Where are you guys from?
Peter was born on Long Island. Shruthi was born in India. We both grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi before moving elsewhere. Our home base is Nashville, Tennessee.
How do you fund your travels?
We're pretty frugal to begin with. Since we got married, our goal has been to save up for one big trip a year. In addition to savings, we had the opportunity to take our jobs on the road.
What do you both do for a living?
Peter is an Information Security Engineer, resident van mechanic and pilot. Shruthi worked in Digital Marketing and is the resident co-pilot, cook and photographer.
Do you both work remotely?
Yes. For the North America part of our trip, we took our Nashville jobs on the road (part-time). As we make our way to South America, we'll continue to work part-time as much as we can.
How do you find service to work?
We both have hot spots available through our cell phone providers. Coffee shops and public libraries are some of our favorite places to hop on free WIFI.
Do you work flexible hours?
Yes. We could generally set our schedules up however we liked, depending on what demands our jobs had during that period of time.
Do you live in a van the whole time?
Yes. Over certain holidays we've stayed with family for a couple of weeks but otherwise, we're in the van full-time. We don't stay in hotels or camp grounds but instead try to find free places to park the van and sleep for the night.
Where do you guys usually sleep?
The van has a bed upstairs and downstairs and we sleep on the bottom bed. As far as location, we sleep anywhere from parking lots to the forest to abandoned beaches to driveways. We prefer to get off the grid so most of the time it’s in the woods or in the middle of nowhere. Free is best. Check out this post for how we find free camping spots.
Do you ever feel unsafe sleeping in the van in parking lots?
We do sleep in parking lots from time to time, although we try to avoid them if possible. That's just because we like our privacy but we've never felt unsafe. We generally try to stick to well-lit places and use common sense. Walmart is generally really chill about letting campers sleep. If you pull in and see other campers/trucks hanging out in the parking lot, that’s usually a good sign.
How do you shower?
If we’re staying with friends, they’ll usually let us shower (they're bad friends if they don't), which is amazing. Otherwise, there are always plenty of lakes, rivers, streams, pay showers around. We've also showered in recreational or community centers (usually free or just a couple of bucks). Our solar shower from GoWesty also helps us stay clean.
Where do you use the bathroom?
Most of the time, we're camping so we usually just go outside (with earth/human-friendly protocol of course). When we're on the road we use the restroom at gas stations, grocery stores, libraries, coffee shops, friends' houses, etc.
What do you do for food?
We love to cook and prefer it most nights. We’ve got a two-burner propane stove in the van and a small butane-powered portable stove for outdoor cooking.
How much do you spend?
We found that we spent roughly $2,000/month. This would fluctuate if things like van repairs or upgrades were in the forecast and would be dependent on how much we were working that month.
How much time do you spend in each place?
We’ve spent anywhere from a day to well over a week in one location but usually average around two days in the same spot. It just depends on what our travel plans and work schedules are looking like. We also have a hot spot-friendly data plan through our cell phone providers, which gives us a bit more flexibility.
Why did you decide to do this trip?
We always knew that traveling together long term was something we wanted to experience. When we got the opportunity to take our jobs on the road, we seized it and here we are!
What does your name mean?
Our name comes from one of our favorite quotes by one of our favorite authors, C.S. Lewis.