For years now, my boyfriend, Domingo, and I have been fascinated by the concept of vagabonding and the lure of van life. When we first started dating, in 2016, it wasn't long before camping became "our thing". We'd pack up our $15 tent from Walmart, our doggie Pearl and a TON of food and spend a good portion of our weekends relaxing in the wilderness together. Our love of travel and appreciation for nature continued to grow as we planned more camping trips and ventured to Colorado cabins.
We'd often day dream together about buying a van to convert or purchasing a camper to call our own. As exciting as these talks were, at first they just seemed like mere daydreams. One of those things you always talk about, never do, and ultimately regret not doing later in life. I was constantly brainstorming business ideas that could tie into this exciting wanderlust way of life. One concept I was particularly drawn to was becoming a certified personal trainer and traveling around the US to train people and instruct fitness classes. I use to keep a lot of my brainstorming ideas to myself. I think deep down I didn't want to tell people because then there would be expectations and pressure to follow through. I distinctly remember feeling extra giddy about my traveling personal training idea and telling my middle aged friend at the gym. Leaving the conversation I was disheartened and annoyed. He thought the idea was silly and unrealistic. Soon after, I signed up to get my personal training certificate.
In January of 2019, Domingo and I fell in love with a Forest Flagstaff A-line camper that we named Gumpy. Last year we planned a handful of mini adventure trips to explore Indiana. A few days before picking up Gumpy from the dealership, we realized that my SUV didn't have the capability to pull the weight of the trailer so we were going to have to rely on Domingo's truck. His truck is great, but unfortunately wasn't in the proper condition to take us on trips outside Indiana. We longed to go exploring out west but didn't have the right equipment for the long haul so instead we embraced the local trips. As with many things in life, our dream seemed to have plenty of unforeseen road bumps. At the beginning of this year, a month after paying off my SUV, it crapped out on me. I was a few months away from the day I had earmarked to quit my job and begin Meatless Meals full time. The last thing I wanted was to find out I was going to have a car payments again. The silver lining was that this was my golden opportunity to fully commit and purchase a road warrior that could tow Gumpy wherever our hearts desired. I became a proud parent of a Toyota Highlander with around 50,000 miles on it. Just last week, I added a tow package to my Highlander which was the last item on our 'to do' list.
When I decided to pursue Meatless Meals full time, one element that I kept in mind while strategizing was to keep my business mostly online and mobile so I had the flexibility to travel the states while still running my business. Though Meatless Meals is still in the beginning stages and I am still working to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, I am making my dream come true. I do not have personal training clients across the US yet, nor do I have nutrition coaching clients to visit out west like I plan on having but I am still doing what makes me happy. This week, Domingo, the pups, Gumpy, Forest (my Highlander), and myself are venturing through Colorado with only a general destination in mind. Between exploring the mountains, cooking veggie dogs on the fire, and roaming the great countryside of Colorado, I am also spending time building my business. As quoted by Stephen C. Hogan, "Most people miss great opportunity
because of their misperception of time. Don't wait! The time will never be just right." One day I hope to travel for multiple weeks or months at a time and have engagements to attend all over the US, but rather than wait for all the stars to align, we are embracing our fortunate ability to explore. I am grateful that I am able to pave my own path to happiness with not only my life but my career as well.
Our list of places to visit is constantly growing. If you have any suggestions of places we should visit, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always looking to grow our 'places to explore' list.