It’s been two months on the road since we left and we are slowly getting used to this van life and have a daily routine going. I’d say weather determines the most on what we do on a daily basis. When we left in August, it was summer time. We started in Northern California where temperature was very moderate and we have sunlight until 8pm. Entering Oregon, especially Central Oregon, we were battling with 90Fs degree weather during the day but it cools down to a comfortable night. As we continued up North, it felt like Autumn came overnight. Temperature dropped to the 50Fs and raining everywhere we went. We had freezing temperature nights and snowy days in Canada and Montana. Most recently, we came back down South and the weather was just perfect again. We were in tshirts and shorts!
Rise and Shine
Our alarm sets at 8am, and most of the time Min is the one who actually wakes up at that time. I need to snooze and tumble around for another half an hour. We usually had already parked at a spot the night before that is close to a bathroom where we can get freshen up in the morning. I dread waking up the most during the cold mornings because cold weather means cold clothes and I hate putting on cold clothing. So I would sleep with my clothes next to me the night before. (and nutella too so they do not freeze too much!)
Breakfast is usually bread with peanut butter, Nutella or jam. Sometimes we will do avocado and hard boiled eggs. We like to make hot water and tea too. Surprisingly we drink less coffee now but it’s still a nice treat. The fact that the kitchen is just over our headboard, everything is just an arm’s reach away; so in the cold mornings, we would just stay inside the car in blankets and have breakfast. It’s like breakfast in bed literally!
Have a Good Day
One of the main factors that started this road trip is to visit national parks, and the best part to experience what these parks have to offer is by hiking! Some day we would just do a couple short hikes and other days we would pick a longer, harder hike. I love the Canyonlands hikes. 1 mile can get you a jaw-dropping view. The Mount St. Helens summit hike was long and difficult, but it’s all worth it when you get to the top and see the view. Min loves rock climbing, so he is constantly on the look for any great climbing route. Climbing at the famous Lake Louise was very memorable, especially when we saw the green, turquoise water color.
We have no timeline to be at a certain place on this trip, so we plan as we go. We make stops at big cities and do research for the upcoming week. That is also the time when we enjoy eating out at restaurants, coffee shop wifi, and some city exploring. We stayed at Vancouver for three days and got my asian food fix.
Another best part of this trip is being able to see friends and family. We made stops in Portland, Seattle and Salt Lake City for a few days. When our minivan broke down for over a week in Seattle, we are blessed that our friends let us stay with them when we don’t have a home.
Food and water are easy to come by in the US, especially we have been stopping at national parks, so we pick up grocery as we go. But we do plan out what to cook for dinner. Recently our favorite is chili because it’s just so easy and a bowl of chili and rice just warms you up right away in the cold weather. We’ve also done shin ramen, curry, quesadilla, tacos, stir fry anything and lots of noodles. Our meal time depends on the time of sunset and the sun now set just before 7pm. We would start cooking at 6pm and usually done with dish washing before 7:30pm. We avoid cooking in the dark as light attracts bugs and it would be very unpleasant to have bugs inside the van.
Then our night is just like any other people’s typical night time. We watch shows in the van before we sleep until recently we had ran out of episodes to watch. So I would journal more often and Min would work on his learning project.
It is best if we found a parking spot for the night near a restroom; otherwise, sometimes we would buy a sundae from Mcdonald’s so we can use the restroom before we go to bed. By 11pm, it’s lights out and good night.
Now that we have a routine going, van life really is not as difficult as we had imagined. We live in a abundantly resourceful country where all the necessities are very easy to come by. We are very thankful for that and it has made our living a lot easier. It also makes us appreciate all the little things so much more. Everything takes a lot longer to do when living in a car, like cooking and washing dishes. When we find a picnic table to cook, we get very excited because there is so much space to lay out our food and cooking stove. Above all, we both see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appreciate all of God’s creation in this country. There is no end-of-the-weekend-blues right now and we live freely to treasure and take it all in.