Always the Road

We are always keen to learn about different explorations taking place around the world. Recently, we got to catch up with Pete, Tay and Snoop from Always the Road — a couple and their pup travelling around in their van. To help offset their inevitable emissions from their adventure, they’ve teamed up with us at TreeEra to plant some trees. Below are some snippets of our chat with them about their experiences and reasons for planting trees:

You experienced first-hand some of the terrible forest fires in California. Could you tell us a bit about this experience?

We’ve been living out of our van deep in the mountains of Northern California for the past few months and have fell in love with the natural beauty of this area. Throughout our time in the mountains, there have been small wildfires that have popped up in our general area, all of which were quickly put out. About a month ago, I (Pete) woke up early in the morning to an overwhelming smell of smoke. After stepping foot outside of our van, I knew that a large wildfire had sparked up nearby.
The fires were devastating. Within a day or two, the multiple fires had doubled and tripled in size and there weren’t enough firefighters on sight to contain each fire. The fires had started and spread so quickly that many people weren’t aware of the fires until they looked out their window and saw flames coming towards their homes. What a lot of people may not have realized was that there were around 15 fires that all started the same night. The news only covered one or two of the fires but the there was a huge area of Northern California that was burning. Thousands of people were evacuated, homes and businesses burnt to the ground, highways were closed, and living conditions were disrupted for weeks.
Being deep in the mountains with only one dirt road to the bottom, we feared that a fire could cut off our escape route if we ended up in danger. Where we were, ash rained from the sky for days, smoke completely covered the sky, and the smell of smoke lingered for over a week. It was extremely sad to see how many people lost their homes, their businesses, and in some cases, the lives of their loved ones. We’re also connected with the farming community in this area and have heard of many people losing their crops and equipment to the fires, destroying their entire livelihood.
The beautiful part of this story is how many people came together to help. People from all walks of life were helping each other; offering their homes for shelter, donating food and clothing, and keeping each other positive in this dark time. Also, firefighters came in from states across the country to contain these fires as quickly as possible.
Although a lot of land was devastated by the fires, TreeEra gives us hope by making it their mission to start replanting trees in these areas.

What has been one of the most humbling experiences on your adventure thus far?

Travel in and of itself is full of humbling experiences. Experiences that changes ones’ perspective on the world and how each of us fit into it. It’s easy to say that living on the road has been an extremely humbling experience. Both of us have traveled extensively internationally but until the past year, we haven’t explored much of our own country.
If we had to narrow it down to our most humbling experience, we’d have to say it’s been the people we’ve met on the road. This lifestyle is constantly connecting us with people from all walks of life that have impacted our lives in various ways. Whether it’s meeting local people in the town we’re passing through, international travelers on holiday, other ‘vanlifers’ on the road, or retirees living out of their RV’s, these people contribute to the most meaningful experiences we have on the road. Rarely are we alone on the road, and to us, that’s just the way we like it! We’ve met people that we ended up traveling with for weeks, people that have invited us into their homes for a home cooked meal, and others who led us to some great seasonal work.
For us, it’s heart-warming to see how much people care about one another, regardless of their political views, religious affiliation, or what state or country they call home. Now more than ever our country (and even world) seems divided. The media floods our devices with negative news and it’s easy to believe that this is the way the entire world is. But in our experiences on the road, this isn’t the case at all. The vast majority of people we meet are friendly, welcoming, and want to live in peace with one another. Meeting and connecting with people on the road has become one of our favorite things about this lifestyle!

You planted trees with TreeEra to help offset some of your adventure’s carbon footprint! Could you tell us a bit about this and what trees mean to you?

Trees have played a huge role in both of our lives from an early age. Taylor and I both grew up in deep in the woods of Wisconsin’s driftless region like a couple of bear cubs. I grew up without a TV (crazy, I know) and my favorite thing to do was hike around our land for hours, climbing trees and finding new forts to make in the woods. My parents let me roam free until they rang the ‘dinner bell’, signaling me to come home for dinner. Since Taylor and I have met, we always seek out opportunities to spend time in forests. And now that we live on the road, more often than not, you’ll find us parked in the middle of the nearest forest.
We understand that living and traveling in our diesel Sprinter van emits emissions and we’re dedicated to offset our carbon footprint as much as possible. We’re stoked that an organization like TreeEra exists so we can easily plant trees through their amazing initiatives. Forming a relationship with TreeEra is one of the most meaningful relationships we’ve been a part of. We’re excited to help spread their mission and help them plant trees across the world.

Thanks for chatting with us, Pete and Tay! So happy to have you as a part of the #Communitree. Stay updated with their travels by following along at @alwaystheroad.