Welcome! We are the Nachtigals (established 2015) and we are happy that this website even exists because that means we have started traveling. I can not tell you how long we have been talking about long term traveling (actually I can, it has been since we met in 2010) and we are so relieved to stop talking, and start doing.
Here is the obligatory back story.
Eric, who is originally from New Jersey, has always had one main goal in life, and that was to do what makes him happy. Having time to learn about changing interests and the freedom to explore whatever peaks his curiosity was the draw that lead him to 'vagabonding' as a viable option. Combine that with a strong pull towards outdoor exploration and you get a very long camping trip.
I, Natalie, have always been plagued by the realization that there are too many lives to live. Born and raised in Florida, after collage I had a strong desire to leave my home state and live one of those other lives. The only problem was I had accidentally fallen in love with Eric, who I met in my last year at the University of Central Florida.
I left the state of Florida anyway, and we pursued a long distance relationship while I explored New Mexico working for the Student Conservation Association.
Eric graduated UCF the following year and moved to Texas, where soon after I joined him and we quickly realized Texas was not our forever home.
Travel had always been a discussion, but we knew we couldn't get too far without a bit of resources to get us started, so we devoted the next five years to saving and planning. When we first moved to California, we almost gave up the idea of leaving it all behind and being dirtbags because we liked the area so much, but as time went on, that started grating on us too (along with impossible cost of living, holy crap!)
Here comes the cliché part. We decided to quit our jobs and sell most of our belongings for a life on the road. We already had a Toyota Tacoma (named Fiona) and so we built out the back of the bed for storage and sorted out all of our gear to form what is now our mobile home. (more details under our 'truck' tab). At this point, we will hopefully be traveling North America for two years, but really it depends on how much we like it and how long we can stretch our budget.
We have no hard rules or expectations. We will be adjusting what we do as we go, including our destinations, our length of time traveling, how we travel and when we stop. If we end up hating it in 3 month, we gave ourselves permission change. It is all about freedom to choose the life we want. At this time, that life it is to camp around North America looking for our next place of residence, actively learning about what interests us, and exploring the beautiful landscapes along the way.
Read if you wish, this blog will mostly be a catalog of our travels for our memory's sake, and to better record our thoughts on an area to live or visit again in the future.