Tag Archives: 2013

Packing Up, Leaving Our House, and Embracing The Adventure of “Homelessness”

It’s official: We no longer reside in a proper four-walled home, nor will we until 2014. I’m not sure that the reality of my newfound lifestyle has truly hit me yet, but I’m enjoying this phase of transition to van-dwelling. It’s different, it’s lacking insulation, and it’s quite generous with cold temperatures.

Our van all packed up with climbing gear, camping equipment, and mismatched belongings.We’ve reduced our belongings as much as possible before our final “dump” next week in Miami, and our last few meals have all included canned food – but it ain’t too shabby. This morning was our first day waking up with no kitchen to cook breakfast in, but it turned out to be one of the most pleasant mornings.

After brewing some strong coffee, we baked sliced potatoes in our small toaster oven, and accessorized it with melted cheese, fresh chives, and diced avocados – delicious. Our meager bounty was enjoyed out on a picnic table, where we formulated a game plan for the day.

I could get used to this.

Admittedly, there are a few things about “traditional” living that I miss already. I miss having a big kitchen for cooking meals from scratch, I miss the convenience of warm water to wash my face, and I miss the comfort of knowing a shower is available anytime I feel particularly dirty.

The most difficult change is a sudden lack of proper workspace or daily routine. My need to quickly adapt and catch up on all my beckoning work is undeniable, so I’m looking forward to a few mornings spent holed up at our local coffee shop, All Saints Café.

But other than that, the idea and process of living a drastically simplified life is treating me quite well. In the spirit of sharing my experience and working to inspire others to get out there and do what I’m doing, I wanted to open myself up to a little project:

Seriously, ask us anything about our yearlong Simply Adventure climbing trip! I’ll be posting a Simply Adventure Q&A next week,

so comment/e-mail/tweet me ANY question you have

about my trip, the planning process, my lifestyle, etc.

I’m excited to see what y’all come up with for the Q&A session.
Feel free to ask me (or Niko!) ANYTHING you’ve been wondering about our Simply Adventure trip.

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Get Psyched for 2013: Limited Edition MAMMUT Calendar Giveaway!

I’ll be honest: after my not-so-rave review about Mammut’s Refine Skort for lady climbers was published on The Gearcaster, I figured my relationship with this premiere brand was surely demolished. I nervously sent them the link to my review, and much to my surprise, they actually thanked me for my honest feedback – and the skort has since been pulled from their product line due to a much stronger response to their Realization Shorts. That, right there, is what I love about the outdoor industry.  

The Déja Vu 2013 calendar cover from Mammut.

But Mammut‘s excellence doesn’t stop there. This week, they offered to give readers of The Morning Fresh a chance to win one of four copies of their limited edition 2013 Deja Vu calendar, featuring stunning photography by Stefan SchlumpfTwelve of their pro team climbers (like Sean McColl and Anna Stöhr) and mountaineers were posed in some truly creative abstract climbing scenes, including a bubble bath of chalk balls, a sultry spine lined with bolts, and a throne of ice axes.

For a look at the making of the calendar, give this sweet behind-the-scenes video a gander. Talk about a production – according to this article, the shoot required “500 cable binders, 160 ice picks, 400 chalk balls, 2,500 metres of rope, several cubic metres of wood and countless screws.Read More…

Simply Adventure Update: Van Renovations and Upcoming Surprises

At first, it seemed like this trip was years away – but we’ve officially surpassed the two-month countdown to our Simply Adventure departure! With the clocking ticking noisily in our minds, Niko and I have kicked preparations and planning into overdrive. Where have we spent most of our energy (and quickly dwindling savings)? Renovating the van, baby! 

 

After painstakingly cutting metal and sawing wood for the past week, Niko has finally finished his handcrafted bed frame for the rear of the Sprinter. He used a metal base to create a strong, reinforced frame, and then spruced up the appearance of the bare metal by adding a layer of blonde wood on top (which also added some rigidity and extra strength to the frame). He shaped wood sheets to create the platform, and voila, we have a bed! All that is missing is the foam topper, and a storage system beneath.

We also completed the staining of the kitchen cabinets (which we snagged for 20% off at Home Depot, score). Niko did the first few coats, and I finished it off with the final layer. We still need to install the countertop, but it felt like a huge victory when we finally hoisted the cabinets back into the van and admired our handiwork. We also very victoriously removed the enormous, and difficult, partition that divided the passenger area from the cargo section of the van. It feels so roomy now!


Here’s a little sneak peak at what the Sprinter is lookin’ like right now (stay tuned for a more detailed photo shoot next week!):

Read More…

Officially spilling the beans about my big plans for life as a nomadic traveler

I’ve been hinting at my big announcement for far too long, and honestly, most of my close cohorts already have a strong inkling for what I’m about to declare – what can I say, I have trouble keeping my mouth shut when I’m really excited. You may already know what I’m going to say, but here it is officially:

By the end of 2012, I’m selling everything, packing my bags,
and I’m going to spend 2013 entirely on the road.

Farewell collections of hoarded cleaning and craft supplies. It’ll be into the donation bin for the majority of my overflowing wardrobe. Books, journals, and small boxes filled with travel keepsakes will be stowed away in my childhood room – and anything else that doesn’t fit practically into my new nomadic lifestyle will be sacrificed to the dumpster gods.

Because let’s face it – living like this…
…is totally worth is when you wake up in places like these…
…and spend your days doing this:

So what does this mean for my readers? In addition to the usual mix of local outdoor adventures, climbing trips, and travel exploits, you’ll get to experience the process of planning this yearlong journey with me – which means heaps of budgeting advice, trip planning tips, and peeks at the places I’m dying to visit most.

I hope you’re all feeling as stoked on this new venture as I am, and I can’t wait to take you along for the ride.

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