Hello! We're 2 Vegans and a VanFreedom Seekers & Outdoor Enthusiasts
Oh hi! I’m J Bird. I received my adventure name from Baby Bear through my strong connection with birds, including my two special needs rescued cockatoos. Since I was a young child, I have always had a passion for being outdoors and exploring my inner instincts as an animal of the Earth. I was always fascinated with the idea of living in the wild without access to grocery stores and other modern conveniences. For the majority of my life so far, I was very motivated and driven to make a difference in the world. I finished high school when I was 13 and then started college at the age of 14, the same year I committed to a vegan lifestyle. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in integrative biology through the University of South Florida and a Master of Arts degree in humane education through the Institute for Humane Education, accredited by Valparaiso University. I have embraced the learning experiences of over 20 different miscellaneous jobs and have been an entrepreneur/volunteer for the last 5 years as an event coordinator for several different non-profit organizations. I am now excitedly pursuing my lifelong dream of being houseless and making my home wherever I travel.
- I’m a passionate rock climber and am known for climbing backwards (with my back facing the wall).
- I’ve been vegetarian since the age of 5 after making the connection between the meat my parents put on my plate and my best friend, Arnie (a potbellied pig I grew up with).
- I’m a certified SCUBA diver.
- I lived in Costa Rica for a short period of time at a national wildlife refuge.
- I lived out of my Toyota Corolla for 10 months.
- I retired with $110 left in my account before the age of 30…
Hi! I’m Baby Bear and I was given my name by J Bird after revealing to her a dream where I had experienced a deep connection to a mother bear and her cubs. In this dream, I was consumed by strong feelings of fear and intimidation in the presence of the large black bear with her babies. My eyes were drawn into hers and to my surprise, I was welcomed with warmth and acceptance into her family. My attitude shifted to feelings of exhilaration, joy, and being truly alive. The connection I shared with this mother bear was symbolic of transitioning from a traditional life of modern conveniences to living a wild life in the woods. For the past 7 years before hiking the Appalachian Trail, I was a collision repair technician for BMW, working your traditional 8-5 job with a structured routine. Leaving everything I knew behind, selling my car, and getting rid of almost everything I owned, was intimidating and a bit frightening to say the least. But I am now overwhelmed by the freedom and excitement my new life has offered to me. I have discovered a passion to educate others about what it means to live a meaningful life. I am a public speaker, professional emcee, and aspiring life coach/personal trainer for rock climbing.
How We Became Full-Time Travelers
When we tell people we want to travel the country and live in a van, we get some pretty interesting reactions. Some people probably think we’re nuts and others may believe we’re filthy rich and don’t have to worry about making a living. We may be nuts (and we enjoy eating them) and we do consider ourselves rich–in love and life experiences. The money thing is a work in progress… But that’s the beauty of van life. Minimal living with a minimal budget requires minimal income. Five years ago, we created a five year plan to quit our jobs, build out a camper van, hike the Appalachian Trail, and then move into the van to become full-time explorers. Can you believe we actually made it happen?! How? Follow our blog to learn the steps we took to shaping our adventure lifestyle, so you too can live a healthy, fulfilling life of ultimate freedom and exploration.
Adventure, Foraging, Travel, and Food Blog
Day 13 - April 2, 2020, A Story of Our Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Another first for J Bird and I... sleeping in an igloo! Okay, so we didn't actually sleep inside of an igloo. An igloo would likely have been warmer than our tent. We woke up to bright beams of...
Day 12 - April 1, 2020, A Story of Our Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike April Fools Day! We set out on the Appalachian Trail on March 21st, just a couple days after the first day of spring. We thought it would get warmer as the days passed. As we awoke to what was most...
Plant: Lamium purpureum, Purple Dead-NettleHave you heard the song "Purple People Eater?" We felt like this was an appropriate title for this plant because it's scientific name translates in Greek to "the devouring purple monster." Although it certainly doesn't sound...