TL;DR: A friend showed me a #VanLife blog in the spring of 2016 and I was instantly enamored. I made the decision then to save up, eliminate my debt, buy a van, and build a camper. This blog is about me, my van HarriVan Ford, and adventures that ensue.

Some background: After graduating college with a full ride D1 Volleyball Scholarship, I entered the start-up tech sales world. The work was challenging, but I struggled with a bit of an identity crisis after my  life-long volleyball dream came to an end. Read: This was more free time than I had ever had in my entire life and I didn’t know what to do with it. Free time is cool, but too much of it without an outlet can be depressing. Don’t get me wrong, the company I work for has an amazing mission, and the people I work with are equally remarkable, but I often came home thinking “ok, now what? You’ve finished work at the office, what are you going to do now?” That question usually answered itself with: more work, hit the gym, hit the bar, repeat. I’m sure anyone who’s ever played D1 Sports for the NCAA or any similar commitment might agree. Finding yourself at the end of an era is hard.

I started thinking long and hard about what it is that makes me happy. And I realized that my family, my friends, my career, the city of Seattle, and being outside were all high on that list.

I started camping more often and found a sense of peace out there that I had to pursue. Hiking gave me that same satisfaction and desire to push myself physically that volleyball did. Camping gave me a renewed sense of independence.

Taking Action: I realized that I wanted to spend more time outside and travel more. As a single person (no kids, no spouse), without debt, a car payment, or student loans I made the decision to just go for it. I have no impending grad school applications, no major life events coming up and a penchant for adventure and exploration. So what the hell!? I strapped on my “strong independent lady” helmet  and with (a lot of) help, I built a camper van and will be adventuring across North America as long as I can. I hope that you’ll come #alongfortheride with me as I document. Maybe I’ll even see you on the road!

Feel free to contact me @ along4therideblog@gmail.com and follow me on Instagram @ brookebachesta .