Journey South

Three months ago, I decided to buy a camper van, lose my apartment, and get on the road more. I travel so much for work that I figured I'd avoid rent for a while and spend my money on gas to take me places instead. I knew this wasn't going to be an easy task, and I really had not a clue what was in store, except for a whole lot of learning, learning, hard work, learning, and more work. 
When I got the van, which I bought from my neighbor around the corner in Portland (found on CL, but how convenient), I decided pretty much immediately, that I wanted to change the entire interior. If I was going to live out of it, it needed to be mine, and feel like home. Though I'm not posting before and after photos here, I can assure you that the changes are drastic... Just some keywords to what it used to be: carpet, oven, massive refrigerator, carpet, unknown materials, carpet, etc. A major credit is due to all the friends that helped me work on this (Shea, Thomas, Sam, Evan, Kieran, Caleb, Micah) and all the employees of Ace hardware and Lowe's who now know me by name; it was not done alone.

I had looked around for quite a while, figuring out what I was going to call home, and something about this old 77 chevy camper van just felt right. It was the end of July, and I had just about my entire wedding season ahead of me at the time. This meant traveling every weekend (aka being gone at least 4 days of a week). Meanwhile, the building my work studio was in had been purchased, which meant rent was going up, so I was making plans to leave and find a new spot in the city. Add re-designing and building a camper van, from plumbing to carpentry, window leaks to electricity; I had myself some projects. 

The story is long, and I'll share more over time, but the last three months have been one of the hardest yet most rewarding times of my life, and from here, it only gets better. So say hello to Donna the van, we'll be driving down the 101 for the next little while.
Then it's off to New Zealand! 

 
Nicole Mason