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

“I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need” was a phrase I often used when people were incredulous about how I could live in a tiny camper van AND LIKE IT. It’s been awhile, though, that my phrase no longer describes how I feel. Here’s the honest truth about why Bruno and I are searching for a new home-on-wheels.

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  • Alice - I actually met Phil (from Phil and Angie) while travelling in my micro camper. I’ve up sized too as I couldn’t cope with any more baby wipe washes and want to head to Scandinavia next. I love my new van and I hope you love yours too :-)ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Oh my goodness, I can totally relate to the baby wipe showers!! Small vehicles are wonderful for warm climates – cool bucket showers along tropical beaches are pretty amazing, actually! – but I couldn’t agree more than upgrading for Scandinavia (or North America, for that matter!) is a great plan. We’re pretty pumped because we’ve made space for an 80cmx80cm shower which is massive! We’ll still mostly do bucket showers in there (with hot water, though, haha!) but it’ll be nice to throw out the wet wipes!

      Where did you meet Phil and Angie? Best of luck in Scandinavia – it’s on our list for the future!!ReplyCancel

  • Angie - What a brave piece of writing Brittany. I can absolutely and totally identify with all of what you have said in such an open and honest way and I know how difficult it must have been to open up as you have.
    “People”, I.e. Friends and family and faithful blog followers so oftentimes identify this nomadic lifestyle as idyllic, which of course it most often is and we appreciate that fact.
    However, there is a flip side of course and apart from the mundane ( which the general process of life and living throws in, such as shopping and laundry) there are those things that we miss.
    Some of these things can be found in some measure, I.e. Your joining a sport club for some exercise but yoga, I’ve found has been remarkably difficult to maintain. Maybe I can too easily find too many excuses….it’s too public, it’s too windy, it’s too uneven, but the fact remains, nothing beats those regular classes with a known and trusted teacher!
    Being a member of a library and just being able to come out with armfuls of cookery and art books, is something else I miss.
    At the moment, the only way I seem to be able to appease these desires is to take more frequent visits back to Wales( though to be honest, I still don’t do as much yoga as I should!) This isn’t really an ideal solution though as Phil is still very much in travel mode and thinks we don’t have enough time to visit everywhere.. however, he, like Bruno, is caring enough to give me the opportunities that I need and compromise his own needs.
    You now have a new vehicle, an exciting new project, which will take you some time to complete but which I think will give you the injection of enthusiasm to continue.
    Don’t worry about what the future may bring………life has a curious way of springing change upon us, when we least expect it.
    In the meantime, thank you for allowing me to speak my thoughts too!
    A huge hug to you both.
    XxxxReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Hi Angie, your message (which you also sent to me via email) was the first thing I read when I woke up this morning, after posting this late last night. I felt like I could finally exhale deeply, and something truly lifted off my shoulders. I think the sharing of my inner thoughts has ended up being very cathartic for me, and I’m seeing the benefits of having a little community (or a few girlfriends!) to vent to or to unload that on when I need to. This life is wonderful but it can be lonely sometimes. Today I feel very much un-alone. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Hi Brittany,
    This is a beautiful post. You succeeded in showing gratitude & honesty. We made the step from a Jeep Wrangler with rooftop (but with a better kitchen than yours & an a few closets instead of cardboard boxes) to a large self-build expedition camper truck. We understand the importance of feeling home on the road and that it requires some comforts. Especially on cold, rainy days we’re very happy with this “upgrade”.

    Best wishes,
    Nicole &ElmerReplyCancel

    • Brittany - As I’ve just noted to the kind comments of other nomads and overlanders, I REALLY appreciate your message. I was so hesitant to share this post and come off as ungrateful or overly-negative, but I’m feeling a lot better about sharing it now that I’m seeing I’m not the only one to feel this way from time to time. It’s really good to hear that your vehicle upgrade has done just the trick – I think it will for Bruno and I, too!

      Thank you both, and hope to introduce our upgraded rigs to one another someday! :)ReplyCancel

  • Phil n Angie - So good.

    I read this and can so understand exactly where you are coming from, but I also read it knowing the next vehicle is just around the corner, so not only do we understand where you are coming from but also where you are going to.

    With love.
    PnAReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Really appreciate the nod of acceptance and encouragement I’ve been receiving from other nomads and overlanders. Thanks a bunch you guys, it really means a lot. Where we’re going is totally unchartered territory, but we’re both really excited for the new adventure ahead. Can’t wait to show it off to you all!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Hey Guys! This post makes total sense to me. Oh my gosh, after living so long in a small camper van I can only imagine the urge to enjoy a bigger one. This life on the road, it is such a great privilege, but there are certainly two sides of the coin. I know you’re not alone that sometimes there is a struggle to find and regain that balance. I hope a bigger bus brings you well into the next stage. All the best.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thank you so much for the kind words, Tiffany. I feel good about having shared this post because, finally, I have received more encouragement and compassion than anything. It has helped make me feel like my feelings are legitimate, OK, and that they don’t necessarily mean I’m not cut out for this nomad life. Really, really appreciate the message, Tiffany. Thank you. :) And yes, I hope this bus will be just the trick, too, at least after the conversion process is over!!ReplyCancel

On Christmas Eve morning, Bruno and I woke up to a flat tire and rain in a Planet Fitness parking lot, airplanes from the next-door airport whizzing over our heads. On Christmas morning, we woke up in a charming cottage with leafy garden views and toasted with mimosas while streaming Christmas music on a high-tech sound system. Over two weeks later, I still cannot believe how wonderfully Bruno and I managed to rescue Christmas.

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  • Louise Jones-Takata - Enjoyed your first L.A. blog. My first stay in L.A. was at the glorious Bel Air Hotel. Memorable!ReplyCancel

  • Les Brown - Sounds like a fun time in L.A. Hope Bruno is all better now. Leonie and I are going to see ” Jackie” at Fort Lauderdale tomorrow.
    Keep safe, Love GrampaReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth S - Such a fun email to read and so heartwarming from a mom’s perspective to know that you and Bruno were able to celebrate Christmas in a special way.ReplyCancel

2016 may not have been a year of great travel stats for Wandering Footsteps – it’s been more one of house-living, social visits, and the search for our new home-on-wheels. Yet, as I sit in a Walmart parking lot near Los Angeles reflecting on the past year, I can safely say it’s been one filled with important moments, special memories, challenges, and lessons learned. Happy New Year from us to you!

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  • Freya Gnerre - Dear Brittany and Bruno,
    I loved your recent “blog”, and am still waiting for your reply from my email so I can get your feed back. Good luck on finding your new “home” on wheels. I know you will find it! Happy, healthy New Year. Love, Auntie FreyaReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thank you, Freya, for your kind wishes and words! I am so behind on my emails — we are living and breathing this new camper van project. Apologies! But I do plan to reply as soon as possible! :) Until then, Happy New Year to you, too!ReplyCancel

We’re leaving Phoenix tomorrow.  Been here over two weeks looking for a shuttle bus to convert into an RV.  We’ve spent so many hours in so many libraries doing so much research.  We’ve looked at so many Craigslist ads, sent out so many inquiry messages, looked at so many busses.  Still, nothing.
Had I known things would be this complicated I may have forced myself to accept a regular RV.

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  • Nikos&Georgi - Hola chicos.

    We did not expect that it would be that difficult to find something near to your needs in North America. Do you think that in Europe it would be easier? Have you thought about Sprinters (the big ones with double rear axle) or not? They are expensive but..

    Oooooouufff.. good luck in any case!! We can totally understand you.

    All the best. Hope you will find it soon. The conversion process will be awesome and you will really enjoy it (we did!).

    Love

    N&GReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Thanks for the encouragement – we need it right now! We’re actually considering going back to Europe to try to buy something in Germany..! But we’ll have to see what the process for that is, and we’re still hoping to luck out and find our Ford. The Sprinters are indeed to expensive in the States – better to ship one from Europe! But in any case, it’s a bit too small for what we want now – we want BIG! Well, not BIG BIG, but BIG-ish! :)ReplyCancel

  • Alain - Sorry about all the tribulations you’re going through. I’m sure the end result will be just (about) what you want. In any case, our offer of our driveway and shower still stands. Email if interested. AlainReplyCancel

I don’t know why it is, but whenever I think of U.S. National Parks, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t the Grand Canyon, the rock arches throughout Utah, or the arctic wildlife of Alaska. It’s Yogi Bear. It’s obvious that I need a proper education in America’s National Parks, isn’t it? At Petrified Forest N.P. and Saguaro N.P., I finally got it.

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  • Louise Jones-Takata - Brittany, very good reporting, Bruno. very good photography. Keep it up!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh Sale - Hi Both,

    Have just stumbled upon your Blog and am thoroughly enjoying it. We are hoping to start slow traveling in our VW transporter in June this year. We will start in Europe and are wandering what you need to do about taxing your vehicle (we are based in the UK),

    Good luck with the new bus, sounds exciting,

    Cheers
    LeighReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Hi Leigh, we’re super happy you found our blog AND that you’re planning an overland adventure! You’re gonna love it! :)

      We definitely want to help provide any advice or tips we can, but aren’t quite sure what you mean by taxing your vehicle? Do you mean taxes to pay to travel with the vehicle? If so, there are none – you can go anywhere in Europe without paying any fees. If not, can you clarify? Thanks, and happy preparations! :)ReplyCancel

  • Rcs - I particularly liked the pic of Totoyaya in the middle of all the saguaro cacti…only Bruno and Uncle Rick would think of doing this!
    Thanks for the lesson in cacti life cycle.ReplyCancel

    • Brittany - Actually, you may be surprised to find out that the Totoyaya-in-cactus-forest photo was all my idea! I’m getting good, eh? :)ReplyCancel