Van overlooking Grand Staircase-Escalante

The Van

A brief history of my van. If you read this and still want to know more, listen to the podcast linked below to learn about my motivations, fears, and process for beginning this new adventure.

I bought my van from a neighbor in July 2018, two days after I had surgery on my shoulder. I had to wait four months before I could begin working on it, so I spent my shoulder recovery days devouring every morsel of information I could find about campervan conversions. Some might say I was obsessed, I choose to say, motivated.

I completely gutted the interior, ripping out seats, a TV, walls, ceiling, floor, and a wheelchair lift. My dad came home with me after Christmas, and together we installed the subfloor and the center ceiling panel. After he left, it was all me. I added insulation, walls, flooring, cabinets, a bed, and created storage cubbies everywhere possible. I installed a sink that operates with a simple foot pump so I always have fresh water, and finished things off with a coat of bright paint and a space for Paco to call his own. Cutting a hole in the roof for a fan was by far the scariest part.

In March 2019, I took the month off to set out on my inaugural voyage. My goals were to stay southern enough to bypass snow (plan thwarted), and camp on as much BLM land as possible. I started in Oklahoma, then headed west toward southern Colorado, meandered around Utah before driving south to the Grand Canyon, through Arizona, across New Mexico, into the Texas panhandle, and then returned to Austin.

It was one of the most amazing trips of my life. Hands down. So many mind-blowing and awe-inspiring moments. Too many to list here, and too many photographs to share.

In September 2019, I finally got brave enough to leap into the dream I’d had for years – setting out on an epic road trip adventure. It was a hard and painful process to uproot my life in Austin, as is any major change, but one that has left me feeling renewed and eager to see what life has in store for me next.

You can subscribe to my blog to keep up with my adventures, follow me on Instagram, or leave comments here to let me know of your favorite destinations, or just to say hello!

LISTEN: The Ripple Effect Podcast with Steve Harper – The Vanventure of a Lifetime

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