Wandering Footsteps: Wandering the World One Step at a Time » Blog

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  • Well hello there! Glad you've stumbled upon Wandering Footsteps, the travel journal of a nomadic couple on a slow overland trip around the world. With thirty years of travel experience between us and a round-the-world trip already under the belt of our trusty 1988 Toyota-cum-camper van, this journey is bound to be interesting! Join us in our global wanderings - we've saved an extra seat just for you!

    - Brittany and Bruno

The bus conversion work we’ve recently shown off on the blog wasn’t done alone. For the past four weeks, we’ve had the help of two young strapping strangers we found through an organization called Help Exchange, or HelpX. Read on to learn about the organization, the volunteers we welcomed, and our thoughts on the experience.

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  • Rcs - I’m. Sure these two fine young gents, different in their own ways, will read this blog entry and have much to think about.
    Your perspectives are very precise and analytical.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - It was very interesting to get to know these fellows that I may never have otherwise met. A fascinating cultural experience for me (and maybe for them, too, since admittedly we are pretty unique ourselves!)ReplyCancel

For the past six weeks, Bruno and I have been living and breathing this bus conversion project. It’s so easy to focus on all that we still have to do (which, admittedly, is a lot). But sifting through photos and writing this post has been surprisingly refreshing for me.  It has allowed me to see all that we have already accomplished, which is – if I do say so myself- a rather lot! 

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  • Nikos & Georgia - From the bottom of our heart: GOOD LUCK & SOON BACK2TRACK!!! This project is amazing and you guys work your asses to get things done. Well done!!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Brown - We are admiring your progress. This will definitely be the best bus on the Baja…
    Leonie and LesReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Thank you, LL! We are still a fair ways away from being a great bus, but we have the vision and the motivation! Thank you for your encouragement! :)ReplyCancel

  • Auntie Freya - You guys are amazing. I’m so enjoying the reading of your progress and very impressed with all you have done. Can’t wait for the next installment. Love FreyaReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Thank you, Auntie Freya! It’s so nice to know that our loved ones are following our journey! Helps keep us motivated! Hope to have progress to report again soon! :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth S - Wow! I am truly amazed at how much you’ve already achieved in so little actual construction time. How encouraging! Thanks so much for sharing photos to show us each step. You make a great team and if there was ever any doubt (and, of course there wasn’t), Bruno is a keeper!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Bruno is indeed amazing! What I can’t believe is that all these jack-of-all-trade skills are self-taught! He is definitely impressing me every single day..!ReplyCancel

  • Rcs - A very big WOW…you guys make a great team and Bruno is quite amazing. Red Green would be impressed.
    At our end it seems you are making some great progress and will be back on the road soon in Bruno and Brittany’s Big Blue Bus (say that three times fast)…
    Mom and I want a bunkhouse built…free room and board…lol.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Wow…very impressive. I would have killed David by now & then I would have ended up in jail.. It’s a good thing that you both get so much pleasure in the actual process of finding the right pieces for this puzzle & even having to improvise when the pieces don’t quite align. David has put together a few pieces of furniture from Ikea. He is consistent with the following: swearing, throwing, claiming that some pieces were missing & in the end the sides or drawers would be installed the wrong way…It would be a couple of years between each project as to not stress him out too much while I would be laughing my head off.
    If your marriage can survive this project it can survive anything.
    Love the pics & the updates….
    Can’t wait to see the finished project!
    Lisa xoReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Hahaha! Serious LOL! I can completely picture the two of you in this type of situation!

      I can’t say that we’re “enjoying” the process…. but we’re TRYING to! I can’t wait to see the finished project, either… and to hit the road!ReplyCancel

  • Jean Paul Monnin - I had been interested in your adventures from the time you put your Toyota for sale (Craiglist MTL) as I dreamed of buying it…As you know i did not buy it but loved to follow your new project. Bonne chance et bon voyage. JPReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Wow, it is so wonderful to hear from you, Jean Paul! Thank you for following our journey (and especially saying hello)! We are grateful to get all the encouragement we can during this crazy project…. what were we thinking?!?!?! :)ReplyCancel

This month’s Wrap Up will be a little different than previous months because there has been essentially no travel or tourism. Instead, our nomadic overlanding life has taken a backseat to one thing and one thing only – our bus conversion. In this post, I describe our first steps – registration, insurance, maintenance, and shopping!

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  • Auntie Freya - Brittany and Bruno,
    I’m so proud of the headway you are making with “Big Blue”. You’ll soon be on your way to more adventures! I’m off to Egypt on 3/16 with a very special tour (only about 20 people) lead by an archeologist (and past Ministry of Antiquities) and Anwar Sadat’s wife. It should be very interesting. You still owe me an email!
    Love, FreyaReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thanks for the note, Freya! It’s so encouraging to know our project is being avidly followed by so many… definitely keeps us motivated!

      I SO hope you enjoy your trip to Egypt! Can’t wait to hear about it on your return. Best. :)ReplyCancel

  • Louise Jones-Takata - Tough! Keep up the good work. Big Blue lookin’ good.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Thank for the encouragement, Louise! I guess the name of the bus is catching on! :)ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Brown - I’m sure I am among many of you readers who admire your hard work to overcome the difficulties of making your blue bus a beautiful new home.Your determination will be your reward. I will look forward to see it someday.
    Love , GrampaReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Thank you for the kind words, Grampa! I sure do wish I had a handyman such as yourself here right now to help Bruno! Eh well, we’ll manage – things are coming along and I can’t wait to post an update for everyone to see! :)ReplyCancel

  • Annette Gaudet - Looking forward to seeing the next pictures ! Good luck ! 😊ReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Thank you, Annette! It’s nice to know people are watching with interest! If you have Facebook or Instagram, you can see more up-to-date photos of our bus conversion by following/liking our page. Otherwise, my next post will have a ton more photos of our work so far. :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth S. - Glad to see things are progressing and you are learning new skills, Brittany!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Yes, despite my best efforts to never learn anything related to vehicle mechanics and construction, I AM learning!ReplyCancel

  • Rcs - Can’t wait til I see the final version of Big Blue.
    You’re becoming quite the bus mechanic!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany Caumette - Thanks, I can’t wait either! :)ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - Thank you for visiting our humble little blog and stopping into say hello! We’re happy to know someone will be following along with us during our bus conversion – it’ll help motivate us during the challenging moments!:)ReplyCancel

  • Daniel McDougall - It is great to learn about your bus conversion. I hope it goes well for you and look forward to future posts.ReplyCancel

After months of searching, Bruno and I have finally purchased the vehicle that will replace our beloved Totoyaya. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our 2001 Freightliner Bus and share the reasons we opted to make this our next home-on-wheels!

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  • Polly Mulligan - I love it!!! Seems like a great choice! XOX. Auntie PollyReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thank you Auntie Polly! Can’t wait to show it to you face-to-face this summer! :)ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Brown - Amazing!! Your going to have all the room you wished for. I thought you would find another ” off road” model but this one will give you lots of room for living more comfortable. Look forward to see the conversion process.. I could use a couple of those beautiful seats for my deck at home.
    Love, GrampaReplyCancel

    • Brittany - We would have loved an off-road model but could not find something that had our size requirements, unfortunately. We’ll see how we like this bus over the coming years, and if we miss a proper off-road vehicle, we’ll look into the Mercedes Vario in Europe again! :)

      Can’t wait to show you some of the conversion progress!ReplyCancel

  • RCS - That’s a very good question…I think your choice of vehicle is close to what I was expecting since I knew a bus-type was being searched.
    I like the name Big Blue…sounds ox-like, large powerful and dependable.
    BTW, doors can be cut and windows replaced. Don’t forget a rear ladder to get to the storage area you will need on the roof for bigger outdoor things.
    I like it!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thanks for the tips and positive thinking! I agree – we’re going with “good enough” rather than perfect, even as this conversion gets under way! :)ReplyCancel

Totoyaya, our 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ75 with a custom camper box is for sale (again!). Read on for the reason she’s back up for sale, her vital statistics, what she’s being sold with, and tons of interior, exterior, chassis, engine and action shots. Currently located in Tucson, Arizona – come and get her!

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  • JIM - Please email to discuss thank you!ReplyCancel

  • adam jaa - hi
    i can pay u $9k for bj75. i can come anytime this week and pay u cash.

    adam.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Hi Adam, thanks for the offer. Our price is pretty firm, and we believe our vehicle is well-worth the price. For the moment we are going to pass on your offer, but thanks anyway.ReplyCancel