Outbound Collective logo

Is a Life of Wanderlust for You?

Is wandering a productive technique for exploration or is it just unfocused vehicle for escapement? After eight months on the road, we evaluate pros and cons of the wandering lifestyle.

By: Sarah Levant + Save to a List

To Wander or Stay? That is the Question

Wanderlust is a tricky term some people struggle with. You might ask, is wandering useful and productive or just an unfocused vehicle for escapement? The overall idea doesn't quite vibe with what we have been told to accomplish or how we have been told to accomplish those things in our lives that someone else told us we must accomplish for whatever reason was meaningful to them. (My body tenses up just writing about it). Did you know that "Keeping Up With The Joneses" originated from a comic strip dating back to 1913!? For over 100 years, society's target has been focused on climbing this humorous scene of a social ladder. For us, it started to feel like we were living in a culture currently immersed in desires not actual needs. So, the desire to wander is yours to seek or reject. We highly recommend exploration. 

For the past eight months, The Lance has been our vehicle for wanderlust. She is 200 square feet of happiness, but also of irritation. At times she appears too small, but also too heavy. Or too wide, but also too not like a home. Life on the road brings a refreshing dose of enrichment as well as uncertainty into our lives. Just recently we have begun to accept and more importantly, embrace these opposing forces.

Her first trip to the mountains in Lone Pine, CA!

As previously mentioned in our decision to participate in Georgia's Tiny House Festival, we like to create a list of pros & cons to help evaluate situations. A few weeks back we attempted to tackle an assessment of our journey, here are a few highlights from the extensive list: 


  1. Windy travel days - especially when traveling on major highways... freaks us out when semi's roar by, sucking us in before spitting us out (we only travel at about 65 mph max ;). 
  2. Never knowing directions - It might seem like no big deal with GPS but constantly looking up areas of town, places to get a sandwich or street names gets tiresome. We rarely drive out of our campsite and just know how to get to somewhere. 
  3. Routine-less - We went through a few growing pains transitioning to a life without routines. Even though we were in the same bed every night, our home was constantly moving. Howeverrrr, that way of life really forced us out of our comfort zone which leads me to...
  4. Wifi - Sorry last con... sleeping in the woods and waking up to bird songs is amazing but that usually means the wifi is not. But again, each con really has a more inspiring pro which (now really) leads me to... 


  1. Everyday is limitless - We get to work on our bucket list every morning! We feel great about what we did each day because we actively made a decision to do it (not dictated by clocking in, bus schedules, bosses, deadlines, vacation schedule etc). We thoroughly enjoy the task of creating our life, not just running through the motions.
  2. Contrarily, becoming aware of limits - Camping every night reminds us that electricity and water is limited. Space in general is limited, both in our grey water tank and our under bed storage. We love living a life with less and how it springboards us towards a gratitude for simplicity.
  3. Time to reset - The simpler life allows our minds to breathe. We can purposefully focus on the now, the space right in front of us. Our minds become aware of unawareness which enhances our possibility for deeper connections with ourselves and others.
  4. Renewed kinship with people - In San Francisco, we were in a bubble. Weird that such a big city could feel like such a small, enclosed space ready to pop at any moment, but for us it did. We were in this bubble where most people don't say hello or wave or unleash a smile to others on the street. Ironically, being in rural atmospheres, we weirdly feel connected to humanity again. It becomes normal to seek connections with all types of people.
  5. History lessons - We get to relearn and actually experience everything in history class we don't remember. We have relearned amazing pieces of American history in Texas and Florida, Native American history in New Mexico and geological history in Arizona and Utah.
  6. Seasonal colors - Experiencing the country's vibrancy has given us great joy. Beginning our journey in the fall was the right move!

Hiking The Wave in Utah

Many folks ask us for one piece of advice to give others interested in this lifestyle. To that we offer this... advice is tricky because it never seems to be objectively true in all situations. One person's idea of pleasure is another's worst nightmare. Our cons might be your pros and vise versa. So choose to question life or don't, wander or stay, either way remember one Rolling Stone verse along the way:

You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might just find, you get what you need.

Wandering in White Sands NM

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

Hiking in comfort: a review of Danner Mountain 600 Evo boots

Meghan White

A peek through God's window

Heather Arnold