Now
We returned from our South America trip just before COVID shut down the entire world. As one international trip was canceled after another, we started focusing on local adventures in the US and California.
While Joel went back to his 9-5 job I, Laura continued to work on this travel 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, for which I am thankful every day.
We are also soon welcoming a new member to our family and hope to pass down to our little one the same enthusiasm for travel that we have felt over the years.
While over the years, our travel style has changed (we still love camping but also enjoy staying in nicer hotels), our motto has always stayed the same – try new things, step out of our comfort zone, and see the world.
Through this website, we hope to make your travel planning easier and inspire you to visit new places. We love sharing our travels with you and hope to help you make your travel dreams into reality!
Cheers, Laura Sausina
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Frequently Asked Questions About Us:
How Did You 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 14 years & married for 5, co-parenting a kitty Minka, and a puppy Quito, with a baby on the way.
Do You Make Money From Travel 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, and photography, and 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 from my (now) two travel blogs which is more than my old 9-5 finance salary.
Read these posts next:
- How To Make Money While Living In A Van
- Travel Blog Salary: How I Made $10,000 This Month
- How To Write a Travel Blog That Ranks & Makes Money
- 15 Essential Travel Blogging Tips To Know For Beginners
- 12 Proven Strategies On How To Promote a Travel Blog
What Kind Of Camera Do You Use?
When you’re starting out in photography and blogging, it’s not about the gear and what kind of camera you have, but about constant practice and learning.
When I first got into travel photography, I couldn’t afford a fancy camera 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. Plus I wasn’t worried if I dropped it in sand, water or got it scratched.
My Sony a5100 camera created beautiful photos that were printed in magazines, shared in news articles online, and all across social media. Now I have upgraded to a Sony a7c camera for higher quality, commercial work, 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 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 Pan American, 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?
Right now we’re enjoying life back in California with our friends and family after so much time on the road.
Some Of Our Most Popular Posts:
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 here!