The End of an Era: My Yearlong Road Trip is (Almost) Over

This is a post I’ve been procrastinating all week. As a storyteller, it’s my duty to my readers to keep y’all updated with my journey every step of the way – but as a human, it’s kind of heartbreaking. I’m struggling to put things into words, and incredibly stressed with the logistics of what comes next, because –

This is it: I am officially in the last week of my yearlong climbing adventure.

Seriously? Already? Didn’t I just move into my big yellow van? Have I really lived outdoors, climbed, camped, and adventured for 52 weeks? It just doesn’t make sense – I refuse to wrap my head around this reality that seems to have been suddenly thrust upon me.

It’s almost February 1st, the technical one-year anniversary of my trip (although I started living in van sometime in early January last year). After that milestone is ticked, Niko will begin working full-time managing Tallahassee Rock Gym, and for me, well, the future is very up in the air at the moment – but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out more about that one.

Bo Durham crushes The Price is Right (V8) at Rocktown in GA.We’re spending the final days of the adventure in our favorite place in the world: the southeast. We’ve been holed up at Rocktown in Georgia for quite a while, but were forced to retreat back to Chattanooga when the polar vortex reared its frigid head and made climbing absolutely unbearable. The temperatures should be (at least somewhat) warming up by Friday, so we’ll be returning to the no-service zone to enjoy our fleeting opportunities to climb, camp, and explore.

The good news? This year has been the most transformative, educational, inspiring 365 days of my life – and the adventures have only just begun for me. The bad news? We’re selling the van. That is the worst part of all of this, and Niko is taking it the hardest. I also have a feeling that Amble is going to go into some sort of identity crisis once we moved into a four-walled dwelling. Oy vey.

I’ll try to update at least one more time before we head back to Florida, but I’m not making any promises. I only have a short time left to enjoy my van life freedom, and I intend on soaking up as much as I can. There will be many thank yous, heaps of gear reviews, and probably a lot of tears shed – but first, adventure.

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9 thoughts on “The End of an Era: My Yearlong Road Trip is (Almost) Over

  1. Beth Bault says:

    Sprocket sends his condolences to Amble as she adjusts to non-vehicle living. He says it sort of sucks but comes with some perks like toilets to drink out of and big fluffy dog beds.

  2. Casey says:

    So proud of you guys – and I also can’t believe the year has gone by so quickly.

    And yes, while it sucks to lose the Van – think of how much easier it will be to pack up and hit the road again next time now that you know what you’re doing! 🙂

  3. kelin says:

    So sorry the end of your has come… I can see Pigeon Mountain from my front porch… wished I’d know you were holed up there — we’d have invited you to stay in our guest room here.

  4. Jillian Bejtlich says:

    As sad as it might seem right now, you’re really just starting. When you spend any decent amount of time doing something off the beaten path you learn that you’re capable of handling so much more than you ever thought possible. I mean, a year ago you were wondering what it would be like to live in a van with Niko. If someone had told you that you’d be adding a very young puppy into the mix before the year was over, you probably wouldn’t have believed it and said it would be too much!

    My guess is that this will only be the first big van adventure of many. Once you’ve had the taste of the life you desire, you’ll never stop working towards it. There will be more vans, road trips, and lots of climbing. 🙂

    • Niko says:

      This comment, it made me feel so much better. A lot of people have said this same thing but never the way you just put it. Thank you 🙂

  5. Off The Map says:

    You guys have absolutely been stellar this year. In every way and as namer of the van (it’s on my resume) i’m sad to see it go but couldn’t be more proud of the both of you. Rock on!

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