June 15, 2016

A Home Anywhere: Life On the Road with Andy Best

From #thebreatheproject to countless other creative endeavors, Andy and Erica Best have traded life behind a desk for a thrilling life on the road.

Morning tea in hand, the door swings open and I stare down yet another new landscape. The sun peeks in, and I’m at peace. Slowly stepping into the fresh air as the dogs scramble to get out, I think to myself that this camper is our teleportation device.

Every time the door opens, it’s like I’ve been whisked away into a new unknown. After a few deep breaths, we load up and head east.

Andy and Erica Best with dog

Let me rewind some. My wife, Erica, and I needed a change. We wanted to disconnect from the expected and set sail into the uncomfortable.

We were on a weekend hiking trip when I looked at her and said, “E, what’s tying us to Portland? Isn’t there a world out there for us to explore? And isn’t the time now to break free, simplify, and immerse ourselves in what we love the most?”

Without hesitation, she smiled and replied, “Most definitely!”

I’ll never forget that moment.

I’ve taken leaps of faith before, but not like this one. I was about to get rid of it all. Could I manage? Would I be successful? I guess it really didn’t matter because we decided to take the plunge. Together.

Andy Best on the horizon

It felt as though a weight was lifted off my shoulders, but at the same time, there was still that anxiety skydivers feel right before they jump from a plane. Still, it was on and there was no turning back. The impulsive and extremely impatient voice in my head drove us to quick action. We acquired the camper and planned our exit date.

Before long, I was sleeping in the camper every night just outside the house to get used to our new life. We gave our 30­ day notice to our landlord and began dumping our belongings at the local thrift stores. Then the day finally came. It was my 30th birthday and we turned in the keys and hit the road!AndyBest_GTX_Blog1_14

Our first stop was an RV park only a half ­hour north of our old home on Interstate ­­5 in Washington. I had a pressing project deadline and needed to wrap it up before truly setting sail on our new adventure. To make it even better, it was a glorious gift on my birthday!

Living on the road changes a person. The music blares with the wind ­blowing­ through ­the ­hair kind of moments. We went from the expected to the unexpected, as the miles of road stretched behind us.

Andy Best

From blissful moments like dancing at the edge of a cliff and watching the stars streak by to documenting new trails in foreign lands, we were transfixed by our new life. We became re-energized by the ability to live and work from anywhere.

And there were challenging times, such as a mini waterfall flowing out the camper door because I forgot to turn the water pump off before we drove a hundred miles down a washboard infested dirt road.

However, from the best times to the worst, it didn’t matter. The process is what changes a person and through our journey and all of our experiences thus far, I can definitely say I am not the same man I was when we set out on this endeavor.

It’s been nearly a year and after 80,000 camper miles, 12 states, three provinces, six countries, and a lot of sleepless nights, we’re driving toward Colorado as I sit and write this.

Andy Best working

The scenery moves past my eyes mile by mile. I am philosophical and nostalgic. The road always makes me this way. It’s not because of the things I’ve seen or the people I’ve met. It’s because each day out here opens my eyes wider. I become aware of how small this world really is, and how unexpectedly beautiful any given time or place has been. It’s continuous affirmation I am on the right path.

Andy Best camper

My playlist is attached to every memory I’ve had along the way. My favorite song, “Journey Through the Past” by Neil Young, has been part of the soundtrack to every pivotal moment of my life on the road. Every sunrise, winding path, new encounter, and choice echoes that tune. Every shared meal, open door, new horizon, and all the wonderful people we’ve met along the way. It’s all music to my ears.

Erica Best on cliff

We have loved every day of this adventure and we’ll continue looking out the camper door at that new landscape as the dogs scramble to get out the door. And those deep breaths will power our mind, body and soul with the stoke to hike that next mountain range, and give us the courage to plunge in that ice cold lake, or perhaps allow the uncomfortable moments to propel us forward on this journey we call our life. This is when we feel the most alive and grateful we have a home anywhere.

To get a glimpse of Andy’s life on the road in action check out #thebreatheproject:

 

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