Interview 02: Living and Working On the Road

Interview 02 is with a couple of travelers who I had the pleasure of meeting
 for happy hour when they passed through our home base in Colorado a few weeks ago. 
Alyssa and Brian of Northbound and Down are doing it right. And they just got engaged
But don’t listen to me, get the story straight from them…

Who are you and where do you come from? 

We are a couple of designers who met at another
designer’s birthday party and now live and design
together in our camper. We are from two different
“Souths” — North Carolina and Texas.
Both of these places taught us to love the outdoors
and good food. We’ve always had a drive to see far away places, meet new people, and feel out of our comfort zone. Between the two of us, we’ve covered most of Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America.

Describe your current living situation,
and how long have you been living this lifestyle?

We live in our pop-up camper on the back of our F250, which we refer to as Red Zeppelin. We’ve been living and working on the road since March of 2016, and we love it. Before setting off, we were both a little worried the transition to living in our camper would be stressful or difficult, but wasn’t. We felt at home right away.

What has your route been so far?

Northbound and down.
But seriously, we headed from San Francisco to Alaska and are now making our way
down to Texas. Our route has been as indirect as possible. We spent months winding through the
Pacific Northwest and Canada. If you look at a map, in some areas we made a perfect zig zag.

What keeps you moving?

We are fortunate to both have parents that encouraged us to
follow our passions and be independent, and this created within us a drive to push ourselves to do, see and learn more.
This lifestyle, and travel in general, takes us to places that inspire and challenge us, and we’ve developed an addiction to this. We have no choice but to keep exploring.

In what ways do you feel that traveling is
good for the soul?

When you travel you realize just how grand and diverse the
world is, and you begin to appreciate other cultures and other points of view more. In some cases, your problems
start to feel smaller and your life feels fuller.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Our fridge has been broken for over three months now,
so we’d do just about anything for any kind of frozen treat.

What would you be eating at the Last Supper?

Alyssa: Pad Thai and french fries
Brian: Pizza and beer

What is your favorite thing about living in a camper?

Every day is different.

And the most difficult?

Inconsistent showers

If someone threatened to turn you into a musical instrument, what would you be?

Alyssa: Kazoo
Brian: Drum kit

What is one life lesson you had to learn the hard way?

Alyssa: My mom is always right.
Brian: has learned nothing

Do you work on the road?

Yes, we both work as graphic designers. Sometimes we work alone, but we like to work as a team.
We’ve been fortunate to find great clients willing to work with two weirdos living in a camper,
and while we hope to keep working with these people, we also hope to start working with more brands
that are more relevant to our lifestyle and interests (i.e. outdoor, travel, adventure brands).

What are your next moves?

This winter we’ll be building out a 100 Series Land Cruiser, which we will live, work,
and explore in as we travel through Central America next year. After spending this year in
Alaska, Canada, and the lower 48, we are looking forward to the tropical climate and beaches.

What are your thoughts on extraterrestrials, and if given the chance, would you go to Mars?

They’ve asked us not to comment on this…

What piece of advice would you give someone looking to downsize into a tiny home?

Get rid of everything you don’t need, and then sell or throw away half of what’s left.

Tea or Coffee?

Summer or winter?

Pandas or whales?

Bagels or toast?
Really need to know what the
toppings are before we make a call.

Swim in a pool or in the ocean?


Mountains or beach?

White, milk, or dark chocolate? 

Blue or red?

Pen or pencil?

Afro or dreadlocks?

 What is your favorite…


Insect: Lightening bug

Time of day: Dinner time

Number: 4

Vegetable: Pizza

Place to wake up: In our camper

Flavor of ice cream: Anything with chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and fudge

Drink on a cold night: Old Rasputin

National Park: Glacier

Climate: Tropical

Outdoor smell: 

Alyssa: Honeysuckles

Brian: Piñon Pine