On the road with Vanessa and Marisa from The Roamans
There are people who travel the road for a vacation, and then there are those who do it because it’s who they are. Vanessa and Marisa of The Roamans fall into the latter category; the road is inextricably stitched into their life together, transporting them, teaching them, and inspiring them. On the road for a year now, the two have established a beautiful home for themselves – and their dogs, Spike and Penny – in Maude, their 2007 Itasca Navion. Rova spoke with the Roamans to get their take on why, for them, a life on the road is a life best lived.
How would you describe your full-time RV life in three words?
Spontaneous. Intentional. Inspiring.
Where are you now?
Right now, as our fingers type these very words, we’re in Chicago, IL. We’ll be here for the next week or so doing some extreme Maude mods. Every so often, we like to hunker down and add some more functionality to Maude in order to improve our experience and exploration while on the road. For example, we just got a scooter which we are THRILLED about. No more lugging Maude around with us everywhere we go. She’s pretty stoked about that, too. She is almost 10, after all.
What does home mean to you?
Wherever we are together feels like home. I know that sounds too ‘awww, so cute!’ But really it’s true. We can park in the middle of nowhere, but as long as we have each other, it just feels like home.
You travel to live a mindful and authentic life. What are some day-to-day things that you do to ensure that you’re keeping that mission front and center?
We’re led by intuition and heart. They have this awkward symbiotic relationship. We make decisions based on truthful consideration and genuine interest. You know when something feels right, because it stirs passion in your soul. So whenever we’re in a place, or doing something that doesn’t speak to our most authentic selves, we kick it to the curb and move on.
What about Spike and Penny? How do they live their true lives?
As long as Penny has a comfy bed and a blanket to burrow into, she’s solid. But she does also enjoy a good hike or two, even if we have to carry her half of the way because her old-lady legs get tired. She’s actually entered the retired phase of life, so this is pretty much what she imagined she’d be doing after 10 anyway. As for Spike, when in transit, he practices the art of balance by standing up in the rig, so we’re pretty sure he’s secretly training to impress us with his out-of-left-field surfing skills. Which is great, because good kibble isn’t cheap these days.
What is the very best thing that’s happened to you in your travels?
We’ve been very lucky to connect with a lot of new people while out traveling. We’ve expanded our social circle tremendously with those who share in our intentional mindset, and ultimately turned strangers into friends simply by connecting through a love of exploration and non-conventional living.
How about the very worst thing?
In the beginning, we forgot to lock a cabinet door and sent all of our dishes shattering to the ground during transit. To this day, we still haven’t really replaced any of it. Also, our refrigerator broke the very first month of being on the road, so that’s been fun. But if we can count these things on the “worst” list, then I’d say we’re pretty darn fortunate.
Do you have a particular stretch of road that you like to drive?
Driving through the southwest states was our favorite. There is so much beauty in those jagged mountains and vivid sunsets. Some of our best pictures came from those desert-bordered roads.
What is your go-to road trip karaoke song?
George Michael, ‘Father Figure’. Sounds pretty strange, but one day we were listening to the song, really listening, and the line ‘put your tiny hand in mine’ just had us cracking up. Truly losing it, imagining someone putting their unfathomably tiny hand in a regular-sized hand and it looking so awkward. So now, we jam out to the song often, and even in our day-to-day life, one of us will put their hand out, and the other will scrunch up their hand and try and fit it into the other. We’re pretty weird, but it makes us smile.