February of 2016 was a month I will never forget. Back then, I had a life-changing opportunity to sell my business – a small real estate agency in the beautiful island of Florianópolis, Brazil. The country’s economy wasn’t doing too well so I took my chances. My partner and I sold nearly everything we owned and bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles with a plan in mind. We set out to drive all the way to Patagonia, all while camping, surfing, and living in our car. And just like that, a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero we’d bought on Craigslist became our new home.
We arrived in the United States in August and were able to enjoy a great West Coast summer to the fullest. While in Calfornia, we shopped for gear and anything else we thought we might need; a car fridge, a camp stove, sleeping bags, a tent, and the list goes on.
To test all the equipment, including the car, we’ve driven through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California. We’ve camped in national and state parks, beaches, and forests, covering more than 10,000 miles. Needless to say, the car passed the test in its first five months, and on January 3rd, 2017, we crossed the Mexican border where our journey continues today.
In a world where #vanlife has become the sexy thing, we feel pretty old school. We often see other travelers on their buses, campers, and vans, but very few still rely on their tents for over landing. Some ask us why we didn’t stick to a van, and the simple answer is we are traveling on a tight budget that couldn’t accommodate an expensive van. We intentionally bought a car that we could either leave or sell if anything were to break down. And with waves on the trip itinerary, a 4WD car was a necessity for some of our ventures off the beaten path.
As I write this now, I can hear the sounds of waves crashing in Zicatela, where we’ve been camping over the last weeks, and where a broken board or two has made that budget a bit tighter. But the barrels are worth it and the guys that repair boards around here do some amazing jobs. We plan on staying on the road for the next year to year and a half. s cliché as it may sound, it hasn’t been about the destination, it’s been all about the journey. One thing we know for sure, someday when we look back, we will miss the nights slept in our tent under the stars, as well as the
As cliché as it may sound, this trip hasn’t been about the destination – it’s been all about the journey. We know that one day we’ll look back and miss the nights of sleeping in our tent under the stars, just as much as we’ll miss the barefoot days under the tropical sun.