When we arrived in Moab, we had no idea what was in store for us. We had been in the van for only 2.5 months when we got into town, and spent most of that time in the middle of no where, barely speaking to other humans. We would laugh and fight over who had to go into the grocery store and be the one to talk to people, Sean always lost that fight, HAHA. So when we got to Moab, right as the peak season was about to hit, we went through a bit of a shock to the system from all.the.people.everywhere. I remember when we got here, we were genuinely nervous. Would we fit in here? Would Sean find a job? How could he get a job without an address? I mean, it’s the first question on an application. Where would we park the van at night? How long will we be here?
It felt, it still feels like, Moab welcomed us with open arms, as if to say, “what took you so long?”. Every last thing fell right into place, and before we knew it, those big questions, had all been answered. Sean found the best job working with the best people, who are now some of our best friends. At first, we felt like little fishes in a giant adventurous ocean, it felt like everyone was always doing these wild things, like B.A.S.E. jumping, highlining, skydiving, climbing these insanely tall towers before going to work the dinner shift…where did we fit in to all of this?? Here’s the thing we realized though, we don’t need to do those wild things to be friends with the people who do them, or to even just fit in. We just need to be ourselves, do what we love to do, and cheer on our friends when they do rad shit. We found interests that spoke to us loudly and clearly and started to focus on doing the things that scare us + make us feel most alive…and we are in good company in Moab. When we stopped focusing on whether or not we would fit in, we found our place in this town and in a moment, felt like we belong.
Looking back, we are clearly different people than when we arrived, and I am so thankful for the transformation that we have gone through. It’s hard to change and grow when you’re around people you have known for so long or grew up with, you don’t want them to think that you ‘changed’ even if you really really want to do just that- change. We both knew we just needed the time and space to try to find who we really are, and Moab gave us exactly that. For the first time for both of us, we feel completely free and overwhelmingly happy. That’s not to say that we haven’t had bad days or moments- because we most definitely have, but for the most part, we still can’t believe that we were able to not just pull off living in Moab for a full season, but thrive and make a home for ourselves here.
All good things must come to an end however, and now that the nights are getting colder, the days shorter, and the busyness of town decimating, we are forced to plan and get ready to hit the road for the winter. Our original plan was to head to Florida, and enjoy the warm air + beaches and then head back to Moab come spring, but after a trip to Southern California last month, we realized that we just aren’t beach people anymore; too boring. So, we changed plans and agreed that we would spend the winter climbing as much as we possibly could and try to get ourselves in tip-top shape for next spring in Moab. Looking at our climbing app, there is no shortage of routes in the Southwest, and our plan is to just follow the warm + dry weather to whatever walls we can find and really dedicate our time to honing in on our skills + techniques. Neither of us are great climbers by any stretch of the imagination, we both can comfortably lead up to a 5.9+, so we have a lot of work to do- fun work, but work nonetheless.
Our exact departure date is still being determined, but it will be soon after Thanksgiving. Currently, we are considering heading to St. George first and climbing for a week or so, weather depending of course, before heading to Red Rocks outside of Vegas for a few weeks. After Red Rocks we may swing into California or we may just head south into Arizona. Prescott, Sedona, Phoenix, and Tucson all have something for us, hopefully we have enough time to hit them all up before spring. Last winter was very wet in the southwest, leaving many roads impassable, so we are really hoping this winter is drier and cooperates with our big plans. Even if the weather doesn’t hold out, I know we will find a way come hell or high water to climb and get better. The not knowing is so fun- I wonder what adventures this winter will bring?
Come springtime, we will be setting our GPS to Moab and I’m certain the stoke is going to be high as we have BIG plans for Moab 2020. Learning to skydive, highlining, climbing towers, canyoneering, high water rafting, and so much more- honestly I’m unbearably stoked just thinking about all the adventures to be had next year… but I don’t want it to get here yet- I wish time would slow down for us. Hard to believe that come January 4th, in just over 2 months, we will have been in the van for an entire year- that just doesn’t seem right. But, I’ll save those thoughts for an end of the year post.
So, that’s the plan- for now! We don’t stick to many plans so who the hell knows where we’ll end up actually, but that’s the best part about vanlife, you can go where ever the wind blows ya.