theDangerz- still going, different rig, new adventures

dangerbus

BryDanger
Decided at some point while driving north that we should probably go ahead and take the Dempster highway north and visit the Arctic.
Who knows when (or if) we'll ever find ourselves this far north again..

The dempster is kindof like everything everyone describes, but only because its so maddeningly long. Simple fact of the matter is, that its like most roads you find overlanding anywhere - you can do it in any vehicle (or no vehicle) and once youre there youll see everything from 30' RVs to people riding a bike... might not be advisable, but that doesnt mean you cant do it and that someone out there probably has (or is right now). ;)


The road was still tediously long, rough, rutted and dirty (and impossibly remote)... but the landscape and wildlife was fantastic and worth every second.
SO glad we decided to make this turn and addition to our plans (plans...ha!)

Strangest part for us was the ever longer and longer time without darkness. Once we past the arctic circle the sun literally never set. We would find ourselves at the end of a long day of driving standing around a campfire with sunglasses on at midnight and after. Completely surreal. The brain just cant quite figure out how to adapt or what to do with it exactly. Blackout shade are an absolute requirement...though i still barely slept (barely do anyway i guess).




But in the end, pulling into Tuktoyaktuk and seeing the arctic made it worth the drive. Nothing much to speak of in terms of a destination. In fact almost everyone was either hiding out in their rig or wearing full mosquito suits/masks...but still something to get to the northernmost point you can drive. Dip a toe and or take a dip in the ocean. What else are you gonna do when you find yourself standing at a place youre pretty sure youll never see again in your life?!

 

dangerbus

BryDanger
Wow... once again we went far too long without posting updates. Apologies for that (yet again).

Somewhere after driving the dempster and dipping our toes into the arctic we headed west to Alaska and back to the pacific.

Somewhere along the way we met another camper around a campfire (around sunset/midnight... so odd).
Turns out that guys wasn't very happy despite being on an epic road trip... and as we asked more questions we learned that he wasn't happy in a camper because he "was a sailor" and wanted to be on a boat, but felt like his body was getting too old to sail.

Those of you that have followed for a while probably know where this goes already (we have proven nothing if not the fact that we are easily swayed by ideas/inspiration, especially when it comes to the task of following your dreams and happiness)














Now to be clear, we've never actually thought seriously that we would end up living on the water or aboard a boat...
but it has been a dream as long as we can remember and something about that guy's words combined with the amount of change and uncertainly we'd gone through in the last few weeks/months hit us really deeply.

It was literally as though he appeared out of the darkness in that campsite to tell us life is short and not to wait until later to live your dreams and see if thats indeed what they are.

Long story short - we put an offer on a boat 3 days later.






That boat was in FL so we set about getting back home, selling our van, trying to find someone willing/interested in running our fledgling business ZENVANZ while we were away (we had just launched the business a few months before but luckily hadn't yet said yes to any prospective clients looking to have us build out their van) and we rented a van to drive cross country to move onto a boat.

That of course was the easy part as we then had to learn how to sail it... so i guess for now- the update is that our overlanding has now become over-water-ing.

We've now spent the last 18months teaching ourselves to sail while island hopping around the caribbean.
It's been absolutely amazing (other than maybe the last few months being quarantined off different islands while we wait out the pandemic). We've now been to almost every island in the caribbean, know how to get out boat safely from one bay to another and spend most of our time diving/snorkeling and exploring the islands we float off the shores of.










 

dangerbus

BryDanger
Sent that off before i was finished... but oh well. 😖

For anyone even remotely interested in taking the overlanding life to the seas... I have to say - we are sold 100%!

It's actually unreal how much the overlap is between these two lifestyles is the same/similar.
We still spend almost all of our time wandering between different countries and exploring/experiencing the local cultures and food and people along the way, we still spend way TOO MUCH time trying to keep our rig/home running smoothly and taking us where we want to go, we still spend a LOT of time crossing borders and checking in/out of local customs/immigration facilities, we still have to figure out how in the world we will be able to afford the lifestyle or to put fuel in the rig (or food/drink in us since the wind now takes us most places we want to go).










Other than the fact that we now move across oceans (at less than 10mph) and sitting over water rather than driving down roads (at a much faster pace) and camping in fields or on beaches... the livestyle is effectively the same in most regards.

More to learn here for sure... Not only how to sail, how to anchor, how to make our own water, catch our own fish/lobster, etc... everything out here is new (at least to us) and has a huge learning curve. Even if were sitting still we have to learn about weather and currents and tides as everything around/under us is constantly changing. (Lucky for me, Jen is the captain of this vessel, so most of those things are her department to worry about)!

When underway or crossing between islands or across an ocean - the bar is raised significantly in terms of danger and/or worst case scenario over anything we faced in our years driving.










I think it's fair to say that boatlife is actually just like overland/vanlife, just with significantly higher highs and significantly lower lows (and those almost always seem to come back to back with no warning or transition whatsoever).

Overall, we love the lifestyle.
The stresses and anxiety and constant change are all (so far) worth it for the views, the intense connection to nature and the experiences.
The old mountain views and sunsets have simply been replaced with ocean views and sunsets and the addition of a living aquarium beneath our boat provides never-ending entertainment as well as food and water for our survival. We spend countless nights in remote uninhabited bays that would be impossible to reach any other way and as we look back at the last year our memories look like post cards for the rich and famous (despite the fact we still very much are not).
It's taken root very quickly and while I don't doubt we'll travel again by van some day... this is not something we are looking to give up any time soon (assuming we can find ways to afford to be here).

Mostly we are thrilled that we met that old man around the campfire. Looking back it's hard to remember if he was even real or if a shadow just appeared that whispered for us to go and live our dreams right now. We are thrilled that we took the risk, made yet another leap and decided to at least try living the crazy life of our dreams right now, while we're still young enough to enjoy it fully, able to do and share in it all together, and to have the dog here with us!

Those of you following along for a while probably wont be surprised to learn the the name of our new floating home is in fact in her honor, svKarma!


















Probably wont be making many regular updates on here since it's no longer exactly relative to the forum but we are still very actively engaged in the lifestyle as I work daily with people to help design their perfect adventurevan and work with our team back home to get them built (ZENVANZ).

If the sailing life holds any interest, the blog still gets updated from time to time
and if you want daily updates or photos you can follow along at facebook or instagram

and... as always, if we can help in any way - whether it's building out than next rig, or planning out that next adventure route, or even trying to figure out how to take that leap into major life change. Those are the conversations we live and breathe for, so don't hesitate to reach out as we can help!

Be safe and stay well out there guys!!
bryan+jen (and karma the salty wonderdog)


 
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