We planned out our route to take us down the Baja Peninsula and then up the west coast to Alaska, but based on the nature of our video production business, our route in reality is going to be a criss cross of the U.S. as we travel to our filming projects in between our other planned destinations. We knew this would be the case, and planned to just make the decision to fly or drive to our gigs base...
We’re Blake and Rachel, adventure couple, and about to become traveling filmmakers. We’re getting ready to move into our 1996 truck bed camper on our 2001 F250 truck with the goal of traveling North America full time for the next year, and filming along the way.
Here’s the short story: We met 7 years ago in our home town of Littleton, Colorado. We’ve strived to make every minute of our relationship an adventure. After a couple years long distance (Blake finishing his International Business degree at Hillsdale College, while I did my B.S. and Masters in Accountancy at University of Denver) and two study abroad semesters (Blake in Guatemala City, and myself in Mendoza, Argentina), we were finally both living in Denver, living the weekend warrior life. I quickly learned I would have to take up dirt biking in order to keep dating Blake, and thus we typically spent our weekends and holidays exploring new trails in Colorado and Utah on our bikes and finding new campsites. While I spent the last few years getting my career started at a Big 4 public accounting firm, Blake has been growing the video production business he started as a side project while working in corporate finance. Blake quickly figured out there was more to life than sitting at a desk every day, and took his side hustle full time a couple years ago. While Blake was filming projects in places like Hawaii, Guatemala, Panama, and Rwanda, I kept seeing the passion he had for the business he started, and I longed to be a part of something with that kind of passion; where I could see the visible impacts on society.
Everytime we’ve had to move or sign a new lease over the past few years, Blake always joked about living in an RV, thinking of all the money we could save on rent, and especially in Denver with rent prices skyrocketing. I entertained the idea, but said no way while I was still living in Corporate America. Then last year we decided to purchase a camper for our truck so we could enjoy a few amenities while camping and dirt biking every weekend since what we fud was so cheap. We found our current setup listed on Denver Craigslist for $3,500 advertised as everything works, with “NO LEAKS!” It wasn’t until it was fully loaded onto the truck and we were about to drive away that we discovered the leak. A gallon of water started to drip from above the passenger side door, underneath where the mattress would be. So we knocked him down and walked away with our first camper for $2,500. At that cost, we figured we’d make it work with a few repairs, use it to the ground all summer, and Blake could save on hotel costs if he traveled for his business in it. We could junk it in a year and figure out if we liked having a camper enough to get a nicer one. Then, come fall, with a little inspiration from friends we already knew who were living full time in their RV traveling to Alaska, we started to get the crazy idea we should do the same thing. The idea actually felt attainable because we had started with such a cheap set up, and with Blake working for himself with clients all over the US, we would have a mobile income while we travelled, keeping us on the road longer.
I had always like the idea of extended traveling. My parents backpacked Europe for 5 months when they were 25. They both quit their jobs and headed to Europe for an experience that they’ll be talking about for the rest of their lives. Its something I always knew Blake and I would do- I just thought I’d spend a few more years building my career first. But the long busy season hours in public accounting quickly drained on me, and we figure there’s no better time to do this than now- before I’m too deep in my career, or we have a house payment or family obligations keeping us in town. Blake’s video production company business is also at the point where my full time involvement could be a huge benefit. So last month, I quit my job. Our lease ends August 31st, so come September 1st, we’re going to be living in the camper full time. Our goal is to spend a year traveling the southwestern U.S., National parks in Utah and Arizona, Baja Peninsula, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska, while also servicing our video clients along the way. We hope that working one or two gigs a month will keep us going on the road throughout our journey, and who knows, maybe can support a nomadic lifestyle longer than we’re currently planning.