After graduating college Owen and I (MAK) had a desire to see what the rest of the country had to offer. We both felt like we had hardly been out of the south and were ready to see more. Just three days after graduating from college we tossed some hand me down camping gear and some canned goods into my Honda Element and took off! We had a vague plan to do a counter-clockwise circle around the US until we ran out of money. We managed to go for about 6 months before our saving ran dry and we had to head back to Atlanta in search of work. Before long we found our way back into the 9-5 workforce, bought a house, and settled into the rhythm of living in a city. Not 2 months after moving into our new home we both realized we were heading down a path that neither of us was interested in. We were constantly dreaming of being back on the road, but making it more permanent then it had been on our previous trip. We didn’t want to go on the road and it to be just a trip, we wanted it to be our life. We missed being able to constantly change our surroundings and choose where we woke up in the morning. That very day we both sat down and started planning our escape late into the night. We set our sights on April 19th, 2016 which was two years away. Our plan was to hit the road fulltime with our lives and careers in tow.
Picking The Right Rig
For the last year and a half, we were living fulltime on the road in a 1985 VW Vanagon. We decided to make the switch to a different rig because we needed a little more space for our work and because we were hoping to bring the cost of ownership down. Since we were in the middle of a change we figured “Hey?! Why not get something that’s 4×4 while we’re at it” and got a fully renovated 1985 Toyota Sunrader.
Working While We Wander
Before going on the road Owen and I both worked in different design studios. They were your standard 9-5 jobs. Owen was/is a motion graphics designer and I’m an Illustrator and Graphic designer. When we made our plan to go back out on the road we knew that the key to us being fully sustainable was that we needed to take our careers with us. Luckily, as designers, it is not uncommon to work as a freelancer so it was just a matter of transitioning out of our desk jobs into freelance careers. That process is easier said than done, but Owen was able to build up is client base quickly and went freelance in about six months. For me it took a little while longer, I managed to transition out of my desk job in a little over a year. Now that we are on the road we work with clients from all over in our respective fields. We have found that our clients love being on our journey with us!
Renovations To Our Custom Home
We purchased our new home on wheels, Amelia, in August 2017 after realizing that we needed a little more space for our work. Even though she is new to us, she is a full factory original camper from 1985. There was literally carpet on every surface and all of the utilities were very outdated. In order for her to be fully functional for our life on the road, we knew that she was going to need a good bit of updating. We were excited to finally get to build out a rig to be completely customized to us. We knew that the build was going to be a tough process but I don’t think that we fully grasped how long it would take to achieve our final vision. It took over twice as long to finish the build as we thought it would, but I can say that now that we’re on the other side it was worth every last bit of work it took! There is so much value in knowing your home on wheels inside and out because when you get on the road and all you have is yourself its good to know that you can trust the work that has been done!
Seeking More Adventures
We have no end date in mind for our life on the road. Building Amelia was our investment in our future on the road. We hope that we have many more years to come because the more time we spend on the road, the more places we find that we want to explore! The good thing is that our work follows us everywhere we go and there is no lack of inspiration! In the more immediate future, we are wanting to put our new home to the test and hope to make it to the arctic circle via Alaska and Canada this year. After that…who knows?!
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