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Dreams for Sale: Grappling with Adventure’s End

Here at Expedition Portal, we read a lot of exciting tales from the road. The exchange of experiences big and small is what makes our adventuring community so tightly knit and aspirational. It’s not often we come across a heavy hearted piece about journeys cut short and dreams unfulfilled, but those stories are all part of the bigger life journeys we all take. Below is a post from our friends Bryan and Jen, also known as The Dangerz.

I can hardly believe i’m writing this post. We can barely bring ourselves to talk about it, much less write about it, and yet here it is. We have finally forced ourselves to begin discussing what’s next for us and our journey; what’s next for the bus, and when we are going to take care of some of our unresolved issues like returning to Costa Rica to pick it up. It’s not an easy conversation, it’s one best had over a few drinks, and still we find ourselves in awe at what comes out of our mouths once the discussion has begun.

When we left the bus in Costa Rica almost 8 months ago we made a deal with the storage facility to keep it safe for 6 months. The manager was very clear that they preferred not to be a long term storage facility, and that the prices would go up at 10 months if we were still away. Ludicrous! We assured him we would never be gone for 10 months. We just needed to go home and get our fix of friends and community and we’d turn tail and run back to the beach. We’d be back before fall for certain.

This is why we consistently remind ourselves not to plan more than a few weeks in the future…we always prove ourselves wrong!

It’s now been over 8 and a half months and our bus remains sitting lonely in the darkness under a giant black tarp. It’s now mid-winter in the northwest (although luckily a very dry one) and we are beginning to have thoughts of beaches, being barefoot, and our once tan bodies. But neither of us has a driving urge to drive further, or even to drive back along the path we’ve already been. We both still have the same drive for adventure and unknown…but somehow the projects we’re involved with here, and this dilemma of how to live simply and without income seems to be an adventure enough…for now. Life here is no less an adventure than when we drove south and we still have no more idea each morning what we will want or decide by the end of that day than we did then.  We likely will be able to move into the garage addition we’ve been working on by late January, and the idea of heading back to Costa Rica to gather the bus then seems almost like an inconvenience. What? We have to check ourselves every time we say the words out loud. A trip to the beach…an inconvenience? ? What has come over us?

Inconvenience might be too harsh of a word, but the timing is certainly not optimal. We actually have friends vacationing in Costa Rica at the beginning of February and as hard as we’ve worked to find a way to overlap our return with their trip we just cant seem to make it happen. We also have hopes of being able to finish our house remodel soon enough to rent it out or place it on airbnb or vrbo while were gone to replace a bit of the expense…and there’s no way that can happen by the first week in February. Sadly.

As much as it pains us, we think we will have to say no to a deliciously good time on the beach. We also have other friends talking about travel to even more exotic locals. Of diving and exploring places on the far side of the globe. Ah, the urge is so strong to go, but money and current projects always arise before we can allow ourselves the chance. In our past lives we would have jumped on these opportunities in a second.  

This might be the single hardest part of the equation that we’ve yet to solve. Living simply and affordably, check. That’s a part of who we are now, and once our tiny home is complete our monthly bills will be almost nothing. Free time to do whatever we choose- this one we have in spades. We are the masters of our schedules and we can finally come and go as we choose. We are thrilled that our life now offers such flexibility, and not a day goes by we aren’t thankful for both of these things, however long they last.

But travel… This seems the last great unanswered question for us. Our goal was to escape the cycle in order to live more freely, more happily, more simply, and to explore and travel the world to continue learning about ourselves and others…

The last part that seems to be in direct conflict with all others. Mostly, because its the one that comes with a large dollar sign attached. It’s the one that we cannot accopmplish by merely giving up more. Its also the one that hurts deep in our soul when we admit that we might have to turn down a tropical vacation to some majestic remote beach with dear friends. This is a part of the equation that needs more of our focus and inspiration- or we will surely go insane.

But for now there’s a trip to Costa Rica that we cant avoid or talk ourselves out of simply because of cost. We have no choice- we must return and the deadline is approaching faster than we’d like. Our bus is waiting. We keep asking the same question about when and how we would like to return, and when/if we might want to continue driving. Whether we want to drive south america…but for now the answers keep coming back the same. Shockingly, we still want to be here.

We might have another extended road trip in our future…but for now it isn’t what we want to spend our days doing. Right now, we want to create, to get healthy, to communicate and collaborate with others and be around the ones we love. And for now at least, we want to do those things right here. So. We have formally ruled out shipping to South America and we have ruled out driving slowly back north.

Our remaining options at this point seem to be narrowed down to three: Pick up the bus and drive as fast as we can back north. Not really our style and it doesn’t really save us any money nor fit our current goals. Pick up the bus and load it onto a container headed for the states (likely california) where we will pick it up or have it delivered to portland. Or, the final option and the one that hurts. The option to sell the bus.

 

I’ve written and erased these next words a dozen times already throughout this post, but this time they will remain. We are officially choosing not to make the decision, but allow the universe to make it for us. If someone has a desire to own our custom camper bus in all of its glory than we will let its journey continue with them.

The bus is officially for sale.

If the perfect person or people do not come along, then we will happily bring our beloved bus back to Portland and see how it transforms after we arrive. If you, or someone you know happens to be in the market for a one of a kind custom (trophy winning) camper send them our way. If you know someone who’s looking for an epic road trip, send them our way… if you think we’re horrible people for pawning off a member of the family – you can just keep that one to yourself.

To learn more about the Danger Bus, click HERE.

Christophe Noel is Expedition Portal's Editor and the Senior Editor for Overland Journal. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.