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The Freedom of Life on the Road

Freedom is more powerful than I imagined. And I’m soaking up each moment, exactly as it comes.

By: Sara Sheehy + Save to a List

From the moment I decided to travel full time in my campervan I had freedom on the brain. It was a gluttonous wish considering the life I was already living: daily adventures in my mountain town, a job with a great company, long dinners with friends, and backcountry skiing out my back door. But if there’s one thing I always want more of it’s the freedom to chose how I experience this world.

I’ve been on the road for eleven months, covering 25,000 miles in the United States and Canada. All those vanlife cliches on Instagram are both true and not true. They are true in that you can make them happen - napping with a view of the beach, yoga on the roof of your Vanagon, and campfires late into the night. They are not true in that those are simply glimpses into a lifestyle with more depth than the pictures reveal.

For me life on the road is all about choosing how I spend my time and energy. It’s a life with few possessions lived on the edge of society. It’s easier to clear out distractions, though with those distractions gone you are faced with you, exactly as you are. That’s a kind of freedom, too.

Freedom is what I wanted on the road, and freedom is what I have. Every day is mine for exploring. If I’m quiet and still enough my soul tells me exactly what it needs. Maybe it’s a hike, or a dip in a hot spring. Maybe it’s a day at a museum and writing late into the night. The choice is mine, if I’m brave enough to make it.

I won’t live on the road forever, and I expect my life to take me on all sorts of journeys. For now I’ll wake up and think about where I want to sleep tonight and what I’d like to see along the way. Freedom has taken root, just as I wanted. It’s more powerful than I imagined. And I’m soaking up each moment, exactly as it comes.

Life on the road provides me with plenty amazing #GOATworthy moments. See more #GOATworthy moments on Backcountry's website.

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!

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