Monthly Archives: May 2014

photo (12) (Large)Living in a van and having adventures all the time is great. Except when it’s not. We just spent two nights living in the van in the parking lot of an auto repair shop in Richmond, California. My, how our fortune changed from free van camping by the ocean and mountain biking in a forest of redwoods to cooking dinner on our propane stove in a dirty, noisy parking lot in the California ghetto. The prognosis for the van isn’t good, either. One of Vanifest’s leaf springs was on its last leg, and when the shop took apart the front end one of the leaf springs completely cracked when it was removed. The shop is having trouble finding another one since Vanifest has a custom suspension and they are unfamiliar with the vehicle. I truly think they’re a competent shop doing their best, but our van is special. Oh, how I wish I were closer to my mechanics in Boise, Idaho at Oakley-Moody. They could always do anything for the van, but now they are too far away to help.

photo (13) (Large)The van has been making a banging sound since our Grand Canyon trip, and although a $1000 trip to a shop in Phoenix decreased the sound, it slowly returned and then became louder as we drove the coastal highway in California. By the time we reached Richmond where I was scheduled to take a three day sailing course, Vanifest was banging loudly on even minor bumps in the road. Driving through San Francisco traffic with the van making scary noises was distressing and we were very happy to arrive at the marina safely. We camped next to the marina, and the next morning took Vanifest into the shop.

I hope this story will have a happy ending.

To be continued…

IMG_0058About a year ago, I had given up on love. My activities and lifestyle were just too obscure to allow me to share my life with anyone else. My regular canyoneering trips and desire to live in a van definitely filled my life with plenty of excitement and fabulous friends but kept me romantically lonely. When I would attempt to go out on traditional dates, I was quickly reminded that everyone is living very differently from the way I live. I wouldn’t compromise who I was, either.

AE05D1FB-9888-49EB-9EAA-8F4153FB8066As I read Brian’s blog and emails before meeting him, I realized I wouldn’t have to compromise anything about myself to date him. I wouldn’t have to give up living in a van because Brian was already living full time in a pop-up camper. I wouldn’t have to give up canyoneering because Brian was already doing it, and at a very competent level, too. I wouldn’t have to give up my remote work style because Brian was living and working almost exactly the same way I was. He was truly the no compromises man.

Soon after we met we began doing nearly everything together. It quickly became clear that Brian is the perfect man for me. We quickly built an amazing life together that is much more fulfilling than what either of us could achieve on our own. He understands me and shares my values and lifestyle.

IMG_1619-1 (Large)We have known each other less than a year, and during that time we’ve lived primarily in my van and also spent a couple months living on a sailboat. This means we’re together nearly 24 hours per day in a small space. During our last canyoneering fest together, one of our friends asked if we ever make a request for personal space when living in the confines of the van or sailboat. The answer is no. We just really enjoy being together.

If I found my soul mate while living an incredibly obscure lifestyle, I truly believe it can happen to anyone! I feel blessed to enjoy a partnership with no compromises, and feel very thankful I was true to myself and wasn’t trying to become someone who would be easier to love, easier to date, easier to share a life with. I was just doing what I loved.

10006104_10203430314861109_7141591738791182826_n-1Brian and I talked about getting married on our most recent sailing trip and when we returned to Phoenix, Arizona we began looking for a ring to make it official. I needed a ring I could canyoneer with, so most traditional styles were out. I am also not fond of big diamonds or the marketing manipulation by the De Beers cartel to create illusions about the value of big diamonds. I selected a gorgeous ring I love that works with my active lifestyle – a sparkly banded ring covered in small rubies and diamonds. Perfect!

IMG_0232-1 (Large)Even though we picked out the ring together and I knew the proposal was coming, it was still very exciting to anticipate when and where Brian would ask me to marry him. We went mountain biking near Phoenix early yesterday morning on a beautiful trail surrounded by blooming cactus. Brian waited at the top of a hill, and when I arrived at the top, breathless, he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes, and of course, the ring fit perfectly. We took some pictures of ourselves and the ring there in the blooming desert, then completed our ride with big smiles.

Our wedding will be this September in Boise, Idaho. After the wedding, we’ll leave for a six month honeymoon in Mexico on our sailboat. Yes, dreams do come true!


About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van and on a sailboat with my superhero husband, Brian. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, scuba dive with sharks, dodge encounters with bears and wolves, and work remotely as a full time computer programmer.
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About the Van

Hi, I’m Vanifest. I’m a big, 4x4, off-the-grid van complete with solar panel for power. I'm a 2000 Dodge Ram Van and Lisa has had me since 2009. Read more about me here.


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