La Copacavana

Bryan wanted to ride his motorcycle through South America.
Sarah was looking into Subaru hatchbacks that she could travel and sleep in...
and then their paths crossed.

"Van couple from CA, full-timing around North America.
Hiking and climbing amateurs.
Breakfast professionals."

We’ve been on the road for a month now!
Many of you have asked us about how this all began, how we met and where we got our van.
Here’s some of that story…

Like many relationships, we met in the office (but on separate teams…c’mon we’re not that weird). Once we sat near each other, the casual workplace chitchat turned from work to hobbies, and soon enough Bryan offered to help Sarah walk her Christmas tree home, with a beer stop along the way. Though our timing didn’t work out (Sarah rushed down the street to get a Christmas tree the night of the offer, only to realize Bryan wasn’t home), we soon hung out at Bryan’s Christmas party. Pretty soon we were inseparable, and felt like we’d found each other’s twin.

The similarities were uncanny, we both shared a mutual love for the outdoors and talked of our dreams of traveling: Bryan’s of riding through South America on a motorcycle and Sarah had just started looking into Subaru hatchbacks she could travel and sleep in across the US.

Now that we’d found our adventure buddy, we needed room for two people, and the hunt for a van began! We found our perfect fit on Craigslist. She was actually the first van we checked out in person. We picked up a rental car and drove down to Monterey, cash in hand. After some negotiation, we dropped off our rental car in town and drove our van, La Copacavana (Copa for short), back to San Francisco.

We owned and short term traveled in Copa for over a year before our full-time departure. Weekend trips taught us what additions we would need, what we could live without, and what condition she was in mechanically. A month long trip around the American West taught us even more…including that we could live with each other in 50 square feet for extended periods of time.

After many modifications like removing the microwave/tv the previous owner installed, painting the fading door trim, reupholstering most of the interior, installing the roof cargo box and solar panel, building the solar shower, making a climbing crashpad bed platform, and many more DIY improvements, she felt like home. We also threw in a few trips to the mechanic to get her in good working order. Then we felt ready to hit the road.

We left mid April. Now we’ll see where Copa takes us.

Follow along Sarah and Bryan's adventures in Copa on their blog


Tiny LivingSarah