When we started making our plans for traveling full time one of the first MAJOR decisions that we had to make was what vehicle we would take. To make this decision we considered everything that we wanted our vehicle to contain. The list was as follows:
- Serve as our home
- Have desk space for two
- Not have a trailer
- Have roughly a car sized foot print
- Be able to accommodate guests (a min of two at a time)
See that last one? From the start we had our hearts set on being able to take in family and friends while we were on the road. With this list it quickly became obvious that we needed a Westfalia Vanagon. They sleep four, have two table tops, a kitchen, a fridge, are adorable…you get the picture.
Not everyone has the opportunity or even the desire to live in a van and travel full time. There is something about vanlife that makes you completely immerse yourself in every stop along the way. We wanted to be able to give our friends and family the ability to experience this country they way that we do, even if it is just for a small amount of time.
Queue our first guest, Bartos (who fittingly is from Westfalia, Germany). He made it known early on that he wanted to join us in the van for a road trip. We discussed what he wanted to see and devised our path of travel. We picked Bartos up in Mid June in Phoenix, Arizona and traveled to Los Angeles in a little over two weeks. We knew that taking on an extra person so early in our travels would be a challenge, but we do crazy things for love, and decided to throw caution to the wind.
In hindsight, we probably should not have done the majority of the trip in the south western United States in the dead of summer…with no AC. On more than one occasion I would look back to check on Bartos only to find him only in his underwear. (side note: I think he only wore a shirt for a grand total of 15 mins the whole trip)
Just a few days after picking Bartos up we experienced our first major break down. We were towed to the nearest town where we stayed overnight in a super sketchy “budget” motel. Bartos loved it because it looked like it was something straight out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, complete with bullet hole in the the room’s only window. All this just to find out “the van is running fine!” We ended up breaking down two more times in the following days.
We stopped in Vegas for two days so we could get Stanley’s fuel pump replaced. It ended up being a great time to enjoy some AC, discover a new love for the roulette table, and catch up on some new movies. Once we were back on the road we enjoyed the rest of our journey together without a hitch. We saw Death Valley (at night), Yosemite NP, SF, the Pacific Coast Highway & Big Sur, and Los Angeles.
Thanks to Bartos’ visit we learned that traveling with house guests requires a lot of team work, sharing, and being comfortable with scantily clad people in small spaces. The good thing is that we are into all of these things. We are so excited for the opportunity to share our love for traveling and exploring with more friends and family in the future. Mi casa, es su casa style.
TO BARTOS: We love you so much and we are so excited for you to come back and stay with us next year...we promise it will not be as sweaty as it was this time! MWAH!