Road Trip?

I first suspected my husband of having a midlife crises last summer. I remember catching up with my girlfriends during a girls’ weekend in Napa, and mentioning this. They laughed it off, remembering Jason from our twenties as one of the most laid back guys they knew. He’s still laid back, but I knew he was itching for adventure and wanting to spend more time with me and our son.

My friends and I returned to our house in Alameda on a Sunday before they all flew home. There, I find that he has taken our son Bode to Santa Cruz, and purchased a ’71 Volkswagen camper van.

I can’t say I was totally surprised, and frankly, I was a little relieved. He could have bought an expensive sports car or taken a mistress. Jason has always been a Volkswagen guy, and has always wanted a van. His dad had one when he was a kid (and still had it when we began dating).  Phew, I thought this was the end of it, a little project for him will cheer him up.

A little about the van. He got it for a steal, but I soon found out why. He bought it from two women who had lived in it with their dogs, yes dogs. They’d upgraded to a bigger van, and needed the cash. The van didn’t run, and was towed to our house that week. To say this van was a horrific mess is an understatement. Jason pulled everything out, including the tie-dye curtains and gave the entire inside a power wash. Clumps of dog hair streamed out and flowed down our street.

For a couple months, Jason worked on the van while Bode played in the pop up tent. A little electrical work here, reupholstering some seats there. Bode and I did puzzles on the table inside the van.

But, the restoration wasn’t enough. The van was just the beginning, just a taste of the possibilities. Soon he was talking about traveling around the world. Yes, of course I thought he was crazy at first. But, the more he talked, the more we came up with reasons why now might be the time.

4 thoughts on “Road Trip?

  • August 30, 2009 at 5:00 AM

    Hello — I just discovered your site through the Lonely Planet group (I sent you a message there) and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your prose. Great job! I always like to read the original post to see what sparked the travel bug and the willingness to risk so much professionally, financially, etc. We too made the decision around new year’s ’09 to take off for a year, and spent 6 months preparing. It’s one thing to dream about this; it’s quite another to actually make it happen. We spent a crazy 6 months preparing to go, getting our house emptied out and rented (we live in Piedmont, so I guess not far from you) and preparing an independent study plan for our kids (we’re “roadschooling” our son, 3rd grade, and daughter, 6th grade). Who knows what we’ll come back to in terms of job and financial (in)security, but we realized this was something we absolutely needed to do for work/life reasons, and hey, you only live once, and this is a chance to bond as a family in a way that, I hope, will keep us close as our kids become increasingly independent. Anyway … sorry I’m rambling, just glad to find another East Bay family with a Santa Cruz connection (my husband and I are both UCSC grads) doing something that many consider impractical, irresponsible, inconvenient — and the best thing ever. Take care and happy trails!

  • December 15, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    wow! what a nice adventure!!!

    another blog to follow

    keep on writing and keep on traveling…

  • March 27, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    hola amigo te vi por primera vez por un programa de television ustedes andaban por guayabitos nayarit te quiero felicitar a ti y tu familia por ese gran viaje yo siempre quise hacer un viaje como el que tu estas haciendo pero ahora por razones de familiares que mis hijas estan creciendo ay que darles estudio y esas cosas pero espero poder lograrlo algun dia voy a estar comunicado con ustedes para ver donde andan nuevamente felicidades y que le vaya bien

  • April 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Qué gran aventura han emprendido!!!!!

    México tiene de todo, mucho de lo bueno y algo de lo malo, pero confio en que encontrarán siempre buenas personas que los guíen a lo largo de esta bella e inolvidable experiencia.

    Enrique Domínguez

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