What inspired this trip?
Our initial thirst for adventure/traveling started when we both studied abroad in Costa Rica (Lauren) and Australia (Ben) in college. Since then we’ve read a slew of books on the subject. Plus, we come from a line of adventurists. Ben’s Dad and Grandfather have taken this very same kind of road trip. So…the legacy continues…

What kind of day jobs do you have that allows you to travel for 2 months?
Ben is an elementary school PE teacher and has summers off (actually, this is his first summer off now that he’s finally done with grad school) and Lauren owns Utopia Invitations, an eco-friendly specialty card business that she can run as long as she has a laptop and internet connection.

What kind of van are you traveling in?
A 1997 Ford Econoline 150 Conversion Van.

Why live in a van? Why not hotels or hostels?
Although we may decide to stay in a hostel or a friend’s house here and there, we’d much rather save money and gain an experience from staying in our van. Plus, the wife isn’t scared of getting her nails dirty. If you think about it, sharing 50 square feet with your best friend, brewing coffee with a french press and sleeping on a queen size bed is quite luxurious/rad/charming and not at all what we’d consider “roughing it.”

How are you converting the van?
With some inspiration from Ben’s Grandfather who did this very same thing years ago and a lot of research. We also found this site helpful, as well as looking at the set up of old VW camper buses. And after renovating our own house, Ben has turned out to be quite the handyman.

Where do you plan to visit?
We don’t have a very strict schedule. In fact, the only thing we’re booking is a certain spot we want on the Grand Canyon, but we plan on spending time in Austin, California, Oregon, Nashville and several national parks across the Mid-West. Of course, we also hope to find quaint towns with lots of charm and personality and we’re not afraid to take a detour and completely change our rough schedule.

Other fun facts —
*Ben has applied to be on Survivor four times and no dice. That may be why he’s so passionate about making our lives an adventure instead of waiting on one to happen.

*Ben also applies for other random contests and forces Lauren to participate. Hahaha…this thing cracks me up every time.

*Lauren killed Ben’s hermit crab by accident in college and wrote and recorded a song with the help of a friend. Then, she made a documentary for a class project. Oh the ridiculous things we’ll be able to show our kids one day.

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