A Beautiful Life Profile: Stevie from A Sprinter Life

Happy Wednesday! I’ve been chilling in Tofino for the past week and finally got a chance to catch up with all my blog reading and posting.  One thing that I love about blogging is the chance to connect with interesting people from around the world.   So here’s something new I’m doing today – A Beautiful Life Profile to introduce you to a wonderful blog I discovered called A Sprinter Life.

Stevie and Tree are the writing nomads behind A Sprinter Life, along with their cute dog Kiki. I don’t even know how I stumbled across their blog, but their stories of traveling across the Americas in a camper in search of surf, good times and adventures intrigued me.  Stevie and Tree left their jobs and sold everything they had in the pursuit of happiness.  I was so inspired by their lifestyle,so I reached out to Stevie to try to understand a little bit more about what makes them tick.  Stevie dishes below on how hard it was to leave their lives behind, the best surf towns, and what a girl packs for a road trip around the world.

Below: Adventures in Cuba
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1. What motivated you and Tree to give up the “conventional” North American lifestyle and drive through the Americas? Love and Misery! Tree and I started fantasizing about driving the Pan-American Highway together from the day we met because we both love to travel and agreed that the trip to Tierra del Fuego would be amazing. But, like most people, we had responsibilities weighing us down. Before the birth of Sprinterlife, I worked in sales, and although the job was lucrative and respectable, it seemed to suck the marrow from my bones, leaving me less of myself everyday. I felt anxious about always having to produce more, buy more, look better—and, then I’d get depressed about how meaningless that was. Basically, I saw myself as Sisyphus, except the rock and the hill kept getting bigger while I kept getting smaller. Then, mercifully, I lost my job a year into the recession, and this allowed us to rethink our values, our life path, and our lifestyle. The answer of what to do next came to us immediately: We decided to reclaim the pursuit of happiness by giving up the American dream as defined by the consumerist cycle of debt and ownership to pursue our own dream of living like nomads.

2. What were your biggest fears before embarking on this journey? What were the hardest things to give up? Our biggest fears were for our safety. We were afraid of drug lords, kidnappers, and banditos, but that was because we read a local U.S. newspaper every morning, and the headlines were unnerving. When we finally crossed the border into Mexico, though, sensationalized fears gave way to real life experiences. Every country has its hot spots but they’re easy to avoid. Basic common sense and heightened awareness are the best ways to avoid danger.

The hardest thing to give up was sharing the daily, mundane moments with family and friends: grabbing a quick coffee, an impromptu dinner party, a quick 5 minute phone conversation to hear something funny that a friend’s new baby might have done. That being said, thanks to our blog, Skype, chat, Facebook, Twitter, and email, sometimes I think we’re more in touch with our loved ones now than before we left!

3. What has been your favourite experience so far and why? Meeting other overlanders because it shows us that there is a growing movement of other people living alternative lifestyles who are also reclaiming the pursuit of happiness. We’re loving our ever expanding nomad tribe!

4. Both you and Tree love surfing.  What are some of our most memorable surf towns?  Baja from Todos Santos to Cabo, Punta Mita, Tunco because we got married there, Uvita and Jaco.  I’m a beginner surfer so those were our favorites in part because we could both surf there.

Below: Stevie and Tree get married below at Playa El Tunco, El Salvador

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5. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do and travel the world?  What kind of tips would you give them? One of my favorite quotes is by Toni Morrison. She says, “You wanna fly, first you gotta give up the shit that weighs you down.”  And the shit can be anything from your way of thinking to your actual possessions. First thing first is to believe in your heart that you can do this, others have before and will continue after you. I promise, it’s not that hard. Second, I’d say give up living in the consumerist cycle of debt and ownership, start freeing up space in your heart, mind, and home, give things away, go light, and then get going.

6. What have you learned from this experience? We’ve learned what true happiness is–when what you say, what you do, and what you think are in harmony—and most importantly, we’ve started living it.

7. What are your plans for the upcoming year? Is there anything you’d like to achieve that you haven’t yet on your journey so far?  This year our plan is to continue our journey south to Tierra del Fuego, to keep meeting other inspirational people, and to keep sharing our hearts, minds, and journey with everyone we meet.

8. How do you decide where you’re going to go and where you’re going to stay?  We have one family goal and that is “to see shit,” so go wherever there is shit to see.  Whether or not we stay in a place or how long we stay in a place though is determined by how well we’re vibing it at the time. Like true nomads, we move according to the seasons and the state of our surroundings.

9. How did you decide what clothes to pack for a road trip around the world? I like to joke with Tree that I don’t mind living in a van, I just don’t want to look like I live in a van. For that reason, we had a shoe rack and a closet put in the Sprinter so that I could pack at least one pair of my totally impractical high-heeled vintage boots and one-of-a-kind dresses along with the practical outdoorsy Patagonia gear. But the rule is that if I buy something new, I have to get rid of something old, which keeps me honest. I can only buy things that I really want and need.
stevie and tree
Stevie and Tree are currently in Venezuela – you can also follow their adventures on Twitter @SprinterLife.

All photo credits go to Stevie and Tree from A Sprinter Life.

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