Hey there! We are Our Home On Wheels, also known as Jace, Giddi, and baby Juniper. We are a full-time traveling family living in a 2005 self-converted Sprinter van with our pup, Lotus. We often get asked why we decided to sell everything and move into such a small space. To put it simply, this is what we needed. Flashback two years ago and Jace and I were working the typical 9-5 schedule and feeling as if our dreams were slipping away from us. There’s nothing abnormal about working 5 days a week. Millions of people do it — even many van dwellers continue to happily work a day job. For us though, this wasn’t working. We felt something was missing. Our life was definitely not what we wanted it to be and we were both feeling weighed down and unhappy We had always talked of our desires to travel in a van, backpack Europe and Asia, and move to a foreign country. And yet, we felt stuck in the day to day routines and slowly pushed our plans into a deep abyss of things forgotten. We decided we needed to take life into our own hands and make a change. We wanted to hit the road! So the search for the vehicle began.
Prior to purchasing our van, Jace had been working for an emergency preparedness company. An older guy came into the shop to pick up a large load of supplies, and Jace helped him load it all into the back of this old, beat-up Sprinter van. Jace told him he had been searching for a similar vehicle and oﬀered to pay him in cash that very day, but the gentlemen said it wasn’t for sale. Being persistent, Jace insisted the man contact him when he was ready to sell it, and they exchanged information. About six months later, when we felt we were drowning and had hit rock bottom, we received the call – the van was available. Long story short, we picked it up the very next day! Life got crazy busy: we started our own business, both of us continued working full time and we started building out the interior of the van to be a comfortable living space. Soon carteohandmande.com was doing well, so we both quit our jobs and prepared to hit the road. After a hectic and exciting few months, we felt ready! And then….. we saw two lines. SURPRISE! Two weeks prior to taking oﬀ in the van, we found out Giddi was pregnant! We had plans for a family in the future, but this was sooner than we had anticipated. Yet, instead of altering our path, we decided we would continue our trip and when the baby was born, we would bring her along to share the joy for the journey. We were excited to introduce her to this nomadic lifestyle we have since fallen in love with. So the plan continued. We spent the next six months traveling from the deserts of Arizona, along the gorgeous coasts of California and up to amazing landscapes in Alaska. We took lots of detours and zig-zagged the west coast and Canada climbing, hiking, and paddling every chance we had. Because Giddi was pregnant, we had to mellow out a little bit, but our active adventures continued. Each day on the road was diﬀerent and exciting for us. Not everyday was spent in an epic parking spot gazing at dreamy views. Some days were just plain hard. Many nights were spent in noisy, crowded parking lots staring at asphalt, and some nights it felt as if mosquitos were eating us alive, but those nights made for some memorable storytelling for later on. And the good days deﬁnitely outnumbered the bad!
The mornings we woke up in picturesque camp spots soaking in the fresh air are so engrained into our brains and hearts and we have plans to revisit many places we discovered. One memory we absolutely love is camping in Big Sur and hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the ﬁrst time. While we listened to the life we created, just outside our van window was a stunning view of the ocean coast, and the breeze lingered peacefully. The moment could not have been more perfect.
Along our trip we have made some amazing friends living similar lifestyles, whether it be in a van, truck, RV or whatever. We love that there are people out there who share similar ideas and dreams of what life should be. We always say, this world was created so beautifully so people could see and experience it. We have loved doing just that and don’t see this desire ﬁzzling out anytime soon for us. After our epic trip, we sold the original Sprinter van and returned to Arizona to have our baby. We were sad to see our home go, but we needed to accommodate the new member of our family. These adjustments probably could have been made in the original van, but Jace was itching to build out another one with upgrades to make our van-life even more comfortable for round two! We recently ﬁnished our van and let me say, we love our new home! As we write this, we have only been in the new van a couple days. We are in a parking lot tonight, our baby cozy in the van and acting like she was made for this. She is happy to be hanging with both of her parents all day, every day. Our dog, Lotus, didn’t take long making herself back at home and runs freely and happily during our rest stops and campsites. We are readjusting again, getting organized and ﬁnding our ﬂow, but being back on the road is exactly where we want to be. We are so happy and stoked to be getting outdoors again with old friends, new friends, and our little family. If you see us around, say hi, we would love to meet you all!