how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Who am I?

My name is Jason and people approach me all the time: Tell me what I need to know right now! Show me the way. How can I travel like you? Prove to me I can trust you. I want a new life. Help me! To see any value in my advice concerning travel and living the Vanabode lifestyle you may find it important to know a little about me. I am sure you want to know who I am before considering my opinion. Here's a short biography covering some of the biggest events that have shaped my life. You will have to learn about my character through my writing, but what follows will give you a little history on the external events that have affected me one way or another. Pictures first Daughter and Wife - Shortie - Fat to Skinny - Lake Powell Mud Fight - Kids Wife and I - When I looked Like a Girl

Early years - born oldest of three boys, raised in Florida by poor parents, nearly died of severe bronchial asthma during the age range of 5 to 12. The other kids I took physician prescribed injections with did die as children never making it to even their teen years.

Picture of lake isabella california, one of thousands of places to camp and  live for free in the United States if you follow the Vanabode lifestyle

Picture above shows Lake Isabella California, one of thousands of places to camp and live for free in the United States if you follow the Vanabode lifestyle.

Mom - My Mom loved us, lead us spiritually, took good care of us, and now lives in a nice lakefront home in Florida. My Mom is fun, generous, protective, and a fantastic parent. I saw her and my Dad have a lot of fun together and they loved each other. However they did not get along very well. I think my sympathy for others came from watching her struggle in her marriage to my Dad and suffer a great bit. My brothers and I were sick when we found out later as adults the way she was treated and the extent of some of the things that happened. My Mom loves animals and imparted that joy to me as well - see Bugsy the Rabbit. As of this writing she has one dog, three cats, and nine birds plus a flock of wild ducks that come by daily.

Dad - My Dad loved us, took us camping, moved us at least once every year for 15 years, (which may be where I got the interest in living in a motorhome and van traveling all over the US camping for 22+ years). He loved my Mom and I remember many times hearing them laughing and giggling in the middle of the night when I got up to use the bathroom. I also remember when I used to suffocate at night from asthma and he would be up for hours praying for me bedside. However, he emotionally and mentally abused my Mom off and on for nearly 15 years of their 22 year marriage all the while hating himself, and abandoned us often. When I was 12ish I remember hiding under my bed with a neighbor child and seeing the police arrive, they opened the door and I caught a glimpse of my Dad squatting on the floor with his pistol against his temple. Thank God he did not kill himself. He finished out his life Vanaboding and is part of the inspiration for my book. I love him and miss him because he really struggled and tried to be good despite his horrible upbringing. As a child his father was forced to fight grown men for money. My Grandfather got beat so badly once that my Fathers Grandfather thought him dead and buried him alive in the back yard. Later my Grandfather came out of the earth, walked in the front door, and was told by my Grandmother to "get a bath". My Dad was milking cows in Okeechobee Florida each morning before school to make lunch money at age 6, later he quit high school, ran away from home, camped in the backwoods of Florida for two years, then joined the Navy at age 17 and served 4 years. I loved my Dad and had so many great times with him. He died in church while we were in Florida visiting in 2008. I had not seen him in 18 months but he was having a great time living out of his van. Obviously he was ahead of me in the Vanabode lifestyle. I wrote and delivered a eulogy for my dad at his funeral where I reveal even more of the cool things he did to enliven and inspire.

Marriage - Married at age 18, had three great kids, divorced 10 years later. Married Kelly in 1995.

Work - worked for 23 years from 1982 until 2005 in many different kinds of boring jobs. A few were fun. I worked as an artist, as a carpenter, as a car salesman, and as a printing salesman. I also drove a tractor trailer, and worked as a yacht designer for Sea Ray Boats. My last real job was working for Kennedy Space Center in Florida as a NASA web developer (see my name at the bottom).

Healing - God instantly miraculously healed me 3 times, of the asthma the doctors said would more than likely kill me, of boils on my feet as a teenager, and of a huge abscess tooth.

Self Employment - It took me two years part time to figure it out but once I got it going working from home became the single biggest economic blessing of my life. This affords me the time to pursue the writing of this book to help others, while still having time to maintain my relationships as a husband and father.

vanabode travel america on $20 a  day

Random things about me.

1. I love my wife and her long hair makes me smile when it blows every which way.

2. I love to eat so much that if I had my choice I would sit out back in my cactus garden or on the Vegas strip and watch people go by eating and sipping fine sangria all day.

3. I love my children Sarah, Joshua and Benjamin. They are lots of fun and the memories we have of camping and goofing off all over the United States together make me very happy when I am sad. We have traveled over 650,000 miles in everything from a tractor trailer, class A motorhome, Volkswagon fox wagon, class c motorhome, and now the sweetest deal of all; a van outfitted to Vanabode.

4. My favorite poem of all time =
What have I ever craved more than a woman’s arms?
  To be up half the night, talking, laughing, making love.
    Have I ever been closer to heaven?
      The bed becomes your church; you pass the collection plate
        back and forth until you’ve given too much.
          Then your poverty becomes your gift. Your tears; her tears…
             I mean when it’s right who can tell laughing from crying? - by Sy Syfransky

5. I love Indian food, Thai food, Kelly's cooking, French cuisine and Vietnamese food. I like the food so much I contemplated moving to India in the GOA region or Thailand.

6. I will be publishing my first book this year and hope I find the market hungry for it - Vanaboding "how to travel all over the United States doing anything they want on $20 a day"

7. Things I do not like about my home in Florida include noseeums, chiggers, white flies, mosquitoes, fire ants, roaches, sea lice, jelly fish, rain, hurricanes, cloudy overcast skies and zero nightlife. Things I do like are the beautiful oceans, rivers, lakes and boating, my relatives and friends.

8. It is a real treat to be married to someone that loves hanging out with you and doing most all the same things. Kelly and I regularly watch UFC, go to the movies, have church, eat out, go hiking, camping, jogging in the desert, mountain exploring, offroad biking, dancing, attend great music clubs, make fires in our firepit out back under the star studded super black desert sky, have dinner parties, play poker in Vegas, and enjoy my children.

9. I am 44 and now my eyesight has deteriorated, my face has scars from skin cancer removal, my hair is big, my joints ache after a long hike, I still eat too many sweets and fatty foods, I have braces because my teeth were caving in. Boo Hoo, Poor Me.

10. Nothing encourages me more than knowing when its all over for me I will be in Gods loving hands, protected and with a real future.

11. I like quality drinks like Mojitos, Tequila Rose, Rieslings, and Gold Schlager.

12. My favorite movies by genre include my favorite movie of all time True Romance and
Big Adventure" Films (films that suffer if not seen on the big screen) like Saving Private Ryan, Troy, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Legends of the Fall
Action - Swordfish, Die another day, Thomas crown affair, Bourne series, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, The Kingdom
Comedies - Something about Mary, Meet the Parents, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Tommy Boy, great outdoors, cable guy, swingers, Old School, Borat, The Big Lebowsky
Romance - Bed of Roses, Shall we dance, Return to me, the other sister, the notebook, beautiful girls
Monster movies - Exorcist (Scariest movie of all time), The Ring,
Animals attack people movies - Ghost in the darkness, Deep Blue Sea
Dramas - 25th Hour, Birth,
Foreign style films - I have seen 40+ and they are mostly pathetic except for these two, Monsoon Wedding, and Slumdog Millionaire
Family Fare (and still entertaining for adults) - Both "Babe pig" films, Both "Man from snowy river" films
Musical like films - Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Once
Interesting, creative over the top film making - Natural Born Killers, Kill Bill both volumes, Memento, Snatch, Kung Pao (spoof), Pulp Fiction, The Mask, Passion of the Christ
Movies that make me want to relocate - Mosquito coast, Beach, beyond Rangoon, swiss family robinson
Best acting in a movie by far - Hard Candy, Sling blade, Monster

13. Favorite Hollywood stars include Borat, Billy Bob Thorton, Fairuza Balk, Ellen Page, Patricia Arquete, Charlize Theron

14. I love vacationing in the desert where weather is predictably perfect nearly every day and the views are forever.

death valley image

Death Valley image © Ron Chapple Studios |

15. I dislike traffic, wasted time, depressed people, talkers but not doers, biting insects, damp camping, overpriced pathetic meals, and those in love with themselves and demanding constant attention.

16. I managed a graphic design studio for many years doing work in Florida for NASA, Cape Canaveral Port Authority, and the Florida Marlins before going back to college and getting a Computer Information Systems degree.

17. Coolest memory of my Grandma - The neighbor’s car rolled down their driveway and smacked my 70 year old grandma's car. They begged her not to call the insurance company. They said they would pay the $50 everyone agreed would fix the car out of pocket. They never did. I asked grandma what she was going to do about it and she replied… “I'm not going to do anything. It's worth $50 to see what kind of people they are.”

18. “The richest man is the one satisfied with the least” My philosophy on the greedy pursuit of wealth

19. The best pickup line I ever came up with -
“You don’t know what you want…........ you wanna know why?. . . . . .  Because I haven’t given it to you yet.”

20. Love outside God is so elusive: like grasping water in your hands.

21. The single biggest financial event in my life was discovering how to work from home and have the kind of freedom only rich people typically experience.

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