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Nathan: Child Nomadica

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Nathan: Child Nomadica

Name: Nathan Thompson

Email Address: childnomadica@gmail.com

Subject: A Dream of Knowing Wild Places

Message: Hi there, my name is Nathan Thompson. 18 months ago, myself and two of my closest friends decided we wanted to travel the country, spreading love, music, and art around the United States. We decided to call this journey Child Nomadica. 

But Child Nomadica is not just a road trip. It is the philosophy of travel in its rawest form. We all have different motivations, but it is what unifies us that makes us such a great group: love and the thirst for adventure. Our mission is to fully embrace culture, nature, and the inner-self with the intention of spiritual fulfillment. Through our journey, we want to show others another world is possible. 

We are currently running a crowd-funding campaign, fueled by a video that I personally spilled my blood, sweat, and tears in to making (well, not literally). It tells the uplifting and positive story of Child Nomadica. We would really appreciate it if you took a moment to check out our video The link is https://www.gofundme.com/y3ahnuc4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yju5OZ5Hd14

With much love, Child Nomadica.

Follow: Child Nomadica Facbook

 @childnomadica instagram

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Mik & Brandon: Adventure Kooks

Hey everyone! This is Mik and Brandon and together we started Adventure Kooks- just a little bit about us- we are both from Ventura County, CA and have been living in Utah for the past few years and we are loving it! Utah is where most of our adventures and voyages take place, but we are excited to visit and discover new places too! Things that we are doing now began because of our love for the outdoors and the relationship we’ve created with each other.

Newly married, Brandon and I have always felt pretty eager and ready for adventure. It seemed like all we could think about was the amazing plans we were constantly making. Which place to climb, what mountain to ski, what we were going to do next. We’ve been captivated for quite awhile by the idea of the van life and the freedom that it offers. While going to school full time and working, we have not had the mobility that we crave- so we constantly dreamed about the future when Brandon would graduate and we would go on our dream ski trips. It was all just dreams until Brandon found an ad on KSL. We drove two and a half hours just to take a look and ultimately drove home late that night with what has been the greatest purchase we’ve ever made (besides our two pups); Our 1994 Dodge Van. We have had the van for almost a year now and during that time she’s made her voyage from the great Wasatch Mountains of Utah to the Southern California Coast and back again.

Those trips we took really showed us the improvements we could make with the van and we started a pretty hefty remodel in the middle of summer. It hasn’t been easy and we are learning the amount of time it truly takes to dive into a project like this. When we first bought our beloved ram van she had shag carpet- it seemed alright at first but we quickly realized that if we wanted to take her on ski trips and to the beach we needed something a little less water absorbent, that wouldn’t stay wet for several days after a trip. Since ripping out the carpet we have repaired the rusty floor of the van, cut outdoor carpet to be a barrier between the metal floor and the fresh new plywood above, laid down sheet vinyl for a more water proof interior, painted the wood paneling and kitchenette of the van, added a Goal Zero generator and paneling system and a Dickinson heater to keep the van cozy in the cold northwest winters. We hope to have everything complete by December because Brandon will be graduated and then its officially game on! We’re still pretty new to this community of adventure lovers and van enthusiasts, but we are digging every minute of it and we think what everyone is doing is so rad! It has inspired us in so many ways and has really encouraged us to take our passions to the next level. We can’t wait to show everyone the finished product of the van, share our adventures, meet more incredible people and add to the good vibes that we feel in this awesome community every day! To see more of what us and our two pups are up to follow us on Instagram @adventurekooks and feel free to keep in contact with us. We love hearing from everyone and getting to know you!

Love,

Mik and Brandon

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Tamra & JT: School of Life Bus

Hi, we are two native Texans working on building our bus life in North America. 

We've done the whole traditional American lifestyle, chasing down your dream job and working 40+ hours a week. At twenty-five, we bought our second home, a home we thought was our dream home, where we thought we would raise a family. However; after the first few months, we realized that this life is the same as the one we traded it for. We wanted change and we knew that to really make the changes we wanted to, we needed a huge lifestyle shift.  

This is how we decided to build a tiny home in a school bus, our journey to bus life started June 13, 2015. We call our bus the School of Life, this is because it is going to take us on the greatest adventure of our life. An adventure that will be full of learning, discovering, growing, and awakening. Now, we are not naive, we understand that this bus is not going to be a cure all. It's not going to just create the change for us, rather push us in the direction where we have to create change from within. We see the bus as a way to get freedom from society, standards, and expectations by separating us from societies norms. The tiny home on wheels will grant us the freedom to travel and explore as far as the bus can take us, meet many amazing people, learn many valuable lessons, teach valuable lessons, and help as many people as we can. This life should be about giving and we want to have time to do things we are passionate about and spend less time working solely to earn money. 

We are still building the School of Life Bus, you can follow that process and find our more about us on our blog and on Instagram (@schooloflifebus). We will be moving into our bus hopefully within the next month or two, but we will not begin our journey on the road until after the new year. 

Love & Good Vibes Always,

Tamra & JT 

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Berg and Ocean: How we started our Vanlife

Lennart & Julian are two mates from Germany who are on an amazing Vanlife Adventure in North America. Thanks for sharing guys.

How we started the Vanlife Thing

Buying a van, fitting it out and traveling through North-America - a once in a lifetime road trip. That was our dream before we took a plane and left Germany. Our story is about making plans come true. Read, how we came to our rolling home by getting a passenger van and converting it to a camper.

Finding a Car in a Country you have never been before

Our project started in Denver, Colorado. Luckily, we were able to stay in an apartment for the first couple of weeks from which some friends of us just moved out. Pretty early, we found out that a lot of used stuff gets bought and sold on Craigslist. So, what we did was a lot of searching the internet. On one hand we checked Craigslist daily. On the other hand we checked websites of local dealers.

We decided to look for a Ford Econoline. These vans are pretty common in North-America. A Volkswagen Vanagon could have been the ultimate vanlife vehicle for us. But we decided not to get one for several reasons:

It is already outfitted
It's small compared to Econoline (E-Series)
It’s way easier to get spare parts for E-Series in North-America
we grew up with VW camper vans and wanted to experience a real american car :)

Two weeks after our flight to Denver we checked out a van at Denver Fleet, a car dealer who had advertised a van on Craigslist. It was the first and the last van we inspected in person. It was an extended 15-passenger van with windows. We did a test drive, talked to the dealer and discussed with him what our plans are.

In the end we bought it and became proud owners of a Ford E-350. We left the seats at the dealer and started to plan the conversion into a rolling home.

About fitting out a Van

Because of the fact that we bought a passenger van there was no need to built in any insulation. That saved us time and work.

As foundation for our upgrade we built a flooring made of OSB. That gave us the option to build up the whole construction on a wooden base. As a consequence we did not have to put a single screw into the body of the van. A back conversion to a regular passenger van is possible without any remains.

After the flooring we built the bed and cabinets. The whole interior is made of OSB as well. It is cheaper compared to plywood and we like the rough look of it. Furthermore we didn’t have to treat the wood with paint or varnish.

The bed frame is very versatile. It has four independent moving parts. As a result we can convert the bed to a bench in the front, a bench in the back and we can lift the head section if we want to. Also, we can access our storage under the bed easily.

Furthermore we have a second board battery and an inverter to run our electrical equipment on 110 Volts. For example, we can dry our ski boots overnight and off the grid.

As soon as we hit the road and lived in our van we figured out that we needed some improvements. Our stove had to be set up with all it’s hoses and connectors every time we wanted to use it. The cutlery and dishes were flying around in different boxes. We decided to build an all in one kitchen.

The portable Camp Kitchen

Our kitchen is made of pretty lightweight and thin plywood. It is pretty portable and fits under our bed. We can pull it out at the back of the van. It’s possible to place it right behind the van or everywhere else.

The kitchen holds cutlery, a pan, pots, a month’s supply of spaghetti, pesto, spices, all kinds of cans and other groceries. It also features a custom compartment for our coffee utensils like beans, coffee machine and a grinder.

Another device of our van interior is a nice tiny sink. We made of a salad bowl which we found at a grocery store. It catches the water of our water tank and even has a drain. We are now able to clean our dishes easily.

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We have a lot of storage in our van. Nevertheless we were sure that we needed more. Each of us has two pairs of skis and a whole bunch of winter equipment. In summer we want to go surfing. Where would we put some surf boards? We needed a roof rack.

Our custom made Roof Rack

We tried to get a nice roof rack for our van. Luckily, we stayed for a while at a friend in Oregon. He handcrafts training carts for sled dogs and they are made of steel.

So, we had the chance to weld our own custom made roof rack. It will fit our surf boards, a cargo box when we want to add one and also doubles as a platform for videography.

This is truly the trip of our lifes, we’re doing all of this with much blood, sweat and tears. If you like our project, we would be more than happy if you spread the word about it.

Follow Berg and Ocean: Facebook, @bergandocean instagram, Berg and Ocean Website

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Share Your Adventure: Tahoe Runaway

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Share Your Adventure: Tahoe Runaway

Hi ROAR network and friends! It's Jeff and Angela - a vagabond couple from Reno/Lake Tahoe. We are so lucky that when (we aren't on the road) that Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are our backyard and playground.

Jeff’s a fly-fishing nut

And Angela is a stand-up paddle-boarding aficionado.

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One of our favorite things in the world is our 1974 Toyota Chinook pop-up camper.

Our home on wheels lets us ramble around the U.S. doing the things we love –flyfishing, skiing, stand-up paddle-boarding, mountain biking, cooking by the campfire and generally spending as much time as possible outside and in nature. It's good to unplug!

We both love photography and to document our travels so we can share them with our friends, family, and other travel geeks all over.

We've also done a bunch of international travel. Last year we traveled 8 months in a full circle around the world! We visited 20 countries and explored something like 85 cities!!

Our trip started in Europe where we rode trains, ate gelato, drank champagne, explored local markets and caused as much trouble as we could.

After Europe we were ready to rough-it a little. So we hopped over to Nepal and then worked our way down India. We made our way from the Himalayas, to desert Bazaars, and finally to the beaches of Southern India. It was beautiful and challenging and we loved every minute!

We spent the next 4 months in South East Asia living the beach bum lifestyle.  Enjoying the pristine beaches and jungles in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia. 

After learning to cook traditional Thai curries, riding scooters through monkey forests, scuba diving in Raja Ampat and surfing in Bali we thought we would maybe never come home!

But of course after many months we started to itch for some mountain air.  Nothing beats the crystal clear water Lake Tahoe back home. 

This summer we are trying our hand at “vanlife” in our Chinook. We plan to cruise through the Canadian wilderness and some amazing National Parks. After our stint on the road we are heading out to Black Rock City for another year at Burning Man! This always marks the end of summer for us, then 48 hours after Burning Man we are hopping over the pond to Europe/Morocco for another backpacking extravaganza.  

Follow along with us on our blog Passports-and-Champagne.com or on Instagram @tahoe_runaway and @jeff_edwards 

Thanks for letting us share our story with you! See you on the road somewhere!

Angela & Jeff

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Share Your Adventure: Tim

ROAR: You are on a fantastic adventure driving on the Pan American highway. For people that don't know much about it can you tell us what it involves and where it goes? 

TIM: Sure, the Pan American highway is one of the longest roads in the world (about 30,000 miles) and connects almost all countries of the Americas, from Canada to Argentina. It starts in freezing Alaska, goes through hot and humid Central America, over the Andes, until it reaches the again freezing Patagonia. It is only devided my a ~100mile drug mafia infested jungle between Panama and Colombia that is not drivable. In one sentence it's an adventure from start to finish. 
While I'm not always on the Pan Americana itself, but branch out to explore more of the countries along the way, I'll keep coming back to the road again and again, as it is the lifeline that runs through the continent.   

ROAR: So why did you want to do this trip?

TIM: I started overlanding right after college when I drove across California for a month or so. The freedome to go everywhere got me completely hooked to explore the world on 4 wheels. Therefore buying a car and going south on the Pan Americana was the logical next step to my previous travel. In addition I had never been to south america before, but had heard and read a lot of great things about it, especially with regards to surfing! Lastly I always wanted to learn Spanish, so I decided to throw myself right in there and see what I pick up along the way. 

ROAR: What have been some of the best parts of the trip so far?

TIM: That's a difficult one, as there have been many. Top 3 of the top of my head:
- Surfing in Central America. Nothing beats surfing perfect empty reef breaks while only wearing board shorts. 
- Mountain trekking in Colombia. Being alone with the mountain is one of the most humbling experiences there is in my opinion.
- All the friends I've made along the road. Can't thank everyone who helped me enough! Old and new friends have made this journey what it is and have allowed me to get where I am now. Manny thanks for that.

ROAR: Are you doing it solo or with friends?

TIM: I drove most of the trip solo, however never really felt alone as I constantly meet new people along the way (via instagram, by pure chance, or long planned in advance). 
My brother has joined me for some surfing in Costa Rica and Panama, which definitely was an epic time, and I'm super excited when I can finally pick up my girlfriend in Quito at the end of this month, who will join me for the rest of the way down south!

ROAR: What type of work allows you to do such an awesome adventure?

TIM: I work in consulting. As my work is soly project based, I could convince my employer to grant me a 6 month sabbatical. 
However I'm convinced that many people could get out there and do it, if they'd really wanted to. 
Many of my friends in the US switch jobs at least every two years, why not take some time in between?
From my experience it does not take a lot of money to go along the Panamericana. Traveling in Central and South America is quite affordable, due to the low costs of living. I can only encourage everyone to get out there and explore what lies behind the next corner

ROAR: What's next for you when you finish?

TIM: I will go back to Germany and continue my career in consulting. However I'm sure the next overlanding journey lies in the not to distant future - I always wanted to see lions in Africa...

Follow Tim's exciting adventures on instagram @onthepanamericana

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