Our Story

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We just finished our First Book!

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www.OrangeIsOptimism.com

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81 responses to “Our Story”

  1. David says:

    This is an impressively creative, playful, thoughtful website. Both the visual journal and the cartoons provides striking methods for conveying the feel of your journey, your search, and your time together.

    So the combination of what you both contribute to the website begs the question of whether it is work or play. Rachel seems to love the word art that she creates while James seems to fully immerse himself in the photos and videos. Are you each working or playing? If work has an element of joy, does it become play? At what balance point?

    • Rachel says:

      David, It was so awesome to return from our trip to your comment! Thanks so much for checking our blog out! As you know, when you create some sort of art, it is truly fulfilling to have a deep thinker consider your creation. The division between labor and leisure is so oblique that we can never truly figure out whether we’re working or not, just as you said! And that is the beauty of life-that there is never a definite answer. We really enjoyed getting to know you on our short ride down to Ashland. And we’re excited to explore your panama blog! Happy Trails to you! –James and Rachel

  2. David says:

    PS: How did you fare in the smoky mountains above Ashland after I dropped you off?

    • Rachel says:

      Our hike through Oregon was AMAZING. The smoke cleared up about 4 days in, but even those first days were beautiful. Oregon is truly a magical place. We just hiked into Washington via Bridge of the Gods yesterday and are back in our bus. We’ll post some pictures and thoughts pretty soon. Thanks again for the ride and the great conversations down to Ashland. Best to you! -James + Rachel

  3. Rena says:

    Hey Guys!
    We (Rich and Rena… also known as R&R) just finished the Panamint City backpack. Came across your wonderful art and thoughtful commentary on both the wall at “The Castle” and in the comment book. Really appreciated it. And now I appreciate your wonderful and creative website/journal too.

    Just wanted to say “hi”. We also are VW camper owners, so isn’t that funny. But we are “old” and have been doing camper trips (and other trips and trips and trips) for centuries at least.

    So happy trails to you!!!!

  4. taylor + fran says:

    Nice ta meet cha! Have fun on your journey, you two. If you ever need anything in Bozo hit us up!

    T + F

  5. Charlotte says:

    These pictures are amazing and I love the idea behind this. My question is how do you fund these trips?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Charlotte,

      So Sorry for the late response! Thanks so much for visiting our blog and for reaching out.

      To support ourselves, we do farm work as we need it, everything from butchering chickens to harvesting peaches. We’ve done roofing, dug ditches, and hung Christmas lights. James is a videographer, and creates shorts for nonprofits and small companies. I do some freelance writing. Mostly, we work to need less money, and have lived below the poverty line for the last 5 years. That’s probably the biggest thing; to need less, and then you don’t need to earn much. We work for what we need and no more.

      Hope that was helpful!

      Thanks for the good vibes and for following along on our journey! Hope you end up doing what makes your hearts burst with joy most days; for that is the only way to live.

      Much Love,

      rachel + james

  6. David MacNaughton says:

    I’ve been house less since 1993, you two are enjoying each other and a free life. If ever in the midwest give me a shout. Much love.

  7. Ergun says:

    You left everything and then you lived 3 years in nature and came back to society and you re SELLING your experinces,involved the marketing and monetary system now..!! What a big paradox..you are liars

  8. Brian G says:

    Wow you guys have some great audio visual talent! I didn’t notice any Alaska shots in your film… are you planning on visiting this phenomenal state? Our midnight sun filled summers are amazing! Summer is also full of opportunity for gigs that offer great experiences and can really fill the gas tank while increasing your own awareness of a place’s natural history… we lived the seasonal dream of snow and guiding for 5 years and picked AK over everything else. Keep it up! Feel free to message if you ever need tips on AK sights or jobs too.

  9. I posted this on our VW Facebook club.

    “Tyce Ferwerda Finally watched it. Who would have ever thought that TRUTH could be found while traveling in a VW Bus!!!?”

    Thanks

  10. Fu Chan says:

    I found y’all through your Biolite post. Lovely journey!

    As the child of immigrant migrant laborers, I was curious if your work with them has given you insight into their world. Do you find them to be as spiritually and mindfully fulfilled as you have become? Do you find it strange that some, like my parents, desire the ills of modern life as you put it? Do you preach to them, coming from the other-side, about how destructive modern life it is and you’ve both escaped it to join them as praised hobos?

    Romanticizing the migrant worker is not new. Jack Kerouac did it. He was entirely ignorant to their suffering, joined their ranks, declared to himself that this was the one true way of living, then said β€œNothing was going to happen except starvation for Terry and me,” and packed up and left.

    It’s disingenuous for you to claim that your income comes just from farms. Ignoring that fact that you have your blog, Etsy store, promotional ads, and a channel to ask for handouts, you also have your education, connections, savings, and general whiteness on your side while you eat, pray, and love your way around the U.S.

    Your mission stinks of unchecked white privilege. Am I bitter? Sure, this country was built of the backbone of racial suffering and ignoring that fact won’t do anyone any good.

    • You sound mildly and badly oriented Fu Chan. Why, oh why, does it have to be about white, black, brown or yellow? Can’t it just be about 2 youngsters enjoying their lives as they see fit?

  11. Wasted youth says:

    Thanks for sharing part of your life. I sit here envious. As I get older and continue to maintain several old VWs that bring me joy and pain I think it curious that youth still finds these troublesome traps of a car so endearing. Must have some ingenious design concept built in…

    I eagerly reach out for less to own, less to care for and less to pay for. My career path is envy to many, but it is truly a leech of my soul. Would I be single, I would light a single match to my things and drive away in my bus with towering flames of crap in my rear view mirror. But I chose to raise a family, and that is a commitment that I am proud to come home to. Even with all the stuff that comes with that.

    God willing, should I have the privilege of becoming a cranky old bastard and a burden to my kids, I wonder if the health plan and retirement savings that I sell my soul for will be there. And so I wonder if that even matters… will it?

    What will you two do for your health care as you get older? What will you do for a home when it is difficult to get out of bed, much less hike the Adirondacks? Will it matter?

    In your youth… you have tasted, feared, shaken, breathed and burned yourselves in ways I see only over my shoulder, and not in my hands. When someone shakes their head at your life, ask them to talk to me… and I will tell them with worn eyes that you two are right.

  12. I buy a ‘Clipper 83’… in july i start my trip on south of america… i realy love your history!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Eduardo,

      Sounds like you’re going to have a grand adventure! Are you starting down south in Patagonia?? All the best and enjoy the hell out of it!

      Much Love!

      -rachel

  13. Scott says:

    Congratulations you two, and thanks for sharing. I hope your story inspires many more to create a path with such fulfillment. Thirty two years ago my wife and I, two years into our marriage, did something very similar. We sold nearly all of our possessions, bought bicycles and one way tickets to Europe to begin what became two years of life on the road. We pedaled and camped our way around the planet, working as we were inspired to – in short term gigs from painting a house, or selling flowers for a roadside stand, to busking on street corners, or helping out the people we met along the way in some unexpetant harmonious give and take – living well, below established poverty lines. Your concept of idle time, work time and leisure are well centered and provided, for us, a foundation that has helped us in our attempts to maintain balance along the way through our thirty years since. Granted, our wants have changed along the way, with subsequent homes and careers and children whom we’ve raised into their adulthood. But our needs were always realized to be few and easily attained should we ever need to make our choices accommodate such circumstances. I recommend the first excercise to everyone, young or old at some point in their life, that is to sell everything and set yourself up to live on the road in some suitable and harmonious manner. Our attachments to things and conventions are soon revealed to be figments of imagination. And when our needs are few, our wants are more easily fulfilled. Again thanks and I hope the hint of our story helps corroborate the value in yours. Best wishes.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Scott,

      We really enjoyed reading about your life journey; a truly inspiring testament to the art of living simply and well. Thank you. We understand so well your travels; the stopping for work when necessary and moving on to the next leg of the journey. As you said, once you sever your ties to a luxurious life, you never quite need to live so luxuriously again. It is a practice in restraint, we’ve thought at times, but also, it’s learning to realize other dreams and desires that would never otherwise have been able to happen. So then, it’s also an indulgence.

      It’s hopeful to us to hear that you transitioned to other phases of life with no major conflict. Sometimes we wonder, not saving money, how we’ll move forward should we choose to live a different lifestyle. Thanks for providing some assurance. Though, really, we’re always confident that things will work themselves out.

      Your message is so true and resonates deeply with us. You can live a good quality of life below the set poverty line. “When our needs are few, our wants are more easily fulfilled.” Beautifully said, and we couldn’t agree more.

      Thank you again for sharing and we wish you all the best in your journey.

      With so much love,

      rachel

      • Evie says:

        Love your quest for the ideal life! In thinking about Scott’s quote from his comment (#13), I like the quote but think it works just as well the other way around: “when our wants are few, our needs are more easily fulfilled.” Or since needs and wants are not mutually exclusive; “when our needs are few, they are more easily fulfilled/when our wants are few, they are more easily fulfilled.” Would be fun to have a discussion about each construct.

  14. milesdd says:

    I love the website. The papr maps arrived the other day. The story you tell is great. The written and visual content is excellent.

    Love reading about your trip.

    Cheers

    Miles.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Miles!

      Thanks so much for all of your support and community. It really means the world to us! We are so glad you enjoyed your zine; it has been so cool to share a physical item with others. We want you to know that your support is really what made it possible.

      Look forward to connecting more here and on social media.

      Sending so much love and gratitude.

      -rachel

  15. Kjells says:

    Hi,
    I found your film and website on FB and loved what I could see. What a happy, nice, exploring wonderful life you have.
    Happy journey. Be safe out on your way.

    Kind regards
    Kjellz

  16. Mary says:

    Hi, I’ve just found your site, it’s so uplifting. Thank you. I ordered your books. Could I ask you about your photos…what brand and type of camera do you use for your photos you post, do you have a remote for photos with you both in it and do you have a tripod? What brand? Looking forward to the books coming and I’ve shared your site with many. Keep up you beautiful works and your wording is inspiring.

    • Rachel says:

      Mary,

      So glad to have you here! We are so glad you enjoy our work, and really hope you enjoyed the zine bundle. It is truly our pleasure to share, and we are so blown away that you would invest in our work. Thank you so so much for your support; we couldn’t make our art without you.

      To answer you question, James uses a canon 5d and canon 60d for photos. James uses a contraption with a timer for tripod pictures taken from afar. I forget the name of it, but it’s used for timelapses in general. James had all this gear he had before hitting the road; he worked as a professional photographer and videographer before moving into the bus, and we’ve gotten work that way as well as we’ve traveled.

      Sending love. Thanks so much for being here with us.

      -rachel

  17. vin says:

    I am wistfully watching your videos, beautiful young people traveling the country, taking on new challenges as they come. I think everyone should do that really.

    Now that I’m 56 and ache in places I never knew existed, worried about my daughter and her unborn child, whether we have enough money to help them when things get tough (medical, etc.) I am even more convinced that young people should do this the moment they have the resources to do it…because eventually we all become still….and that is a process in itself.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Vin,

      Thank you for taking the time to write, and for sharing your feelings openly and frankly.

      Your words gave us a lot to ponder and discuss; “eventually we all become still…and that is a process in itself.” Thank you for saying that. I’ve never come into contact with that concept.

      We have spoken with many people over 50 who have told us they wish they had done what we’re doing at a young age. Sometimes we worry about the future, for brief moments, but then we always remember the advice of those older; do it while you can, they say. Thank you for the reminder. Security is an illusion, and none of us know what’s going to happen. We all have to live our dreams when it’s possible for us.

      That being said, many people realize their dreams at older ages! It’s certainly never too late.

      We hope life offers you all it may.

      With love.

      -rachel

  18. Alex says:

    Hi from England!

    I love the fact you’re exploring the concept of work/life balance to the full!

    How do you see this journey developing for the longer term future?

    Stay safe kids πŸ™‚

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Alex!

      The work/play balance is one we all struggle with, and we’re happy what we share brings that to light! We haven’t quite figured out a balance, but sure are trying hard!

      It’s hard to say where we’re headed for the future. I think that it’s too soon to tell. We just want to keep learning and living life closely with the patterns of the natural world, learning about food and its production, discovering what’s beautiful right under our own noses.

      Thanks for wishing us well!

      Sending you love,

      -rachel

  19. Carlos Arias says:

    A real pity you have to kill animal to feed yourselves…you’ll get nowhere that way.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Carlos,

      With all due respect, by living, each of us kills animals. There is no way to get around it. Many animals are killed by vehicles and cultivating plants. It is a hard fact of life, if not a pretty one.

      all the best,

      -rachel

      • Joel Vancil says:

        Thank you for your grace and wisdom there. I had never really thought about it that way. But you do make a completely valid point.

  20. Paul Sprawl says:

    Re: Ergun’s comment

    Rachel and James didn’t leave everything behind. They never stopped participating in society. They transformed the way they participated. And they should be given credit for their courage. We don’t have to suddenly become perfect and pure before embarking on an adventure and trying something very different than what we’re used to. Rachel and James aren’t lying any more than you are, Ergun. I think you do have a bit of a point though. It’s tricky business when you sell rebellion. I always thought Rage Against the Machine was hypocritical signing a deal with Sony. Nonetheless, I applaud Rachel and James on their journey and wish them well!

  21. Guuuys!!!! I send you both so much love from Mexico City! You’re such a huge tremendous inspiration for me! My girlfriend showed me your website and I’m so inspired for your story! I will travel this year to Europe so wish me luck! I really appreciate to find stories like yours, they make me feel I’m not alone. I’m sure we are thousands of people around the world who wants more than just a nice job and a lot of stuff… I want something else, LOVE!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Eduardo!

      Man! We can feel all of your love here in the states! Thank you for sending it; it is truly a treasure in our day today! πŸ™‚

      You are so right; there are many of us who want more out of life than a nice job and lots of stuff, and it is always a pleasure to discuss these topics together and encourage eachother in our search for meaning and joy.

      All of the best in your journey to Europe. May you discover pieces of yourself out there.

      Much Love,

      -rachel

  22. AC says:

    If you ever came to Greece mail us, youre welcome!!

  23. Paul Lemay says:

    Thank you for those wunderful words of wisdom!

    Paul ( 64 )
    From Drummondville, Quebec, Canada

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for reading these words! It is a pleasure to share. Thinking of you up in Quebec! Hope you’re staying warm this winter.

      With love,

      -rachel

  24. Rob says:

    You guys are amazing!!!Seeing your site moves us closer to doing the same as you!!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Rob!

      Thanks so much for the good vibes! We are having a blast for sure πŸ˜‰

      We wish you all the best in doscovering the life of your dreams.

      Much love,

      -rachel

  25. Lexii says:

    I really love and appreciate what you guys are doing but it takes a lot away from it that you don’t mention the money you get from canon and dickies. That’s part of how you earn money, I feel like you should be including how to get sponsored in your story. Maybe you’re not actually sponsored but I don’t see why you’d include that shot of the dickies label in your video if not.. I’ve always just known those companies to pay for things like that or not let you include them. I’m not trying to come at you guys, I just really aprreciate what you’re doing but it made me sad to see no mention of the money from that. I’d love to hear back from you all, maybe we’ll run into each other on the road. Much love.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Lexii,

      Thanks for writing. We are not sponsored by Dickies or Canon, and would definitely share that if the video was sponsored. We made that video on our own accord, out of passion. We wanted to share with others the life we live to inspire. James wears that mechanic’s outfit when he’s doing work on the bus, so his other clothes don’t get ruined, and we simply liked that shot of him grabbing a tool. We like Canon gear, but have never worked with them or received compensation from them. We apologize for the confusion; we are always open about when a photo of ours is sponsored, and never hide things like that; transparency is best.

      That being said, we would like to continue making art that is supported by our followers instead of sponsored by a company, and are talking about how to make that work. Though we love creating videos and content, it takes a lot of time, and we do need support to continue. We’ll let you know where we get to with these thoughts…

      Thanks for sending the well wishes and for being part of our journey!

      With love,

      -rachel

  26. Ghazi Mir says:

    Wow wonderful you two!! Enjoy and enjoy our birthright…Thanks for the story and pics. And if you come to Spain look me up…Big Hug ,GAz

    • Rachel says:

      Hi GAz,

      Thanks for the love! We are having a wonderful time, and it’s our pleasure to share.

      We’ll let you know if Sunshine gets the ability to sail overseas πŸ˜‰

      Till then we’ll have to connect through the internets!

      Much Love,

      -rachel

  27. Liviu says:

    Hello. I truly loved your video on youtube. Good luck on your idle time!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi there!

      Thanks so much for checking out our video; we’re so glad you liked it! We think we’ll release more throughout the year, and will keep you updated as we do; there may be ways for you to be involved!

      Thanks for the well wishes and we send them right back to you.

      -rachel

  28. nd says:

    wowww!
    Are you for real?
    I donΒ΄t remember how i got to find your blog, but it strikes me with so many questions… It seems so perfect. To redefine normality in a free way, and actually making it work to a point that you can live a happy and fulfilling life ???
    For so many reasons you guys are my heroes. If sunshine for any reason get the ability to sail and you pass trough Portugal…thumbs up! Great seashore to visit.
    Thank you and keep up being an inspiration
    Wope youΒ΄re for real πŸ™‚

    • Rachel says:

      Hi there!

      So glad that our blog strikes up questions! That is exactly the point of it all; to pose questions that we all can reflect on, questions that create a more conscious and purposeful world. It isn’t easy redefining what’s normal, and being happy is one of the most striking and radical things you can do to be an activist, so be on it.

      Thank you for being here with us, for all of your excitement and energy and encouragement. It means a lot, and by perpetuating these ideas, we collectively create joy.

      Much Love in all,

      -rachel

  29. Hiya Chaps – from up a mountain in Wales, surrounded by sheep all of whom are about to pop their current crop of ickle lambs, thereby tripling the agricultural population of Powys and filling us all with joy at their joy.

    No idea of how or why or where the living heck I have discovered your pages and photos and scribblings and philosophisings and ruminatings and ultimately your incredible entertainment. And all that is quite apart from the sheer time, (IDLE time? PASSION time? LEISURE time? – I dunno) but time anyway that I have spent reading a page or three, then clicking on a link then another and another and getting completely and utterly LOST in wherever you chaps have taken me. And each click and new tab on my Safari has given further cause to spend yet more TIME reflecting considering thinking and even pinking on a guitar, bizarrely. I have never enjoyed and been to stimulated by anything bloggy of this thing we call the net – and a net it is because it has ‘caught’ me!

    My life now, at 67 (and not yet retired!) is spent flicking, clicking, picking, ticking and rethinking thoughts that I thought i had worked out yesterday before finding another pic that clicks in this old brain. {That bird of prey??? “Swimming in the sky” WOW. what a thought!)

    There is actually a point to all this preambling verbiage and that is to share some of my reflected cogitations. I love you two – young, beautiful, vibrant, at ease, positive, inspiring people doing exactly what YOU want to do when you sometimes need to do it, and I am delighted beyond belief that you have each other with whom you share it all – even the “robust discussions” aka arguments. Treasure every minute – make every day special for we do NOT know what is around the next bend. (Read my Just-Giving story to understand why I emphasise that) However – there can be alternatives. I am not going to question any of your thinkings or doings, nor your earnings or workings – all those are your choice in order to feel fulfilled in your existence. The alternative that I am feeling and considering is that there is a place (i.e. for the likes of ME) where the joy of my work – I am a Veterinary Surgeon, something that is deep within my soul and has been since the age of seven – is such that I could never ever countenance not doing it. The deep joy I feel when a sick animal is restored to wellness, or a fractured leg is mended as a result of my fingers and hands, or a lamb is delivered from inside the ewe having been stuck there for an age and I sort it out, and the ewe snickers to it as it wobbles to its feet……. Even the merciful act of euthanasia for a pet that is suffering is an act I treasure.

    Such deep emotion would, for me, negate any thought of travel despite the obvious attractions of seeing this world. I gaze out of my kitchen window, as I do on my days of not working, and am constantly deep in revery at the changing seasons, the changing weather patterns that happen here by the minute. I feel contented – just sitting, staring.

    And if i choose some passion, i go pick up a guitar and pick a tune, sing a song ready for a communal “session” in a pub every Wednesday that I choose to attend. Last week for example, the gathering was reduced to tears of laughter as I offered up a 1950s song “I Am A Mole And i Live In A Hole”……the previous week there were tears of emotion as I sang “Travelling’ Soldier” bt the Dixie Chicks.

    I think my point is that we all have different choices that bring us joy – provided that we strive to achieve them and make the decisions along the way that enable us to do as we wish. I work, part time, because I have a deep need to as well as the income that enables the acquisition of a ‘better’ guitar that will magically make me into a Hendrix. I sit and stare at my hillside and the sheep, often for hours. I make my music, hopefully improving every week. I have no real desire for any further fulfilment, by travel, companionship (having lost my soulmate to pancreatic cancer after only 2 years of marriage, diagnosed only 3 days prior to our planned wedding).

    I guess the final thought is that we are all individual with differing needs and desires – it is in the pursuit of those desires that we are united. Never stop writing Rachel – your output is quite exceptional, quirky, addictive and fulfilling – and I love your philosophising too. That brain of yours burns. The photography, the film, the creativity is masterful James. Your eye is a window.

    With all best wishes

    Freshacre aka George in Wales

  30. Lucas says:

    How Ironic, I am reading your idle theory–while at work. No one is looking… well I am glad for you and the attraction to your posts is of value to me makes me dream of another place/time… thanks….(ugh! back to work, yuck)
    Lucas
    PS: guess what I do… I work in a maximum security mental institution for criminally insane… so you can maybe see why I look at your posts and …dream

  31. John says:

    Best regards from Romania and good luck in your lifetime trip!

  32. YoYo Borobia says:

    Hey guys, first of all, congrats, beautiful idea, videos and art. I’m an artist, singer and songwriter from Venezuela/Spain and my songs mostly talk about living life in an intense way, enjoy every minute and realize that no salary can pay for your real happiness… less consumerism and more experiences and sharing our world. I would love to send you my music, so I can travel with you somehow and you can also travel with my poetry and melodies πŸ™‚

    If you send me your next address/location I’ll do so. Keep on living and enjoying! hope to meet you some day!
    Kissssss

  33. Adam says:

    Hey guys, nice .

    If u get pregnant, u get a bigger van then?
    πŸ˜‰

  34. Craig S says:

    Idle Theory Bus,

    I have spent two evenings reading every bog and inspecting each picture and can’t stop! I’m still not done but am taking a break to say that I think you guys have really found a way to be true to your dream and yourselves and that’s spectacular – and unique.

    I spend a lot of time reading RV type blogs because I, too, am both an adventurer (5th wheel, not as modest as you) and blogger and I find the vast majority of them terribly boring. With few words you convey a great story. Instead of senseless pictures of the mundane you apply filters to your content and succeed in such a wonderful way.

    Three years as hobos! How amazing! I would love to meet you on the road sometime and share a beer and break some bread with my favorite hobo bloggers (dare I say borderline hippies?).

    I like forward to your next recounting of adventure, thank you for sharing it with us.

  35. Liane Taffa says:

    Hello ,
    My boyfriend and I absolutely love your lifestyles . We want this ourselves but we find it almost out of reach at this point . We both work 9-5 jobs and I go to school . Bills are piling up and everyone says it’s risky and not a good idea. It drains is when they think this way. That’s why we look up to you . I’m studying plants to see if I can help people with all natural medicines. We’re starting to get very frustrated and starting to lose a little hope . Financially we wouldn’t know how to do it and how would balancing everything work out ? How would I help others on the road to fulfill my love for alternative medicine ? Any advice , we would appreciate it so much . Thank you so much and we are sending light and love your direction ❀️ Happy travels !!! 😊

  36. Valerie says:

    I found your IG page this morning, and AM IN LOVE with everything about you two. I love how you are living and “getting by” through your traveling experiences. I love all of the positive responses you are receiving from inspired friends, who have also found you, and read your Idle Theory. I wish you both continuous happiness, health, and great findings. YOU are what make people like myself think deeper into the whole reason of why we are here and how to better balance our lives to create complete happiness in the soul. I am now following you on IG, and will be looking very much further to your future posts! I wish both of you nothing but safe and amazing travels! ❀️

  37. Onur says:

    applause!!
    What a breathtaking story…
    This is a real inspiration for us all who are dreaming a life like yours…
    Congrats for your courage and keep surviving!
    We need you πŸ™‚

  38. Isabela says:

    Can you make substitle for the video?
    I found very very very interesting, but i didnt understand very well the video:/

  39. Goodlife says:

    Know that you two ARE making a difference…a very good one!So much thanks!

    Always live

    Always grow

    Always Love

    Semper Fidelis

  40. Rob Atkins says:

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
    And sorry I could not travel both…..

    I’m 66 years old. I love to travel, to camp, hike and sleep under the stars. I live for the open road. I’ve had a share of the vagabond, sleeping cold and wet or hot and dirty as required.

    I’m also an engineer and worked 40 years for a power company, raised 3 kids, been married 43 years and lived in the same house in the same city for 35 years and counting.

    …..I took the road less traveled by
    and that have made all the difference.

    Or did it make any difference at all?

    Enjoy your life. It looks like things are going well.

    Much love,

    Rob

  41. Tyson says:

    Hello!

    My love and I are at the finish line of life here in Naples FL, 1 year restoration of our 73 Westy Virginia, voiding ourselves of possessions and jobs, all to be on the road in June! Today I had the great pleasure of coming across your Kickstarter and the story of your time on the road. As I watched your video I felt a great flood of emotion, I felt joy, love, excitement and a giant kick of motivation! This last year has been one of sacrifice, so much time, energy and money to prepare our bus and selves for the road. As hard as it has been we still push and work everyday towards our goal, so sources of motivation are essential, today you two offered the purest kind, your smiling faces and love of life. I just wanted to write and express my gratitude, I also wanted to show it by supporting your book(Happily contributed)! May your travels be blessed, perhaps our paths shall cross… Never know its a big little world!

    Much Love!

    Tyson and Alysaa

  42. Judy Nichols says:

    Rachel and James,
    I just discovered your website, am loving the photos, thoughts and drawings, and admire your exploration of idle, work and leisure. We definitely relate to your statement that people immerse themselves in work while ignoring idle and leisure. We lived that way for many, many years. Now, my husband, Tom, and I are living fulltime in our van, having quit our jobs, sold our house and hit the road. We’re in year two of wandering the country, seeing amazing things, reading, writing, taking photos, hiking, connecting with other wanderers and destressing from the world of work. I look forward to following your journey.
    Judy
    http://www.NewAmericanNomads.com

  43. Kevin Hwang says:

    Dear Jame and Rachel

    Hi You guys. This is Kevin Hwang from Korea.
    I found you by accident on YouTube that is from route what my baby boy always watch.
    Fully impressed by your travelling by lovely WV bus that is exactly what I was hoping for.
    I’d like to get your book and plz let me know how to get

    BR

    Kevin

  44. Hannah says:

    Your journey up to date sounds incredible! My boyfriend and I are about to start an adventure ourselves in Wanda, an orange ’77 Westfalia, bopping around the country for the summer and seeing what life brings us beyond that. I’m looking forward to taking a closer look at your website when we aren’t in the final throes of donating everything we own and moving out of our home in Minnesota to hit the road(this Friday!!). Just the process of simplifying is such a good feeling, so I’m incredibly excited to see what we learn from our time on the road! A friend shared your website with us today and it was a bit mindblowing to see so many parallels, so I wanted to reach out to you guys. Happy trails!
    Perhaps Wanda and Sunshine will cross paths somewhere down the road-
    Hannah

  45. Marcie says:

    Hello!
    I literally just cried while reading this.

    I have been following your Instagram for some time now…

    My husband and I recently purchased a 1989 Blue Bird School Bus, and converted it into an RV/Tiny home. Its not quite finished yet, but we are actively finishing it and living in it. It is awesome!

    My husband quit his job for this (and his mental health) and I currently still have mine. After reading your story, I will be quitting mine in the next few weeks!

    Reading your story, and your theory was exactly what I needed this morning! Thank You!!

    Hopefully we will see you on the road sometime, and if you’d like, you can check out our Instagram!

    @the_F_bus

    Much love!

    _
    Marcie

  46. Lucas says:

    What a beautiful and touching story. I miss that life. A year out of high school I left my apartment, gave my stuff away, packed my hiking back pack and stuck my thumb out. Trying to get away from wasting away working for stuff. It was a beautiful 5 year journey and it taught me more than any institution could ever have. I have many fond memories. Often I want to load up my VW bus and head out again. But I now have a lovely wife and three beautiful children. Makes it slightly difficult to hit the road without worry. That being said, I’ve really enjoyed watching your videos and reading your story. Brought tears to my eyes and feelings of joy, looking back on my own memories. You’re an amazing couple and I hope the very best for you on your journey. Much love be with you. Lucas.

  47. Martin says:

    Hi From BC,
    Really enjoying your tail! You seem to have found what a lot of us have been looking for all our lives.
    You really should take a trip through our beautiful province and experience Alaska also.
    Martin
    68 Bay Window. Named Daisy Bay.

  48. Rhonda says:

    LOVE your story you guys! I just found you from your story on Passion Passport. So inspiring. My husband, black lab, and I became nomadic in Dec. 2015 and are driving the PanAmerican highway (at least vaguely πŸ˜‰ ) from Oregon to Patagonia and are currently in Mexico. Good luck on your book and I can’t wait to delve into your blog. Cheers from the road!

  49. Kevin says:

    Beautiful video. Excellent production values. I live in a van myself, since 1989. I bet it’s just art; I’m calling B.S. on the whole thing; I suggest you spent 2-3 months making this art video, and now claim you live the life. A., there’d be more videos than just one; B., pretty girls don’t live in a van; C., young white people don’t pick fruit or process chickens. But again, great video!

  50. Gary says:

    I am absolutely in love with this page.
    It is so refreshing to see and hear about your adventure.
    You’re theory on life is a thing dreams are made of and one very few can make a reality, but you have achieved this and I thank you for sharing it.

    I always look forward to new updates 😊

  51. A HUGE Howdy doo, to you 2,
    I love your pages, and a bug BOOHOO to the few naysayers. Jealous, I would hazard to say!
    Now, as a young lad, 19-20, I hitch hiked the country on my way to watch Mt ST HELENS blow her lid. Luckily, I was just leaving Arizona when she went, as I was planning to camp on her slopes. haha Shortly after returning, I was privileged enough to join the US NAVY, where in 20 years, I circled the globe 4 times, seen and done lots and lots. I raised a family, bought a farm to raise horsies and moo moo’s, then settled here in Central New York, finger lakes region. This is where my love had her cancer come back to take her, I took care of her here at home, and held her hand, whispering my love, as she left this world. I am currently pretty severely disabled and, am losing my home due to forgetting to pay property tax because of depression associated with my worsening condition.
    BUT, not one to quit, I am selling almost all of my worldly possessions, and buying a camper. I am going to “hit the road”, and follow my mind, heart, and a dart (on a map), to see what I can see, and do what ever it is I can.
    Your website and Facebook page, which I follow is, to say the least, inspirational, to me anyways. I will be posting my thoughts and photo’s on my Facebook page 1thoughtguy, throughout my journey. I plan to be traveling for 3-4 years, or I kick the bucket. LOL Whichever comes first.
    In saying, I wish you 2 the very VERY best! In luck, in experiences and, in life. YES, YES, YES. Travel and experience life, when you have the opportunity to do so.

  52. Priscilla says:

    I am so happy to hear about your journey, it takes great courage to do what you are doing, to be free, play and create, that is the point of our existence. You are doing what everyone wants to do when they grow up.

  53. Jim says:

    Hope this finds you two doing well. I just came across your Instagram site today, and the orange VW caught my eye as my first car was an orange Super Beetle. I have been catching up a little on your adventures and have a great deal of respect for what y’all are doing, were I a younger man (in my early sixties) I would love to do what y’all are doing or a least a very long road trip. Best wishes as you continue you journey of discovery, be safe out there! Are you familiar with Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon?

  54. Jonathan says:

    Hi Guys,

    In a word…magnificent! What a dazzling life you’ve chosen. Made ever more perfect by Sunshine. I definitely am looking forward to reading your book. You are living the life that many (including myself…for now) can only dream of. Enjoy your travels…Hope to cross paths one day! Cheers!

  55. Sylvie says:

    Wow!! I hadn’t taken the ‘idle’ time to look at your website in full. I love your messages and can completely relate!

    I hope you make down to Puerto Vallarta one day. Keep on living it!

  56. nick says:

    lovely. I grew up in a ’72 bus as our family “car” and the one as kids we lived out of for months at a time while dad worked remote power sites all over Canada. It was the first of many T2’s in our family, and now, in my late 40’s , still have the last one, a ’77. Its got parts of all its older siblings built into it, the steering wheel of the first one, that dad held for so many years, is the same one I hold now as my family and I take new road adventures in the bus. Thanks for being brave enough to understand the diversity of life, and kind enough to understand those that do not hear the music that some of have had the fortune to listen to ‘out there”
    cheers!
    Nick, the Paleomechanic
    Takhini River
    YT, Canada

  57. Johnny says:

    Hello friends!

    As most have stated, your story is incredible and very inspirational. I just bought a truck to convert the bed into a camper/ sleeper and my lovely furry best friend and I will hit the road hopefully in a year! Society loves to complicate things. Simplicity is key. I commend you on your ability to understand this and your courage to do what you want instead of what people think you should do. Best of luck! Maybe our dirt roads will cross someday in the future! Jack Kerouac said it best in my opinion, “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so On the road”
    Cheers!
    -Johnny & Juno

  58. Hello guys,
    I’m very impressed about your way of living. I own a VW type 3 and refubished it into a camper. Going through Europe 3 weeks a year is all what’s possible, but even nice!

    Could you explain more about the sights you visited? We ‘v planned to travel the west, from San Fransico to LA and Las Vegas, by T3 next summer. So if possible I’d like to travel your way, too!

  59. Ashley cooper says:

    Hi,
    Would love to tour that part of the world it looks amazing,taking out the bad times.
    As I’m from the UK will be touring Europe this year,having watched your clip on YouTube I had to dig deeper would love to read your book,already forwarded links to my camper friends,I’m 45 and although camped my whole the van life is all new and exciting, both of you are the envy of many good work and thanks for sharing,all the best for the future.

  60. Naz says:

    Hi James & Rachel

    You story is nothing short of extra-ordinary πŸ™‚ Many of us r so caught up in “this failed system” that we cant even imagine living off the land. Yes, u have ur Etsy store and a published book πŸ™‚ but u still spending more time in nature than most of us. Your LIFE is how things should be, exploring this huge world of ours.

    Keep it up, you will surely inspire more us, we are after all spiritual beings which hav been fooled to be products of a system that does not work πŸ™‚ So DONT stop writing and sharing your experiences, we all crave what u have.

    YOU GUYS ARE INSPIRATIONAL πŸ™‚

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