Echo is home.

She has been sitting in our driveway for close to a week now, and I’ve waited til this morning while drinking my tea to sit and reflect on the last few days. It’s almost weird to me how excited I am over this van. Maybe a part of it is because building this together will be the next chapter in our lives. Maybe a part of it is looking into the future and seeing the places she will take us; the people we will meet, the little towns we will come to fall in love with, the roads that seem to go on forever without a single soul in sight for miles. We are a long way away from these things, but I am so happy to start the process of getting Echo on the road.

I don’t know who said it first, but Echo is what we decided on. Echo the Econoline. Echo the Adventure Van. We both thought it had a nice ring to it. And for all it’s worth right now the inside of her is for the most part an empty shell, which does tend to carry an echo when you talk.

A lot of people have asked me what our timeline is to get everything built the way we want it and get her out on the road. I honestly don’t have an answer for that. In a perfect world, I would love for everything to be done by the end of spring. However this is a used vehicle, with lots a love already on her body and motor and I know things will not go as smoothly as I would hope. Just the other night we pulled out the partition door between the cargo space and the front of the van. We thought it would be a quick and easy task. Two hours later, a handful of swear words and lots of grinding out old rusted bolts, it was finally out. Right now my only plan is to be able to drive her to Colorado in August when we go on our backpacking trip. Other than that I am not rushing anything for the sake of getting it done quickly.

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Oh, and for whatever reason Jango has decided that this van is his new home and refuses to get out of it. He cries to get inside as soon as we let him out of the house so he can sit in the driver seat and just stare down our driveway for hours. I think he loves her just as much as we do.

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Be sure to check out the Adventure Van page for progress pictures!

Until next time.

 

The search continues.

After exhausting all of our efforts to find the perfect sprinter for us, we decided to expand our search to cargo vans. You can’t pass any used car lot without seeing at least one on the lot. We should have been able to find one right away, right?

Wrong. $10, 000 for a 10 year old rusted van with 200,000 miles? I’ll pass. You find a van with low mileage, there is rust beyond belief/asking a fortune, find a van that is decently priced and there are a million and a half miles. Is there a dance I can do to summon the Gods of used work vans? If so, please comment below with the info.

While it has been exhausting searching for our unicorn van, I was lucky enough to get away for a few days in sunny Key West and Cozumel. I never knew it could rain so hard and so fast that my rain jacket would be soaked all the way through in a matter of 2 minutes. Despite all the gloomy weather, driving through the flooded streets of Cozumel in a rental Jeep will forever be a favorite memory of mine. Plus I made friends with some parrots, so I can’t be too upset.

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Until next time. ✌🏼️

 

The search for the unicorn Sprinter.

If you’ve never been on a mission to find a Sprinter van that isn’t too new (WAY out of our budget) and not too old (WAY too many miles) with the exact wheel base you are looking for, don’t do it. Just kidding…. Sorta.

Leave it to us to start our search the day the weather decides to act like winter and start snowing. Seven hours of trekking through the snow and ice yesterday, and 10 hours of standing in freezing cold parking lots/driving freezing cold vans has me wishing we would have started the hunt back in the fall.

When we decided that building a camper van was what we wanted to do, I never in a million years would have thought finding the van would be the most challenging part. Matt and I have spent our last 3 days off driving from the most northern part of Ohio to the most southern, and still came home empty handed. I guess it’s good we aren’t pulling the trigger on one just for the sake of buying a van, but it’s frustrating to say the least. Since we both start back to work tomorrow we are taking a few days off from the search and regrouping, expanding our search options and maybe start looking into different vans that aren’t so hard to come by. However I am giving Matt full permission to buy one without me if he finds the perfect one while I’m out of the country next week, so maybe i’ll come home to our new Adventure Van sitting in the driveway!

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Whippin’ doughnuts in a van I don’t own

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Hello world.

Over the last few years I have gone back and forth with starting a blog to document our travels and adventures we get into, but never got around to doing so. Tomorrow Matt and I are going to look at a Sprinter van in northern Ohio that, fingers crossed, we will drive back to our home and get to work on converting it into a camper van that we can take around the country with us. I figured now would be the best time to finally sit down and start documenting our build, our trips, and everything in between. In doing so, I really hope to help inspire people to get out of their comfort zones and start living. I get asked all the time about how we are able to travel as much as we do, cost of trips, how we plan, etc. and it would be great to finally be able to put that info all in one place for anyone wanting to start adventuring.

Even if this blog just inspires one person to go out and do something they would never typically do, I feel like this is so worth it. Not that long ago you would have NEVER found me sleeping in tent, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but myself and Matt to rely on. I’m sure my parents are dumbfounded sometimes that I forgo a cushy 5 star Marriott resort (I do still love my Marriotts, and make it a point to stay in the nicest one we can find on our last day of our trips) and willingly choose to go out into the wild with only what I can carry on my back. To me there is no greater feeling than unplugging from the high tech, social media filled, must-have-it-now world we have all grown so accustomed to and escape into the natural world that surrounds us.

I heard once that “the best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask” and that couldn’t be more true. Go outside. Do something you wouldn’t ever typically do. Go on to your next adventure.