“I had to stop and ended up taking pictures for about an hour

canada goose This Woman Ditched Her Job And Apartment For The Ultimate Road Trip Jill Krasny Jun. 11 canada goose jacket on sale , 2012, 3:51 PM Image courtesy of Jessica SpauldingWaking up in a Walmart parking lot, Jessica Spaulding, 31, knew her life was headed in the right direction. Spaulding wasn’t homeless. She was a van dweller—someone who ditches their home, job and most belongings to live on the road. “It wasn’t a reactionary thing against the man,” she told BI. “I just did it because it was fun.” Spaulding’s blog A Year In A Car For No Apparent Reason has been featured in the New York Times. We got some pictures and let her share her incredible story. 1/ Five years ago, Spaulding was a newly-minted grad working at prestigious LA stations like KCRW, NPR and Clear Channel. While it sounded great on paper, she was bored. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 2/ “I knew where I wanted to go with my career, but the volunteer position I wanted was in San Diego,” she said. Soon she got the job and was commuting for hours on end. “I started sleeping in a car in a campground off Malibu beach, 40 minutes from the LA station,” she said. Flickr / Ordinary Grace 3/ After the volunteer gig ended, Spaulding wrote about “van dwelling” for a class. “I interviewed people who’d done it and felt inspired,” she said. “Between moving apartments I did it again for two weeks straight, and that’s what told me I could do this.” Flickr / Rob Ketcherside 4/ Spaulding came up with a plan. In a few months she’d save up enough to quit her job and then go on the ultimate road trip. She’d also ditch her apartment to save $950/month. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 5/ Saving came easy to Spaulding, who was raised middle class in San Diego. “I grew up conscientious of a budget,” she said, adding that she worked for so many stations she barely had time to spend money. She also wasn’t worried about her career. “I knew the places I’d worked for would take me back.” Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 6/ To pack, Spaulding followed the “two-week” rule. “If you don’t need something for your apartment that long, don’t bring it,” she said. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 7/ After taking a few more short trips (and showering in the gym) “to get a feel for it”, Spaulding hit the road. On April 16, 2007 she bought a new Prius, her last day at work was June 30 and then she quit her second job in October. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 8/ Reactions were mixed. “Post-grads usually go to Europe, but traveling on your own in the U.S. is unusual. I’ve never figured out why that’s different,” Spaulding said. “A lot of Americans feel the way too—one coworker complained there was nothing to see here—but I think it’s partially people just not getting out there.” Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 9/ Spaulding had the safety bases covered. “I’d usually sleep in decent neighborhoods,” she said. “I had a Prius so I fit in. I’d usually sleep in grocery store parking lots or someplace with a lot of cars, where I could fit in and not look out of place.” Flickr / raelb 10/ Some cities were fine by it, and others not so much. “It’s against the law in LA, but Venice Beach and San Diego are pretty friendly,” Spaulding said. “Tuscon’s totally unfriendly.” Flickr / Roadsidepictures 11/ Still, Spaulding made friends everywhere she went. “I was quieter and less outgoing before, but traveling and being in unfamiliar situations made me much more willing to try new things and have confidence in myself that things would work out,” she said. Here’s a shot of the Grand Geyser, where Spaulding met a group of “geyser gazers.” Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 12/ Here’s the first place Spaulding stayed on the road, Juan Bautista de Anza Campsite. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 13/ This shot of the Hood Canal Bridge was taken driving from Olympic National Park to Seattle. “I had to stop and ended up taking pictures for about an hour chinese-sharpei ,” said Spaulding. “Big win in my mind for slow travel.” Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 14/ “One of the things I like most about slow travel is getting to discover wonderful places that aren’t well outside the area,” she said. A stranger directed her to the Basque de Apache National Wildlife Reserve. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 15/ “While traveling I started a little project of stopping at every rest stop along the major highways trying to take a good (and different) picture at every one.” Utah, pictured here, was one of the easiest. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 16/ “It wasn’t a ‘money is bad’ attitude. I just did it because it was fun, not because I felt like society was turning us into cookie-cutter cogs in the machine,” she said. Here she is biking in the Rockies. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 17/ Spaulding loved van dwelling so much she stayed on the road five years. She worked in between to stay afloat financially. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 18/ Two years ago, she began pursuing her masters in accounting. She moved in with her parents to dodge rent and traveled less frequently. Flickr / Thomas Hawk 19/ Today, she’s a CPA and lives happily with her boyfriend in Seattle. This shot is from kayaking down the Green River near Colorado’s Flaming Gorge Recreational Area. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 20/ “There was stuff I missed about living in the same place and being able to find a routine,” she said. But “hopefully I’ll save up and get ready to travel again.” We’ll leave you with Point Reyes Boat. Image courtesy of Jessica Spaulding 21/ Sometimes the best adventures happen closer to home. Image courtesy of Joel Allen See how this poor carpenter built an incredible treehouse in the wilds of Canada > Previous 1/ Next canada goose parka