Rewind to my life to 8 months ago. I had just gotten back from a trip in Iceland (life changing). I got off a 9 hour flight, had some dinner and drove straight through the night from LAX to Tucson so that I could speak at a conference in the morning. The things you will do for dreams … While at this conference I got the opportunity to sit down and speak with a more seasoned speaker and entrepreneur. Mike Smith, he’s a bad ass. While we were talking I told hum that my dream was to one day live in a van, or an airstream of some sorts. He goes “Ooookay let me get this straight.” * instantly oh shit he’s about to drop some sort of mic on me here * “You talk about livin’ the dream. You tell people how to live the dream and you’re not living yours?” * oh shit I thought, mindblown * “Well yeah. I guess you’re right.” From that conversation on I have had Vanlife tunnel vision. What type of van do I want? Oh my gosh you’re really doing this. How much can you afford to spend? Oh my gosh this is a big risk Alexa. When will you leave? Oh my gosh a lot go people think I am crazy but even I think I am crazy. Where am I going to buy this van from? Oh my gosh you’re gonna live in a freaking van. How many miles? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. You found “the one.”
Rewind to 6 months ago and I bought THE van. Named her Billie and said that I was going to live in her, travel and make a movement move. Here she is the day I bought her, already stuck in soft sand, already chased the most beautiful sunset of my life, already worth every worry, every penny, everything.
Rewind to a week ago. I flew to Denver for the big reveal and to take her back to Vegas. The “Oh shit I bought a van 6 months ago with every intention to live in her but holy crap it’s here. It’s happening.” Well the reveal was nothing short of incredible. She’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen … she is a gem you guys. She has a bed and a stove and a refrigerator and lights that dim and a toilet and subway tile and so much freaking character. She is me in a van if I do say so myself.
I flew to Denver at 6am and left Denver by 7pm to drive 13 hours to Phoenix. Now, I am from Ohio so I have driven in snow before however I have not driven in snow, in a van of this size, with rear wheel drive. Of course this day it decided to snow and I was slightly scared shitless to start but Billie handled everything perfectly. I drove about half way and took a 3 hour nap in 5 degree weather. This was my first night ever sleeping in Billie. I pulled off and slept in a Holiday Inn Express parking lot, took a piss behind a bush before I went to bed and slept like a rock. I was warm, which honestly surprised me in those conditions. The fear of my first night in a random place alone surpassed.
When I woke up and started driving I had about an hour and a half left in the dark. So I started in the dark when I left and continued in the dark which means I didn’t get to enjoy the Colorado scenery on my drive. So here we are in the middle of the desert and the sun finally starts to rise. I looked in my mirror and saw the sky behind me and instantly pulled off onto some random side street in the middle of the desert, got out of my car and just “felt” for a second. Here was the next solidifying moment of why what I am doing is exactly what I am supposed to be doing regardless if the rest of the world (including most of my family) thinks that I am crazy.
Why exactly do I want to live in a van?
My curiosity is the driving force behind this. I am wildly curious. Like want to see everything, experience everything and everyone.
I want to connect with people. All sorts of people. I always say tell your story because you never know who is listening, who you can help or who will join your army. I am the type of person who will talk to a stranger at a coffee shop and end up turning into life long friends, or even pen pals who write actual handwritten letters to one another. I am the girl who asks strangers if I can take a picture of them when they are alone just because it’s too perfect not too. I’m the one who goes on vacation and ends up going home with 5 new friends phone numbers, not just their Instagram handle just so I can connect at random times. I’m definitely the girl who hugs these strangers instead of a hand shake because I am just a hugger. I can’t imagine the people I will meet. The coffee shops I will go. The pictures of other people I will take. The life long friends I will make.
Bucketlist adventures of course. I have a lot of things I want to cross off my list and no better way to do this than by living in van so that it is at my fingertips at all times. MLB baseball fields, “welcome” state signs, national parks, adrenaline junkie activities.
To create the things I wish existed. I have ideas on ideas on ideas. Ideas to conquer the world. Ideas for my business. Ideas for my life and the van is not only going to put me in environments that magnify those ideas but it is going to give me time to focus on those ideas.
I want to do this for me. I have a big heart. I may be a small human but my heart is huge and I strive to give everyone a piece of it. Literally. My entire life I have been like this. In relationships both intimate and within my friendships. I have put everyone before me. Now this isn’t a bad thing but it’s time for me to be selfish. To focus solely on me, my dreams and what sets my soul on fire.
From now until August (atleast for now because plans typically change) I will still be living in Las Vegas and doing road trips in Billie. When August hits I will be living in her full time. Follow me on this crazy, awesome, scary, cool, new experience. Just out here following the yellow brick road.