Feature: Angela from BodesWell
Hi- I’m Angela from The United States. Bode’s mom. Before my family decided to hit the road, I was a marketing director and a California transplant, feeling a bit lost pursuing the American dream. We planned a ‘one year sabbatical’ to reassess our future priorities and goals and make an effort to live more deliberately. That was 10 years ago, and now my 14 year-old son has grown up all over the world. We have traveled through North and South America and Europe. We are now in Norway - our 45th country over land.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode of transportation?
We had a vague goal of driving to the tip of South America, so wanted a fun but simple vehicle. We we had always had vintage VW’s - my daily driver was a ‘71 convertible bug - so, we picked a classic VW we could travel and sleep in.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but these old buses really bring people together. I couldn’t have imagined the many experiences, friends and help we received just because of the car.
Everyone always asks a traveller what their favorite country is. Do you have a favorite country? If not, what is a place that is special to you?
There is something I love about every country we’ve been to. My favorites are Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Greece. The common themes to these countries are excellent food and gregarious people.
Travelling has taught me…
People are great everywhere. That no matter where you go, everyone needs and wants the same things. Everyone wants their family to be safe, warm, have food and love. We have been showered with kindness and generosity in every country.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because…
We are really weather dependant, and it can really suck when the weather is bad and all three of us are stuck inside a tiny space.
I am a badass woman because…
We’re a badass family.
One of the most common questions we get is about finances. Do you have any tips, tricks or advice on this topic?
Everyone wants to know the secret, and the truth is that financing this lifestyle will be different for everyone. We’ve used a combination of ways to stay on the road: working online, savings, selling our stuff, seasonal work. We now have rental property and the passive income stream is a great thing.
In addition, life can be a lot less expensive in a VW bus than in a house in California. If you’re mobile, you can travel to places cheaper than where you live now. If you can, slow down - slower is cheaper. You sometimes have to pass on popular destinations because of costs - choosing to live this way isn’t a constant vacation.
How has this experience changed you?
I’m a lot more relaxed, and have learned to go with the flow more. It’s a necessary trait in travel - to be flexible and not make too many plans. I used to worry too much about everything and now I feel liberated with a new perspective on what’s really important to me.
What are your favorite overland resources (blogs, books, FB pages, etc.)?
Well, obviously Women Overlanding the World is a great way to connect with others. I also love Wandrly and Culture Trip for planning. For schooling, I use We Are Worldschoolers and Relaxed, Secular Homeschooling Facebook groups.
What is a simple life hack you’ve discovered while on the road?
Filing your water tank at the gas station isn’t that bad. You can shower with a bucket and a cup. Baby wipes are invaluable and are also an acceptable shower. Solar power and a small refrigerator is essential.
What advice would you give to someone with a dream to travel overland?
Don’t spend all your money before you take off. You don’t need all the expensive overland gadgets. And, if you decide you need something later, you will usually find an ingenious way to solve the problem (do whatever the locals do!)
Everyone’s path looks different. Don’t do it for Instagram. You don’t need to follow what others have done. The journey will evolve. It’s life, it changes and so will you.