Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

A list of all the things we are thankful this past year

Thanksgiving is a time where we all, hopefully, are surrounded by those we love and care about. Family and friends gather to share a lavish meal and enjoy each other’s company.

We always speak of being thankful for our friends and family, our jobs, and our health.

As RVers, campers, #vanlifers, nomads, etc. we cherish those same things as well. But as travelers, we might have a more extended list of things we will give thanks for this holiday season, especially today on Thanksgiving.

So much to be thankful for

As JK and Kim in the Camper, we individually and collectively want to share some of the many things we are thankful for during the past year. Ten years ago, five years ago even, this list would have been very different from what it is today.

Individually, over our lifetime, each of us has experienced some pretty incredible things. Kim, spending most of her working career in broadcasting before becoming a top REALTOR®, has lived in some pretty cool places and seen and experienced some amazing things in the locations she has traveled.

JK with his background as a photojournalist and broadcaster, has lived, worked, and traveled throughout the Western United States and even traveled to Argentina. He has witnessed and captured on film some amazing moments.

Sharing life’s blessings as a couple

As a couple we have had the opportunity to have lived and worked in California, Washington, Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. From these homebases, we have had the chance to visit some pretty awesome places.

As RVers, now van journeyers, we continue to have the privilege to travel and see more of what our beautiful country has to offer.

We love vehicle-based travel and adventures. No, we don’t partake in anything we’d call extreme adventures, but we feel adventurous, nonetheless.

John Amatt once said, “Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles in life.”

Taking a moment to reflect

The two of us took a few moments this week to think of all the things we are thankful for as it pertains to our van adventure life.

We don’t live fulltime in our van. We are what we consider “part time part timers” when it comes to van travel.

JK may have retired last November, but hasn’t slowed down when it comes to freelancing, content creating, client photography and headshots, or other creative projects.

Kim has not retired and continues to work full-time building her successful real estate business.

Getting away takes planning and creative scheduling to carve out a block of the calendar to hit the road.

But luckily, we were able to break away and experience some huge van journeys this past year. We hope we will be able to do more of that in the coming year.

Just some of the #vanlife things we are thankful for in 2022

(In no particular order)

  • Mountains
  • The Ocean
  • Being able to camp along the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico all during 2022
  • Newly paved and smooth highways and roadways
  • Sunshine
  • Having a great co-pilot and navigator named Kim
  • Seashells
  • Paths that are easy to hike
  • Emerald blue waters
  • Warm, soft sand
  • Flush toilets that are close to our campsite
  • Hot showers
  • Air Conditioning
  • Getting to step foot into Canada
  • Adventurous spouses
  • Our great traveling companions – our pups Willow and Tia
  • Finding a great new owner for Elvis the Vegas
  • Buying a 2019 Ford Transit high roof van
  • Our health that allows us to travel
  • Google Maps
  • Cards and coffee at camp in the van at night
  • Fall camping
  • Travel Apps
  • Gas mileage above 16 mpg (17.8 mpg on our trip to Florida!)
  • Camp oven-baked cinnamon rolls and pizza
  • Pour over coffee
  • Fire starters
  • Campfires that aren’t too smoky
  • Meeting other #vanlifers out on the road and seeing their rigs
  • A van that has allowed us nearly 10,000 miles of travel this year
  • Quick set-up and break-down of camp
  • No dumping and flushing black tanks
  • A wonderful home base to return to regroup and recharge (and do laundry!)
  • An abundance of local campgrounds to choose from for quick weekend camping getaways
  • Cool mornings sipping a steamy cup of coffee overlooking beautiful scenery
  • Traveling through and camping in 20 states during 2022
  • Level campsites!
  • The luxury of sleeping our own bed every night while on the road in the van
  • Having skills and abilities to build and convert the interior of our Ford Transit to suit our travel needs
  • God’s traveling mercies and protection every time we hit the road!
  • And you all!

Thank you for following our travel journeys this past year. We hope to see you at a campground somewhere in 2023!

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