AM I INSANE?! I’ve heard if you question your own sanity, you’re probably fine. It’s those who think they are fine who are nuts!
But let’s look at the facts: I am about to embark on a five-year road trip.
Even after being involved in a serious car accident in my teen years. I was a passenger, and the driver was speeding around a corner on a gravel road when the car fishtailed violently then careened off an embankment and rolled several times. The accident left me with a fractured pelvis, chronic back pain, PTSD, and a serious case of back-seat driveritis. My PTSD cellular memory means that vehicle movement is exaggerated in my mind. Any abrupt lane change or dodging of road debris can put me on the verge of a panic attack.
This is the same me who has willingly volunteered, dreamed about, worked toward, and saved for an epic road trip from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, and I’m not even a little bit apprehensive—well, maybe a little.
It all started about five years after our last trip. When my family talks about “trips,” we don’t include vacations or work travel to Costa Rica, we mean our epic long-term travels. The last one was a two-year trip around the world which eventually became a book (No Return Ticket: A Two-Year Journey Around The World: Learning to Live, Love and Let Go: Crockford, Andi: 9781734256017: Amazon.com: Books). My adventure gene and strong sense of wanderlust will not allow me to be still for long, and after five years of “Vacations” I needed more. A few years back, our daughter was on a six-month journey through South America and asked us to join her for a few weeks.
One evening in Peru, we met a couple who were overlanding through South America in a self-built camper made from a firetruck chassis and a military storage unit. The thing was a beast and looked far too military for my taste, but they loved her and called her BERTA. The idea of a road trip got our feet itching and we returned home with a plan to travel the entire Pan American highway and then spend a few years exploring South America.
The dream started with a plan to buy a Westy (a Westfalia Volkswagen van) and adopt a carefree, boho-style life. Then we got real. We are not getting any younger. The reality of putting the top up every night just to have a place to sleep, then putting it back down every morning started to feel a bit like work. The mere thought of cooking every meal hunched over a stove while not being able to stand fully upright made my back hurt.
“What about a high-top van?” Kevin asked one morning. “Sprinters are pretty popular right now.” We started looking.
We were immediately priced out of those expensive, bland and boring trendy modes of transportation.
Finally, a craigslist ad broadened our horizons. A short, four-window school bus.
We drove that morning to Eugene Oregon and brought home our beloved baby.
Wait until you meet Tomas!