Happy Van-aversary! Reflections from Two Months of Living in a Van

Today is an anniversary of sorts: Niko and I have officially been living in our big yellow Sprinter van for two months. Officially longer than any other journey we’ve embarked on together, I’m proud of how easy has been to live on the road – and impressed that we still actually want to cuddle every night. Throughout our eight initial weeks of the Simply Adventure journey, we’ve learned a lot, made plenty of mistakes, and began to appreciate all that we have (and things that we don’t, but our friends do – like showers).

Here's the Simply Adventure route this far: from Florida to Utah! Here’s a little recap of our journey thus far:

  • We have traveled over 3,991 miles in 60 days.
  • The van has visited 10 states, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.
  • 37 days have been spent climbing (minus a few for me due to a tendon injury). We’ve visited Reimer’s Ranch, Hueco Tanks, Joshua Tree, Red Rocks, Moe’s Valley, Joe’s Valley, and American Fork Canyon.
  • Our National Parks adventures have taken us to Saguaro National Park in Arizona, Joshua Tree in California, and Zion and Kolob Canyons in Utah.
  • I’ve managed to badly sprain an ankle (which still hurts), partially tear a tendon, and get miserable food poisoning.

The Craggin' Wagon perched on the side of the road outside of Hueco Tanks, Texas.It has truly been an incredible journey so far. There have been undeniable moments of frustration, but all have been greatly outweighed by moments of victory, love, and new discoveries. We’ve made it through blasting sandstorms in the desert, everything freezing on a nightly basis in the van, mountainous driving in white-out snow conditions, and the worst situation of all: running out of fresh avocados.

One of my favorite climbs of the trip thus far, Self Service (V5) at Joe's Valley in Utah.Living on the road teaches you to simplify everything in life, from the collection of “stuff” you need to be happy to the amount of water you need to wash a sink full of dishes. It has made us stronger in spirit, better climbers overall, more aware of our impact on the earth, and closer as a couple.

So what do the next two months have in store for our yearlong van-dwelling adventure? Well, we’re not exactly sure. We’ve hit a lull in our itinerary – after we leave Joe’s Valley and head to Rifle next week, our agenda is completely blank until we hit Yosemite at the end of May. We’ll likely just cruise around Colorado and Utah, following crisp climbing conditions. Got any suggestions?

Thank you to everyone who has been following the adventure online, offered us warm beds and hot showers, sponsored us with incredible gear that has changed our capabilities in the van, and to my mom, for insisting on sending me an Easter basket while I’m out climbing in Utah. I can’t wait to share the next adventures the big yellow van will lead me to – and I count my blessings every day for being able to experience all of this.

Want more from our trip? 

During these first two months, we’ve had a few interesting opportunities to spread the Simply Adventure love.
Check out this video of the van from Joshua Tree, and our interview with GrindTV.com!

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3 thoughts on “Happy Van-aversary! Reflections from Two Months of Living in a Van

  1. Beth says:

    Speaking of the amount of water needed to wash dishes…have you guys tried a spray bottle of water? I found it was definitely a savings!

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