August 2, 2015:
In case you missed it in my last post, I recently quit my job and am trying to figure out how to travel full-time and explore the world.
So far, I am considering two options…
Option A: Buy a campervan, wander North and South America
Option B: Buy a sailboat, sail the world
So for the campervan option… I want so bad to drive down to South America, and just wander and explore, no schedule, no limits.
In terms of upfront, outright cost, this would be the cheaper of the two options. But of course, in order to drive, you need fuel. So long-term, it could be more expensive to sustain continual travel.
After doing some research, I discovered there was a pretty wide range in the price and condition of campervans. I found everything from early 1970’s – late 1980’s Westfalias (in either pretty decent or pretty terrible shape), to homemade truck conversions, to the brand new VW California – a modern remake of the classic Westfalias – that has a starting price of only £37k!
I was primarily looking at 1980’s era VW Westfalias. These, surprisingly, also have a pretty wide price range, that sometimes matches the condition, and sometimes not… I took the opportunity to look at a 1981 Vanagon that I found on Craigslist for $7300. It was in decent shape for being almost 40 years old, and fairly priced compared to everything else that I could find online. It had a few things that needed a little work, but if you’re planning to buy and drive a vehicle of that age, there are always going to be things that need work. The guy that was seeking it was super nice, and spent over an hour going over all the ins and outs and options on the van.
So, if I got a campervan, I would need to budget for fuel along with repairs and food costs. But it would be a very easy way to hit the road. My initial idea was to drive the entire length of the Americas, from way up top in Alaska or Canada, all the way down the West coast to Tierra del Fuego. I would love to spend several years doing this! But there are other closer options too… It would be fun to wander around, camp, hike, and explore the outdoors, traversing much of the US that I haven’t yet visited.
Something that sparked my interest on a recent road/camping trip was the possibility of becoming a camp host. Depending on the location, these people are either volunteers or employees. Obviously the paid option sounded better, but either seemed like a lot of fun. You get to greet campers, maintain the campground, and live for free in a beautiful outdoor setting. I got the chance to chat with a host in Mount Hood National Forest recently. He looked like a drunk Santa Claus, but was actually a really nice guy. He had spent the last several years working at the lodge at Crater Lake, but was spending this summer in the mountains, and then headed out to work at the Oregon coast for the winter season. Moving from place to place every season, getting to explore a new area… sounds amazing!
Alright, now on to the sailboat option… How amazing does it sounds to step on a sailboat and be able to get to any costal destination in the world?
Buying a sailboat would come with a much higher price tag upfront, unless we’re talking a very old boat that needs lots of work. But, on the upside, once you’ve got the boat, expenses are pretty minimal. You would need a budget for repairs, but other than that, just some basic food staples like rice and veggies, and maybe some beer to go along with all the free fish you can catch!
I feel like there’s soo many options with a sailboat. Literally, the world is your oyster. Plus, it’s kind even more of a mobile home, more self-contained and self-reliant than a campervan.
So, after getting excited about the sailing option, there were two things that I could see as an issue right away: 1) I had never set foot on a sailboat before. 2) I’m pretty sure they’re quite expensive to buy.
I have spent some time looking at boats for sail, and they are expensive, but there are some relatively affordable and nice options. But it would definitely take some saving, planning and time to get one.
But what about the fact that I have never even been on, much less sailed, a sailboat?
In my next post, I’ll tell you all about my first sailboat experience.
Thanks again for reading!