The follow interview was first published on Go-Van.com.
In my travels, I had the chance to cross path with Emily and Corey from Where’s My Office Now, they’ve been inspiring nomads for almost three years with their Vanagon named Boscha and their dog Penny! You probably heard about the web series about modern nomads they’ve been working on for a little while now, and here it is! I thought of doing a little interview about the behind the scenes of producing a such major project like this while being on the road. At the end of the post you’ll find the 5 videos. Enjoy!
Where are you now and what have you been doing lately?
Currently we are at GoWesty in Los Osos, CA. We just arrived here to get a heater installed in our van, after spending time with friends and family in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, and completing a mountain biking loop through British Columbia.
Are you happy with the turn out of your latest videos? What was the biggest challenge of producing these videos while being on the road?
We are very excited about the completion of our latest web series, the VanLife: Modern Nomads web series. It has been a long process, beginning with a Kickstarter campaign, followed by a 2,000 mile journey alongside James and Rachel of Idle Theory Bus from Maine to Key West, on a mission to find and interview modern nomads, and completing with a year of post production.
The post production was by far the most difficult part of producing these videos. Emily edited much of the series, creating what is called an offline edit, before turning the project over to 5 time Emmy Award winning editor Joel Evans this fall. We shot heavy, and when the filming process ended we had 2 terabytes of footage, which took her months of organizing before we could officially begin the episodes.
This process was exacerbated by the nomadic style we live. While most editors have offices with endless power, we had to seek out cafes, libraries and campsites with hookups. With this said, we were also very blessed to have amazing friends and family that provided space along the way, allowing us to get on a more consistent editing routine.
How did you select the nomads you featured in your videos? And what is the message you want to share with the project to your audience?
All of the nomads interviewed connected with us first through social media. Once the project was announced on Kickstarter, we posted on social media that we were seeking nomads. Our mission was to highlight the community of modern nomads with different backgrounds, passions, and methods of funding their journeys all united by their love for the nomadic life. The objective was to explore questions about living on the road, working, challenges, and deeper questions about who we are, and how we fit into this world. We believe in the power of community, of a collective story that made up of personal stories that inspire us all to create the lives we desire.
What did you learn from this project ?
This project taught us so many lessons. We could probably write a book from all we learned. First, and foremost this project reaffirmed how courageous, passionate, unique and creative the modern nomads community is. We are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to share the stories of these inspiring people. We also learned that anything is possible and nothing is guaranteed. In the beginning, we thought we could complete the series by March 2015. Obviously, this didn’t happen and we were given the opportunity, again and again, to let go of our attachment to this timeline in our minds. To do this, required a leap of faith in ourselves and our vision.
Emily was forced to face and let go of her self doubt, an important lesson. We are not serving ourselves or others with our limiting beliefs. When we let go of these personal stories based out of fear, we can be who we are and achieve what we truly desire. Through this, we serve ourselves, others and this world. We also learned that this life we are given and the people we share it with are not to be taken for granted, but rather celebrated, for nothing is promised. The completion of this project showed us that anyone who has a strong enough desire to follow a dream can make it happen. Whatever the dream may be, if there is a clear vision there is a way.
So what’s next? After almost 3 years on the road, do you see yourselves living on the road for a long time still?
Van life for us has no end date in sight. We are still enjoying life on the road even with its many ups and down. Once you have lived this lifestyle it is hard to imagine ever going back to a stationary way of living. While there may come a time when we want a homebase, we foresee van life always being part of our life. We will always explore this amazing planet and what better way than in a VW Vanagon named Boscha! Furthermore, this lifestyle for us has become much deeper than driving from point A to B. We feel this lifestyle represents an openness not just to exploring the many beautiful places and people along the way, but exploring ourselves as beings of infinite possibility.
As you’ve been nomads for so long, the Go-van readers could probably learn a few things from you!
What is your favorite National Park to explore in the US ?
All of the National Parks we have visited are truly beautiful in their own way. If we had to pick just one it would be Bryce Canyon National Park, an extremely unique and stunning Utah park. With this said we recommend that anyone traveling in the States do their best to get off the beaten path and drive up some dirt roads, because far from the tourist centers and paved walkways is where the true gems are.
What is your favorite state you’ve visited?
It’s hard to say just one state so let just say the entire west! Pretty much everything west of the Rockies!
What is your 3 most useful items you always bring on the road?
Corey: Surfboard, bike and hammock.
Emily: Surfboard, journal and travel bidet.
Give us a useful tip for successful boondocking?
For us boondocking means more than just camping for free in the woods. While we much prefer sleeping under the stars, we have spent many nights on a city street or in a Walmart parking lot. If you plan to sleep on a city street or stealth camp as we like to call it, it’s best to find a nice quiet neighborhood with big fences and other cars to blend in with. If it’s free camping in the woods you long for, get an oldfashioned paper atlas for each state you plan to travel in. Most atlases show National Forest and BLM service roads which are where the best boondocking can be found. As long as you are ¼ mile from an established NF or BLM campground you can usually camp for up to 14 days. If you are not so into paper maps there is an app called Allstays that shows all camping options, but the best spots usually have no services.
Give us a useful tip for a couple to live in a tiny space like a camper van?
We believe it is imperative that we maintain our own individuality and set time aside time to give self care and follow our own passions. This helps us keep balanced in our relationship.
Give us a useful tip when traveling with your dog on the road?
Getting a dog is a huge responsibility on its own, but if you plan to have a dog on the road I would say it’s very important to know exactly what type of mental and physical exercise your pooch needs. Penny Rose is highly athletic so a long bike ride or a game of fetch is a must. I think it’s also important to note that National Parks do not allow dogs on trails.
Give us a useful tip to save on food/gas/parking when you travel?
Food is our largest expense. We believe eating fresh, local, high quality organic and non-GMO food is one of the reasons we have been able to maintain a healthy active lifestyle on the road. For us, the best way to save is to identify staple dry bulk items that are also complete proteins. For example, we eat a lot of soaked and sprouted buckwheat, hempseed, quinoa, chia seed, oats, rice and beans. We find that if we have a solid base we can dress them up with different fruits, veggies, spices, and healthy oils, and we never get bored. We also tend to drive a lot so gas is a large expense. When packing to hit the road, remember that every LB/KG you add drops your mileage. So pack as minimally as possible, and when you love a place, stay for a while! Paying for parking is never fun so we tend to park outside metropolitan areas and use the walk as an excuse to explore an area or give the Penny Rose some exercise.
Watch the 5 episodes of VanLife: Modern Nomads web series here:
The van is parked in the middle of chaos, in the eye of a human storm known as Walmart. The field of pavement rises to meet me, and as I circle the van checking out tonight’s home, the security guard circles me with his lights strobing. This, is van life.