Drive Nacho Drive!

My wife and I just quit our jobs.  In three weeks we’ll be homeless, at least in the conventional sense.  We’re about to set off on a multi-year around-the-world overland road trip in our 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon.

For the last two years we’ve been plotting our escape, counting down.  It didn’t seem real at the beginning, but we kept putting one foot in front of the other, lining up the ducks, until it was finally time to pull the trigger.

The idea was borne of coincidence, an unsettling feeling of complacency, and a festering itch for adventure.

You know that feeling you get when everything is going fine?  That’s pretty much the way things have been around here for a long while.  Good jobs, pleasant town, vacation.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Then in 2008 a good friend of ours went down in an avalanche and never came up.  On the way home from his funeral we decided that we shouldn’t wait until retirement age to do what we love.  It’s cliché to say “life is short”, but it’s true nonetheless.

A year later I was standing at my desk when Steve walked by my window.  Steve is a happy guy who drives a Volkswagen hippy bus.  As he passed I blurted out the first thing that came into my head: “Hey Steve, let’s drive your van to Tierra del Fuego.”  He paused for a second, and then without blinking said “I don’t think so” and continued on his way.  A minute later he sent me a link to an article about a couple who drove their VW camper van through the Americas and Africa.  I took one look at the article’s title, and quickly sent it on to Sheena, along with the question “Want to do this?”  She immediately responded with “Yes.”

That evening we decided that we would buy a VW van, save a bunch of money, and drive around the world.  We scribbled out a savings plan and set the wheels in motion. And now I sit here typing that we’ve quit our jobs and are ready to flee the country in a hippy bus.  It didn’t feel real, but we put one foot in front of another until we got here.  Sheena posted a quote on our refrigerator that says “Those who wish for the weekend are wishing their lives away.”  I fully realize that we’ve taken this quote way too far…aaaaaand I’ve just soiled myself.

While we’re on the road we’ll be keeping a blog and a podcast, both of which will live on this site.  We’ll explore culture, food, recreation, and undoubtedly work our way through countless emergency road side hippy bus repairs.  If we do it right, it ought to make for good entertainment.  If things go terribly wrong, at least it’ll still be entertaining for you.

You can click the “like” button on our Facebook page to get notifications when we update our blog:

Thanks for reading!

Brad & Sheena



26 Comments

  1. Marena

    Brad and Sheena! This website looks great, but Ian and I both think you should have “drive nacho drive” stickers with your logo on them for sale on your website ;) you could eventually expand this to T-shirts, coffee mugs, all kinds of goodies. Maybe to go along with your “buy us a beer” tab ;)
    Love you guys, can’t wait to see you before you take off! and seriously, let me know when you’re going to Italy!!!! i might just show up and sleep downstairs in Nacho ;)

    Comment by Marena on December 6, 2011 at 3:42 am

  2. Brad

    Hey little sister! So you like my stab at graphic design, do you? I like your idea, but the trouble is that we don’t really have the capacity to be sending merchandise out through the mail from the road (or stocking up on it from suppliers). We need a home base store with an employee :) Maybe at some point we’ll make it happen, but too much to deal with at this point in trying to get ready for departure. And I certainly will let you know when I’m in Italy!

    Comment by Brad on December 6, 2011 at 5:01 am

  3. You guys are absolutely nuts and I love it. Good luck!

    Comment by Corey Perrine on December 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

  4. You’re my new best friends I never met yet.

    Comment by Gwynne on December 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

  5. Erika Lenkert

    I’ll be living vicariously. Enjoy every wild and unexpected second of it!

    Comment by Erika Lenkert on December 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  6. You are my new heroes. PLEASE keep this blog updated. I am bookmarking it now!!!

    Comment by Kiltgy on December 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

  7. Tony Stahl

    You can use Cafepress.com for you stickers, mugs, t-shirts…etc. I’m in no way affiliated with Cafe Press, but I know handle all the problems you presented.

    Comment by Tony Stahl on December 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm

  8. Tony, you’re a gentleman and a scholar. I’ve just set up a CafePress store and will add it to the site. My little sister will be most pleased.

    Comment by Brad on December 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

  9. Richard Jepson

    Brad… glad to see someone else is as crazy as my family… though you both may be even crazier. heehee. We are already thinking about our next RTW trip… probably be without the kids though. Love the van idea… will save you a small fortune for sure. Godspeed and have a blast!

    Comment by Richard Jepson on December 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm

  10. Wow Richard, I’m glad you found us; after all, you used to work in the same hallway where I was working when I had the idea for the trip! I didn’t know you were doing RTW trips with your family. Do you have a blog?

    Comment by Brad on December 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

  11. Marena

    you did it! :) I might just have to buy some stuff from you guys now since you made it happen. Do you make any profit from people buying merchandise from you though? Or is that just so we can wear awesome “DriveNachoDrive” apparel?

    Comment by Marena on December 7, 2011 at 2:40 am

  12. Rena, we make a little commission on each sale. Actually a pretty cool site that I wasn’t even aware of. I’m telling you, this Tony is a genius. I think on a t-shirt we’d make like $4 or something. But hey, that equates to lunch at a Mexican street cart. I’ll take it.

    Comment by Brad on December 7, 2011 at 3:52 am

  13. carterzest

    Going all http://www.bumfuzzle.com on us =)
    Found your thread on TheSamba. Thanks for taking the time to share with us your adventures.
    here are some links to help you get your journey started.
    http://www.telusplanet.net/public/waters/links.htm
    http://www.vwviaje.com/
    http://www.vwviaje.com/vwviaje/VWVIAJE.html
    http://www.faliaphotography.com/
    http://cheaprvliving.com/wheretopark.html
    http://www.bumperdumper.com/

    Counting the minutes to the hours and days of entertainment that you are about to provide me.
    Jeffrey

    Comment by carterzest on December 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

  14. LauraLee

    I went to CVHS, probably not at the same time as you but I recognized your name! I don’t know if you heard of overland journal but they are based in Prescott and although they focus on fancy rigs I wonder if their readership might not love a regular column with your latest adventures. Just an idea. :)

    Comment by LauraLee on December 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm

  15. Hi LauraLee. I actually went to Prescott High School, but my older brother Kurt went to CVHS. My mom also taught in Chino for many years. I’m a big fan of the Overland Journal. Would love to do a story…

    Comment by Brad on December 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

  16. Tony Stahl

    Hi Brad,

    Just so you know I’m Matt Poole’s friend (webmaster strategist guru something or other) You can also make money by signing up as an affiliate through cafe press, so when someone comes from your site to buy you will earn a commission plus revenue on your product. Maybe they purchase something else on cafe press not related to your product…you still get PAID! It’s a painless sign up process that will require very little effort at the beginning. I have ton’s more idea’s for you to make money while your sleeping, surfing, or mexican food carting it. Send me an email, so we can exchange #’s if you’re interested.

    http://www.cafepress.com/content/cp-partners/

    Comment by Tony Stahl on December 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm

  17. Mike

    Congratulations! My (ex) sister-in-law and brother-in-law did the same thing quite a few years ago, and for very similar reasons. They realized there are no guarantees in life and that waiting for retirement to begin an adventure is, at best, a gamble. Who’s to say that your body or mind will be there for you beyond retirement age?

    My mom, who is just now at retirement age, is in a nursing home and almost completely incapacitated. She has little or no understanding of her environment, she’s forgotten who people are, and she definitely can’t care for herself. It’s sad that she and my dad won’t have a retirement together. I don’t mean to bring anyone down; I merely want to reiterate that I can’t support your decision enough. I wish I were as brave.

    Another poster said something to the effect that she couldn’t be happier for her two best friends, whom she had never met. What a brilliant statement. Safe travels and I look forward to following your journey.

    Mike

    Comment by Mike on December 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm

  18. Thanks Mike, those are very encouraging words. We’ve told a lot of people about our trip, but the most enthusiastic about it are invariably those who are of retirement age and older. The typical response is something to the tune of “I wish I would have done something like that”. Every time we hear that we’re reassured that we’re doing the right thing. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy following along.

    Comment by Brad on December 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

  19. Tony Stahl

    Brad,

    I said I found about your trip from Matt Poole, but Matt Poole just told me that he received an email by accident about your trip. He forwarded that email anyway to all of his contacts…to funny. Either way if you want free tips on how to make some extra revenue while on your trip feel free to email me.

    Congrats to you and Sheena on the trip, I may want the blue prints for the bus when you get back!

    Cheers,

    Tony

    Comment by Tony Stahl on December 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm

  20. Thanks Tony. Too much to do and too little time to do it at the moment, but I’ll keep you in mind for when we run our finances into the ground :)

    Comment by Brad on December 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm

  21. Nick

    Keep up the good work guys… You are in inspiration to many. Whatever the obstacle just keep on going…Greetings from Greece!

    Comment by Nick on December 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm

  22. Esther Morrow Pizana

    Good Luck I will be praying for a fun safe trip :) Oh by the way Im Brooke Morrows mom <

    Comment by Esther Morrow Pizana on December 11, 2011 at 6:47 am

  23. […] my first blog entry I mentioned that Richard and Amanda Ligato were an inspiration for our trip.  I found it […]

    Pingback by Drive Nacho Drive » No Turning Back Now on December 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

  24. beartrap

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by
    the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade
    winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

    wish I could have followed your path when i was younger but wife and family delayed my urge to wander…but I have taken a few long river trips(see “old goat and tin boat” on completed adventures pages of exepedition portal)…

    wish you the best of luck and thanks for sharing your adventure…

    Comment by beartrap on December 21, 2011 at 1:27 am

  25. […] my grandpa’s house in Chino Valley where we’ll be storing our things while we’re gone. In my first blog entry I mentioned that Richard and Amanda Ligato were an inspiration for our trip.  I found it […]

    Pingback by No Turning Back Now | Overland Sphere on December 21, 2011 at 5:22 am

  26. Guillermo Müller

    Good Trip !!!
    I am a VW and Westy fan.
    We wait for you in ARgentina !!!
    Good Luck
    Guille

    Comment by Guillermo Müller on January 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

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