Story 21 | Entreprenuerial Family
Jace & Giddi (@ourhomeonwheels)
Jace and Giddi are a married couple who met in Arizona 5 years ago and began dating shortly thereafter. Early on, they both confessed their plans to live a mobile lifestyle and from that, they mutually decided they were going to find a way to make it work. Years later, they got married and began searching for a vehicle as they continued their life's with full times jobs; Jace in tech and Giddi in a medical.
Time passed and their work began to fully encompass them. Both Jace and Giddi began to lose their focus on their passion for travel and pursuit of their interests; so the van was put on the back burner and they felt stuck.
Until one day - when a man at Jace's work came in driving an older beat up sprinter van that he had for hauling bulky items. Jace instantly offered to buy the van, to which the man laughed and told him it was not for sale. They exchanged contact information and that was it - Jace and Giddi forgot about him. 6 months later, that same man gave Jace a call letting them know the van was for sale and wanted to let them know first before publicly listing it. They bought the van the next day as the beginning of their pursuit to revive themselves from the drain of doing the same thing everyday, not growing or challenging themselves.
After buying the van, they built it into a exquisite home on wheels and hit the road starting in Arizona and began their travels through most of the western US and parts of Mexico and Canada incl. California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Alaska and Baja. Many of these places (about half of them) they have now been to 3 or 4 times and will continue to bounce around between.
On their trip, Giddi was pregnant with their daughter Juniper, so they stopped a couple months short of their delivery date to get comfortable in one spot. Once Juniper arrived, they waited a few more months before hitting the road again. During that time, they sold their first van and decided to buy and build a second one - for a little more comfort and extra space to accommodate Juniper. Since then, they've moved into their new van and are back on the road.
Jace and Giddi have been able to keep up their mobile lifestyle through their handmade jewelry business they started before moving into the van - called Carteo handmade (carteo-handmade.com). Originally all of their products were made out of the van, but logistically it became stressful, so they centralized their business with two family members who now have been educated on how to make each piece, and ship it from one place. They are very grateful for their business and supporters. They also have been able to supplement some income from a small bit of photography for outdoor brands. While it helps supplement somewhat, it is not enough to live on and is something that has happened organically for them.
"These days, living in a van and having "sponsors" seems to go hand in hand in peoples minds. While this is true for some vanlifers, most do not experience this and it shouldn't be expected. We set out in a van in search of more time, freedom, ability to do the activities we love, to experience places, new friends, new foods, etc. We did not set out in search of sponsorship or money, and I wouldn't encourage anyone to do so either. "
Since moving to a reformed lifestyle their biggest learning is that nice people exist everywhere. True, genuine, kind people who want to know you, be your friend and help you out. They have very few negative experiences out of all the places they've been and all the people they have come across. "The world is full of good people who love each other and have various personal inner passions. Remember it."
Follow Jace, Giddi and Juniper's journey @ourhomeonwheels or at their website at www.ourhomeonwheels.co