Feature: Candice from Be Old Later
Hey guys! My name is Candice and I’m a professional illustrator/ concept artist in the work world. I’ve been most recently responsible for creating and executing the look and design of children’s games at a studio in Vancouver BC. You’ll constantly find me drawing cartoons, catching up on art freelance or teaching kids how to draw. My husband Jordan and I have overlanded in different rigs over the last 6 years. On our first trip we traveled in a subaru outback named “Ruby Sue” that we outfitted for sleeping and camping across the states for 3 months, we then upgraded to a nissan largo van named “Manny” when we lived in New Zealand and explored the country, finally we adopted “Bagheera”, a Mitsubishi Delica-our current ride who we’ve been traveling and living in since June 2018. We’ve taken “Bags” up to the top of the Northwest Territories to Tuktoyaktuk and all the way down to Buenos Aires. We’ve been to 12 countries during this most recent trip and plan to head all the way down south to Ushuaia.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode of transportation?
Honestly, it came up in conversation between us as we were hiking to the summit of the Grand Teton mountain to get married. We were like, welp, we could either do a hiking trail for 6 months or outfit this van to live in and drive the pan american highway. We went with the latter. Both excellent choices though.
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?
I think each country has their pros and cons, their sweet mountain climbs and trails, and their disappointing bits. I really loved the scenery, ruggedness, and infinite hiking possibilities of the north in Canada and Alaska. The fact that you have loads of unexplored wilderness, peaks that haven’t been climbed, and endless scenic camp spots was always a huge plus. The amount of hiking, climbing, and effortless backpacking we did up there was more than any other place we’ve been because it was so accessible. And the foraging was stellar.
Travelling has taught me…
To chill the f out and go with the flow no matter what. Tight planning is basically useless. Have your options of where you’re going to spend the night and be super flexible. Hopefully you find a place with a toilet or a nice hole in the ground.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because…
Because sometimes you have to poop, and there is literally nowhere for you to poop.
I am a badass woman because…
Women who choose this kind of life for themselves are generally ‘badasses’. There is a lot to sacrifice, a lot of adjustments to conquer and comforts that are lost. I think every woman I have met on the road during our travels has inspired me or taught me something and I always try to repay that kindness. I also have these sweet pit viper sunglasses that make me look badass when I do jump kicks in my tie dye hot pants.
One of the most common questions we get is about finances. Do you have any tips, tricks or advice on this topic?
I literally keep track of every single thing we buy on this trip. I have all of it typed up in the notepad on my phone, separated by country and by each day. This doesn’t mean that we are successfully keeping our budget, ha! But it does show us when we need to take it easy with spending, or when I need to find some freelance work to get our funds up. We saved up for 2 years prior to this trip, so we had that going for us and I can do art/design work on the road. Our savings helped a lot but substantially dwindled a little over halfway down the Americas. I think being able to have the ability to work remotely helps a butt load.
How has this experience changed you?
Oh man how hasn’t it! I’ve always used humor to meet people or get through things, now I’m still doing that but in a different language! I’ve upgraded my spanish a ton since we started the trip. It makes me so happy to be able to speak another language enough to be able to joke with people, have full on conversations and actually get to know them. I’m also a lot less stressed out about constant change and way more resourceful.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?
Peeing in the streets when you’re boondocking and don’t have a she-wee. I have a pee dress that I have to put on to get the proper squat going without showing off too much to the world. I promise the dress is not covered in pee.
What are your favorite overland resources (blogs, books, FB pages, etc.)?
I love ‘Overlanding the Americas’ instagram. They are down-to-earth people who actually take the time to get back to you and answer your questions on overlanding or places they’ve been--super helpful and friendly. We’ve definitely used their photos and blog for inspiration. IOverlander is literally our bible of where we are going to camp, sleep, eat, and sometimes climb. When our phones don’t get LTE or wifi we still have streets and directions on IOverlander to help us get to where we need to go. Going to the Overland Expo was probably the most incredible pre-trip resource we could have asked for. The people we met, the outfitted rigs we got to explore, and the info we gathered from other experienced travelers was priceless.
What is a simple life hack you’ve discovered while on the road?
Having little gifts like stickers to hand out to people really goes a long way. It gives you something to say ‘thank you’ with and everyone loves stickers, especially when you’ve designed them. One more thing would be giving yourself a little bit of time to write every day about what happened or even just writing down what you purchased. My memory blows, but when I look back at my notes of our everyday purchases I get little flashbacks of our day and our stories.
What advice would you give to someone with a dream to travel overland?
If I can do it you can do it, and do it now while your knees still work and you don’t have too many excuses.