From British Columbia to Costa Rica: A Q&A With the Dangerz

The Dangerz

 

Today, we bring you a very special post — the first in an ongoing series of interviews with other travelers, be they round-the-world trippers or digital nomads, who have inspired us and others to pursue an anti-9-to-5 lifestyle of long, slow travel.

Known to the Internet as the Dangerz, Bryan and Jen (above) saved their money and downsized their lives over a five-year period in order to embark on a 10-month overland trip from British Columbia to Costa Rica in a ’67 Volkwagen bus, which — I’d like to emphasize — had no windshield wipers!

Sounds crazy, right?

That’s exactly what we loved about this couple’s adventure along the Panamerican Highway.

Recently, Bryan took some time out to answer a few questions we had about their trip planning, long-term travel with a dog, and their future plans.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your backgrounds? 

Bryan is an artist at heart but seldom got to use it — trained in architecture, hired as a graphic designer but then spent the next 15 years traveling way too much and doing sales/marketing/client management. He’s the thinker, the worrier, but looking to live life through Jen’s eyes for a while.

Jen was a numbers girl at work (but you’d never know it). She worked for several top name retail sports/apparel companies and basically told them how much of what to buy. She’s the hippy at heart, never worries about anything, always smiling and always meeting new people. She’s the driving force behind the trip.

We were both good at our jobs, but something never quite seemed right. We never had enough time together, and we never had the time or energy to chase our true creative souls.

We always wondered why we couldn’t just “be normal” and go through life with everyone else rather than always searching and wondering what else was out there.

 

How far in advance did you begin preparing for the trip and where did the idea for it come from?

Jen wanted to run away as long as I’ve known her. She’s a hippy at heart and its always been easy for her to simply say “let’s leave it all behind.” I was more stuck on the “how’s” of finances and retirement, etc. Society had a firm grasp on me, and I couldn’t see how it was possible to leave and not regret it later (despite the fact I knew we’d have a great time).

I was sitting in a doctor’s office one day when he asked if I had ever been warned about high blood pressure. I wasn’t there yet, but one positive test is an indicator of things to come. I went home and said I was ready. We started planning that day.

It took us 5 years of downsizing, paying off debt, and saving money to leave. It was important to us (mainly me) that we weren’t just taking a vacation, but that we would buy ourselves enough freedom to see things from the other side, or possibly even not have to return. If we decided to rejoin society, we wanted to make sure it would be by choice and that we never felt like we were running back on our last dime and with our tail between our legs.

We likely overprepared…but so far its totally been worth it! (more…)