Home is what you make it.
In the middle of my final year of veterinary school, you can imagine there were a lot of things on my mind, especially that faint light at the end of the tunnel that led to life outside of being a student. After four years of books, lectures, labs, and tests, I was ready for a vacation, and not just any vacation – one that really makes an impact. A vacation that takes both planning and improvisation; one that affords a safety net of home yet takes you to the edge of your comfort zone; one that requires risks to commit yet can provide the biggest rewards; one that can be shared with others but still be a personalized experience.
In the fall of 2015 an opportunity presented itself, as I was invited to be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding the following summer. What started as a simple round-trip flight to Pennsylvania quickly became ideas for a cross-country road trip. Soon Justin and I were spiraling down the path leading us to a trip of a lifetime, and we dove in eagerly. In between shifts at the clinic and studying for licensing boards, I researched, planned, rearranged, researched more, and booked a rough itinerary.
Over the following months, Justin and I worked tirelessly to renovate our humble, less than 200 sq ft camper van. First things first, we gutted the entire interior, ridding the van of its leaky, cracked roof and water damaged flooring. It was a long process, filled with trial and error, but when all was said and done, we had sealed and insulated the metal frame, repainted the plastic sidings and interior framing, updated the flooring, cut and stained a new countertop, replaced the cabinet doors, removed the third row seating to provide a custom day bed with underlying storage, and upgraded the lights and sound system.
Even Nico and Taj approved of our renovations, and look ready to go adventuring! (There was never any doubt that they would be coming with us!)
While the van may always have little quirks and a list of potential upgrades, it’ll no doubt serve us well for our cross country exploration that lies ahead. Now that graduation has passed (yay!), we’re looking forward to the roads that lay outstretched before us. We can’t wait to embark on our road trip experience!
Go out on a limb.
That’s where the fruit is.