Home is where you hang your hat…

Home is where you hang your hat. As a nomad I’ve always been fond of that saying. I’ve been living on the road for years, and those words have been my truth. I never felt like I was on a “trip” because I was exactly where I was supposed to be. As I was packing for my return to Costa Rica I realized that those words are no longer true. Now my home is wherever Stevie hangs HER hat. And it appears that if I’m anywhere else in the world, my heart just longs to go home. 

Assuming I can fit all the wine and chocolate bars into my suitcase, that reunion isn’t far away. But I have no illusions. The airport is really going to SUCK IT. In addition to a ton of luggage, I’m also bringing home a new refrigerator for the Sprinter. The Outdoorplay boys helped me wrap it up for the flight back to Costa (thanks Kody and Tristan). Hopefully I can get it through customs without damage or incident. I give myself a 32% chance of success, but hey, I’m an optimist.

I said goodbye to all my friends in Hood River. I’m a narrow and deep type of person. I don’t have a lot of close friends, but I love and value the ones I have. I had an especially fun night hanging out with Maui and his beautiful family. Maui wasn’t holding anything back with the wine. We drank a L’Ecole Cab, something in the middle which I can’t remember,  and then finished on a Napa Valley Frogs Leap. Then at the end of the night that crazy man gave me a can of Rainier beer. Now that’s a baller!

The research for our next vehicle is pretty much complete. We’ve received well over 50 emails from people offering all kinds of suggestions. Many have pointed out that our Sprinter would make it just fine. You’re right. And yes, people have done the drive in old VW busses and vintage cars, but thats just not how Sprinter Life rolls. Buying a vehicle on every continent was another suggestion. But our decision has to consider several important variables. We plan to be on the road for years, not months. So for sanity sake, we really want a place we can call home. We plan to have a kid so we need more room than the Sprinter. We want it to be fully self contained and able to operate completely off the grid. We want a safe all-terrain vehicle. After driving in these insane countries with no traffic laws I want my family in a TANK. And we want the vehicle to have a huge worldwide dealer network. Oh yeah, and Stevie says it has to have hot water and a shoe rack.

I’ve ruled out a truck camper because I just can’t fathom driving across remote far-away countries in a Ford. “Built Ford Tough” is an oxymoron. I attended the NW Sprinter Convention and also ruled out another van. I really like the 4×4 converted Sprinters (shown above), but those things are super custom and not easy to fix. The full RV Sprinters have room, but not enough ground clearance or durability. So I narrowed down our dream home to a Mercedes Benz Unimog U-500, hopefully built by Global Expedition Vehicles. This vehicle is only 2 ft longer and 1.5 ft wider than our van, but it has soooo much more room. But these things aren’t cheap, and therein lies our crux. We just need to somehow manifest it.  Let’s make it happen. I believe! I believe! TREE

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  1. How many bottles of wine did you take back exactly??? Have you checked out the wine selection in Costa Rica. You're getting to a point where you should be able to get good south american wine. Chile and Argentina. Check it out.

  2. mamatuyas says:

    It was soooooooo wonderful having you and Adam here in Seattle Tree.
    Can't wait til August to see Stevie too!

  3. coydogsf says:

    Where there's a TREE, there's a way.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just keep selling those kayaks!

  5. Yeah . . . . . ummmmmm . . .. how many kayaks equal a Unimog?

  6. Adventurouspirits says:

    Congratulations on your new home away from home! now get out there and explore the world.
    Safe travels always
    Janet and Tom

  7. Hi Janet and Tom,
    Well, its not ours yet. We still have to come up with the money!
    I hear you guys are on the east side? We're coming over. Lets hook up.

  8. Damn, that 4×4 sprinter is wicked. I need one of those!

  9. ha. very nice.

  10. Anonymous says:

    stevie is a marketing genius. why don't you get a corporate sponsor? i'm surprised this is an issue. what about a sponsor from the manufacturer of the top model? get a the best of the best to just document it on their website. hell, i'll give it a shot for my 15%.
    love terri williams

  11. Happy Birthday Tree! For those of you who dont know Tree is turning 40 today.
    SUCKA! See you in August old man. (if you dont break a hip)

  12. I'm 37 A-hole. And leave your diseases in Cali the next time you visit Oregon. The people up there are pure. TREE

  13. Tree I suggested to Stevie before that you two sign up to be on The amazing Race. I see that prize money now and the prefect Travel vehicle in your future. I for one think you would be a shoe in.

    Hope we can see you both when you come back this way!
    Love Aunt Deb

  14. Chris Davenport says:

    That unimog looks like something else. I was reading up on some of the features. You could go just about anywhere in one of those things. An upgrade from a sprinter. Hope you guys can work it out. If not, at least you have a great van.

  15. Hi Aunt Deb – The amazing Race sounds like a blast to me but I don't think Stevie would go for it. She already feels like I'm always racing around as is. We will be in Oregon the month of august. You guys interested in coming down for a weekend of wine tasting?

  16. Make also sure you get a bunch of firearms and maybe a security guide if you go with this recidivous expensive mog. I wouldn't feel very save with that in a lot of areas we traveled in Africa.
    Also a friend of ours came along on a trip with this Fuso truck and while we went EVERYWHERE with our Nissan Patrol, he had to stay behind quite a few times due the size and weight of his rig.
    Just my 2 cents

  17. Hey Alfons,
    The Nissan Patrol is a sic rig. We've got friends on the Pan American who are driving one.They're dope. But not for living in. I've been living on the road for years bro. I started in a Datsun 200 SX when I was 17 years old. After that I moved into a 2 wheel drive toyota truck with a camper shell. Next was the Ford Econoline, followed by a Ford F350, followed by a converted Chevy Express van, followed by a Sprinter. It's always a give and take when selecting a home on wheels. With our goals, I think the Mog will be great. If not, at least they hold their value and we'll just sell it.

    Under any case scenario, would you be interested in being Sprinter Life's personal security guide? Carrying guns is too scary. I don't like the loud noise they make.

  18. Hey Tree. I'll be your personal security. Sign me up. I'll take a bullet for you if you take me with you

  19. Logan & Brianna says:

    A beastly, bulging 4WD RV. NICE!!!

  20. Logan & Brianna says:

    A beastly, bulging 4WD RV. NICE!!!

  21. How important is the 4 wheel drive in your travels? Have you been held back in the sprinter?

  22. Miin and Niel, Made of Love says:

    Unimog looks awesome!

    Is there a reason you aren't considering the EarthCruiser (that is now a dream of ours, thanks to you guys!).. I am interested to know why you're choosing the UniMog over that vehicle.

    You and Stevie are so awesome, I hope we get to meet each other somewhere along this long South American road journey, and share some thoughts, raw food and giggles.

    Peace, love and Awesomeness!

  23. Hi Miin and Niel
    We love the writing on your blog! We're looking forward to connecting with you guys in South America. It will happen.
    When we get together I'll fill you in on the Earth Cruiser.

  24. A man does not know everything. He doesn't try. He likes what other men know. Feliz Cumpleaños Mi Querido Hijo.

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