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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
843 days a wanderin'

Two Peas in a Pod (But Not Pod People)

us --> van --> overland

It all started one hot August week in 1996. John and I were each hired at an alternative clothing store in the shopping mall and fate did the rest.  Well, John probably had something to do with it too, since he was the Assistant Store Manager and he consistently scheduled us for weekday morning shifts together (a craftly devil even then). John frequently states that those few months were the only time that he was allowed to tell me what to do (although, to be honest, I didn't listen any better then than I do now). In spite of (or maybe because of?) John's bossiness and my mulishness, we've been two peas in a pod ever since (what's life without a little challenge, right?). In a little over a year, we had matching ink and a marriage license.

Two peas in a podNeither of us was raised in the lap of luxury, so we took the logical next step in life and spent a long stretch pursuing the 'American Dream.' We buckled ourselves into 'real' jobs, house payments, and good ol' 'conscientious' consumerism.  And years later, we realized that we had fulfilled our 'American Dream' (at least in our estimation). We owned a fully furnished house and two autos and spent 9+ hours each weekday apart from each other, devoted to our boxes full of ticky tacky, grinding along each weekday, coming home mentally exhausted with a house and yard full of required maintenance and upkeep and little time and energy for each other and the great outdoors.  We had attained the unattainable and realized that nothing about it made us truly happy. So, we did some honest soul searching and life reflection and decided that we needed a MAJOR change. In anticipation of our metamorphosis we started scrimping and saving, and over the years our plan evolved as our understanding of ourselves did.  Ultimately, we decided to sell almost all of our worldy possessions, move what's left into a van, and travel until our savings runs out or we find somewhere we can't tear ourselves away from.

What an amazing privilege it is to live a life like this. -Hendri Coetzee

The John

The John

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. -Neale Donald Walsch

The Mandi

The Mandi

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain. -Vivian Greene

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