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

Dear Totoyaya, this morning, you left us. We sold you, our beloved home-on-wheels of nineteen years.  The vehicle that had transported Bruno for 400,000km around the world, had brought him to me, and had taken me along for the ride these past almost-five years – you were gone. This letter of thanks and love is for you.

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  • Rcs - Oh lala… this was definitely a tough moment for both you and Bruno.
    But alas, Big Blue, with time and new travel experiences, will fill the void. With the work you have already given her, she is becoming your and Bruno’s new creation.
    A very nice tribute and capsule of your feelings and emotions.ReplyCancel

  • Totoyaya - My new driver will need some time to learn about my quirks and “features”. He had that smile for the next 3 days of our trip, even while he slept in the back, what a weirdo!

    So far so good B&B, I shall complain if he ever mistreats me. I hope Big Blue is treating you good!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - It is SO good to hear from you, Totoyaya, and even better to hear that your new owner is treating you well! Don’t worry – you will really like him. He’s a nice guy (even if he’s a bit tall) and he has roots in a couple countries you’ve visited and loved, so you guys have a few things in common!
      Please be as good to him as you’ve been to us!
      We miss you and think of you every day! Big Blue is nothing compared to you!
      Yours,
      BBReplyCancel

  • Remy - Salut totoyaya , bonjour Big Blue Bus . Ce n’est pas une page qui se tourne mais un nouveau livre qui s’ouvre … Bon vent à vous les BB et le BBB . Et encore merci totoyaya.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Tu as tout a fait raison grand frere! Quelle sagesse!

      De BB et BBB :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth S - What a heart-warming, poignant tribute to Totoyaya. I couldn’t stop the tears from coming and she wasn’t even mine. Knowing how much she meant to you both and reading about her for the past nearly-five years, traveling along with her in Morocco, as well as having her at our home last summer, she was ‘family’. Hope we get to hear aboit her future adventures.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Yes, if anyone got to see how much we loved her, it was you! I am so grateful we got to share a piece of the road together before we let her go so that you could see how special she was! Now we’ll have to share the road again, just with two totally different vehicles!ReplyCancel

  • Sabine - I actually cried a little, reading this post. What an amazing journey the three of you have had together. Your blog is so inspiring, especially for people like me in a humdrum corporate cubicle, who use their break time to check out your blog and dream of a different life.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thank you so much, Sabine. She really has been so much to us… alas, it’s time to create new memories, right? We are really grateful to hear your heartfelt words and it is such an honor to provide you some armchair travel! Many, many thanks!ReplyCancel

Sometimes, you just hit a wall. It’s been exactly two months since we bought our big blue bus, and almost as many weeks that we’ve been working ten hour days, seven days a week. At some point, the body and mind just give up. This is our story of that time.

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  • Leslie Brown - sooner or later, we all hit the wall, it starts to get better soon after that..
    Love, GrampaReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Wise words from a wise man. You’re totally right, and that’s exactly what happened. :)ReplyCancel

  • Molly McCarron - It looks awesome so far guys! I do hope you come back to L.A. because I want to see it. Bruno is so crafty! You are so lucky-my husband is the exact opposite!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Molly!! I must have conjured you up because I thought of you this week and wondered how your own renos were going!! Finished? (No thanks to your hubby, I guess, haha!) Thanks for saying hi!
      P.S. I seriously plan to get around to some blog design changes you suggested, but it’ll have to wait until after this conversion thingy!ReplyCancel

      • Molly McCarron - They are still going on Brittany. It’s nearly done. We had a contractor take our money and walk off the job. He put a hole in our roof and didn’t cover it during our heavy rains. Yay! We have someone else finishing it though. Thank god you have Bruno-You are blessed!ReplyCancel

  • ESears - So happy to see how much you’ve accomplished so far. It’s great that you are learning these new skills, Brittany. Bruno’s work is so impressive!ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - I didn’t know he was capable of such polished work! He’s a pretty impressive catch, no?ReplyCancel

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