Zenvanz Founders Bryan and Jen Danger on Overcoming Fear and Living Your Dreams
It takes guts to leave a secure job and the familiarity of day-to-day life, but that’s exactly what Bryan and Jen Danger did when they left for Central America in their 1967 VW bus. The path less traveled has taken these two from the road to a New York Times featured tiny house conversion project in Portland, Oregon, to the Caribbean seas, where they currently call svKarma home. In this podcast from Overland Expo West, senior editor Ashley Giordano talks with the Dangerz about what it takes to make a big change.
Our journey began when we ran away from “normal” and our paying jobs in order to drive E, our 1967 VW bus slowly through Mexico and Central America for a few years. We tried to find ourselves by getting lost and hoped to see life through a lens that just wasn’t possible in the day to day grind. We didn’t know what to expect or where we would end up, but assumed it would be on a small beach somewhere warm.
Instead we found ourselves having an epiphany that ending our newfound freedom was no longer an option for us. Instead of continuing south and spending the rest of our savings living off-grid for another year we set out trying to make our new lifestyle more permanent.
We returned to and created a “home base” in Portand, OR that could serve as a jumping off point for our travels and a place for us to call home near those we love when we choose to be close to home. We converted our garage into a tiny home/adu for us to live in while someone else pays our mortgage… which in turn allows us to make decisions based upon happiness rather than money.
We then ended up traveling and living nomadically full-time in our 4×4 Sprinter Campervan and learned that it’s possible to survive off almost nothing but to enjoy life fully…even in the middle of an urban environment, mostly thanks to our “creative home use plan”.
Now, we’re embarking on an entirely new leap/adventure… and trying out life at sea. Yikes!
We bought a boat and are teaching ourselves to sail while island hopping through the caribbean. We have SO much more to learn but we are having an absolute blast in this new lifestyle direction!
We also love design projects, so we continue to offer small space design services to others looking to simplify, downsize or change their life for the better and in hopes that we can bring both our and their financial freedoms even closer. We also help others convert their van into their perfect adventurevan, by providing DIY campervan conversion kits. If you have a project we can help with or a dream you want to chase…let us know how we can help!
You can follow the Dangerz adventures below
Website – https://www.thedangerz.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/followthedangerz/
Instagram - @thedangerz
Expedition Portal had the opportunity to check out Zenvanz Custom Mercedes 144 Sprinter 4x4 Campervan Conversion.
Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. You can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or researching wild medicinal plants. Ashley is a co-founder of Women Overlanding the World and crew member of Expedition Overland. You’ll find this Canadian-born couple exploring a different continent in 2021, and sharing their trip every step of the way at Desk to Glory. @desktoglory_ash
Full show notes available Overland Journal Podcast
This episode sponsored in part by
Ashley Giordano 0:01
Hello and welcome to the overland journal podcast. This is Ashley, senior editor of Overland Journal and Expedition Portal and I'm here at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff Arizona hanging out in the Black Series trailer slash podcast vehicle. And I have two really special guest here today Brian and Jen Danger. I'm so excited to speak with you guys because you are one of the couples that inspired Richard and I to drive the Pan American Highway and we read your blog back in the day. You guys have traveled a lot, you have a lot of cool experiences and you've contributed to the community so much. So I'm so excited to have you guys, welcome!
Jen Danger 0:39
Thank you Ash!
Brian Danger 0:41
You're so sweet.
Scott Brady 0:43
And special thanks to 303 Sta-bil for supporting the Overland Journal Podcast. Rock crawling, incredible views and real people with a drive to leave the world better than they found it. It's all in a new documentary presented by 303 and Sta-bil. From the Ground Up: Keeping the Desert Clean tells the story of an Arizona nonprofit tackling the massive problems of illegal dumping on public lands. Watch and learn how a hobby can turn into a movement brought to you by brands driven to protect and preserve the things you love. From the Ground Up: Keeping the Desert Clean is available now on YouTube; search 303 products and subscribe today.
Ashley Giordano 1:23
You guys started in a 67 Volkswagen bus-
Jen Danger 1:27
Ashley Giordano 1:28
A Combi! And you redid the interior?
Brian Danger 1:30
A little bit.
Ashley Giordano 1:31
A little bit. And your background is in?
Brian Danger 1:34
Ashley Giordano 1:34
Right. So that influenced-
Jen Danger 1:36
Ashley Giordano 1:36
Architecture and design, perfect! And that influenced the interior...
Brian Danger 1:40
Ashley Giordano 1:40
A lot. How so?
Brian Danger 1:41
Well, it should have been simple, should have been easy.
Ashley Giordano 1:44
As it always should be!
Brian Danger 1:45
As it turns out, I don't do simple and easy very well! So we spent forever designing and forever building and at the point, to be fair, we were building with battery powered tools down an old dirt road in Vancouver, BC. And so we'd wait till five o'clock where we got off work and we'd run out as fast as we could and set up this ahorse we'll let the tool... and, you know, I think we got like an hour to an hour and a half before it got dark.
Jen Danger 1:45
Brian Danger 1:46
Or started raining.
Jen Danger 1:51
Brian Danger 1:51
So it took a long- I think a year and a half, maybe, our built took?
Jen Danger 2:10
We still had corporate jobs, so it was a side thing that we were building, something to escape in the future.
Ashley Giordano 2:19
Amazing, what were you doing- What were your corporate jobs?
Brian Danger 2:21
Do we have to talk about that? It sounds so dirty, jobs.
Ashley Giordano 2:25
Oh, yeah, no!
Matt Scott 2:26
Bri was a consultant for education, for software, for... He was pretty great at his job. I worked for outdoor brands, I was okay at my job, but I worked at really cool companies. So both of us had jobs that other people really kind of dream about, but we were not feeling it. We were looking for something different for us.
Ashley Giordano 2:51
And how did you decide that this project was the thing.
Brian Danger 2:55
That was all her, that was 100% her. I'm the type A, OCD, like I had to have the desk job and have the security and all. Luckily I fell in love with the Oregon hippie next door. And so she was all about the happiness and the freedom and running away. And I think we just got to the point where I actually thought she was gonna go without me if I didn't get busy and get ready to go.
Jen Danger 3:16
Brian Danger 3:16
Well, who knew at the time. So the design project for me, I think became the ideology or the vision of that future thing that meant we could go and I failed and we aborted a couple of times, but we finally pulled the trigger and said this is good enough, it'll work, and we're gonna go.
Jen Danger 3:31
It started as, "What if we just like quit our jobs and just go camping for like a year?" We chose Mexico because we'd been there a couple of times and Mexico's amazing. It's simple and it's easy and it's affordable. I mean, really that's where it started. We're like okay, let's do one year!
Brian Danger 3:49
But one year meant five years of planning and downsizing and purging belongings and saving money and- I mean it's funny we thought we were just trying to go do the vacation but honestly, looking back those were the years I think we did all the work that really made the difference, right? Those things, while they seemed insignificant, actually were the things that-
Ashley Giordano 4:07
Right! I think you see people on the road and you're like "Wow, that's so amazing," and "They're so free!" But you don't necessarily see all the preparation and the sweat and the hard work and the tears and everything that happens before that, because, you know, you're seeing the grand adventure.
Jen Danger 4:22
There was definitely a leap that we didn't know where we were going to end up we were like "Let's do this!" Without knowing how it's going to end up or work out or if we're going to like it even, maybe we want to stay in corporate America, working, but we didn't think we did but we are open to the fact that you know there is healthcare, there is community, that's what everyone else around us is doing, maybe that- let's just try this thing and then see where we feel at the end.
Brian Danger 4:54
I honestly thought it was horrible idea.
Ashley Giordano 4:55
What were the words of persuasion Jen?
Brian Danger 4:58
She's very convincing. Mostly thinking she was gonna go with somebody else, I think.
Jen Danger 5:02
No, I never said that, you felt that and I never felt that way!
Brian Danger 5:05
No i made that up, I made that up.
Jen Danger 5:06
The words of persuasion were nature, sunsets, sunrises; jump in the ocean.
Brian Danger 5:12
She's a very persuasive-
Ashley Giordano 5:13
She's persuading me right now! I'm like, "Um, yes!"
Brian Danger 5:17
I think at some point, I was so stubborn that I was like: "You know what, we'll just do what she wants, we'll save the money, we'll get ready, we'll go. And at the end of two years," because I think we thought we had saved enough for a year and a half to two years in Mexico where we know it's cheap, "...then I can actually say the words "I told you so" and that'll be so awesome." Turns out I mean, what was supposed to be your year and a half is now 10 years later, which is mind boggling. She was 100% right every time, and that's actually a little frustrating but we won't talk about that here, but every single time she was absolutely- it was, it's so amazing that once you make that hard leap for the right reasons of freedom and happiness and ocean and all those things, everything else just kind of starts to work out, right? There's these new things that I didn't know were possible, where suddenly we're more aware and opportunities are flying by that we were just too busy to notice before, much less to grab on to.
Jen Danger 6:08
As you like go after something that you are dreaming up that you think is in the silo, you realize other people are dreaming the same thing, or they have done the same thing, and it's incredible! Like, once you start going down that path, things start opening and you see things that were always there, but you didn't see them before. It's pretty incredible.
Ashley Giordano 6:32
Were there any people that you saw that were doing this that inspired you?
Brian Danger 6:36
Very, very few, Sadly. Yeah, I mean, social media wasn't really around yet. I guess there was some Facebook. I scoured looking for blogs, I mean, I was desperate for somebody to just say "It's okay and we survived." Like, that's all I need, I just need some kind of nugget. I think Bumfuzzle was maybe the one that was out there that had a blog. Oddly enough, you know, our first vehicle was a 67 Combee, they also had traveled in a Volkswagen. So we stumbled upon them at some point. Ironically enough, they also spend time in a boat, which we would get to later, I don't know if we'll have enough hours to get to that here...
Ashley Giordano 7:12
We will do it!
Brian Danger 7:13
And so they were like the one blog that we could find once we were on the road and we were looking for more detailed information about, say, border crossings and others, we started to find a few others. But I think you guys remember this story. I mean, we didn't know that overlanding was a word at the time, we didn't know that- van life didn't even exist as a hashtag. We just literally wanted freedom and the beaches of Mexico were our vision. And so we're like, "That's enough, and we'll do that!" And then somehow that turned into, you know, continuing south through Central America. And we're just going to keep driving and the "Wait, Darién Gap? Like what's a gap? We don't know what that is! I guess we're not going to drive all the way there." And so we just kept learning as we go, which I guess is all we really do. But no, there weren't much right there wasn't a lot. And to this day, I still feel, I guess, somehow indebted to Jen for freeing me and for saving my life, and so I still want to share and we don't really know what that is often because we hate microphones and cameras. But I do feel, somehow, like we have to still share that because when we left there just weren't. There weren't a lot of options for us to like, speak to or listen to or like go through hugs to and be like "Thank you for telling us it was okay! We're not gonna die!"
Ashley Giordano 8:26
Totally! I think one of the cool things about your blog is that I felt like it was- it is, not was, is very honest. And it was a very, like real world perspective, it wasn't glorified it was like, these are the emotions we're going through, this is what we're doing. These are the struggles we're having, these are the epic moments we're having. And we really- I remember being at home and Richard introduced me to it and we were both like, "This is really cool! This is a really real blog." This is like, we felt like we were with you, in a way, because it was like that. It was very honest and real. So yeah, it was very interesting.
Jen Danger 9:00
When Bri was writing the blog, it was- the idea of it was for us, when we're 70 years old, and our memories start starting to fail, and we're drinking iced tea on a front porch somewhere we can remember all the things that we experienced. That was the intention of the blog, because nobody really had blogs, they had blogs for their family or for, you know. It wasn't really a, like, "share it with the world" yet sort of time. I remember, like, when Bri said, "You know what, actually this is really therapeutic for me!" As I'm evolving, as I'm moving from this like super efficient lifestyle where it's all about productivity and what- you know, what's my next move and things like that, that sort of- that was the world that we lived in. Now it's like "Okay, I didn't have anything to do today but make sure that I ate and drink water and exercised. That was my day."
Brian Danger 9:54
It was the worst days. It was so stressful. Looking back back, it was just therapy. I didn't know at the time, but there are these things called journals. I could have just written in a journal and it would have been fine.
Jen Danger 10:06
Instead of posting?
Brian Danger 10:07
I didn't have to post it to the world, I don't really know why we did that!
Ashley Giordano 10:10
Thank you for doing so. No, I appreciate. That's great.
Brian Danger 10:15
Yeah, biggest regret ever, like, I don't- just write a journal Brian. It would've been so much better!
Jen Danger 10:19
You be you Brian, you be you.
Ashley Giordano 10:21
I love it. So the Combi, beautiful project. I want to know more about like how your design came together to form that project and what kind of materials you used and what was the vision and what was the inspiration for it because you guys got-
Brian Danger 10:36
Stupidity, mostly? I mean, we- what did we figure out? Maybe 69 square feet, the entire van much less the actual living quarters. And so we were like, "Oh, yeah, we're going to entertain and play games!" We had these visions of playing Catan with friends. And so we tried to build like a lounge that converted into it, and it was gonna be awesome, you know, but I didn't know any- we had never done any, right? We had slept in tents and backpacked, but that was it. Built it, and there wasn't enough time to redo it, we just had to go. And so we literally, we built it, we moved into it, put all the rest of our belongings, even after five years of downsizing, and right "Oops, there's no room for the dog, or us." And so we put it under a canopy and to get rid of half of that stuff that we thought was important. And then you know, the first night we made the bed I laid down and once I added the pillow, it was literally the dimensions of my body, there was not enough room, and that was with a cabinet that opens so my feet would stick into the cabinet. It just, there's nothing left in that. And so we lived for the next several years in that van with two of us and the 69 pound dog and we didn't fit, I mean, we didn't fit for one day. But we just made it work, right? When one of us rolled over the other one would have to have to roll over. One could sleep flat, the other had to be on their side. And both of us kind of just gave the dog whatever she wanted. We're like "Karma, you get it all. And we'll just be uncomfortable." I mean, it was horrible. All the things we thought were important were absolutely wrong. And, you know, we've redesigned not necessarily that van but all of our other vans so many times over the years. And it was all just based on what we did wrong the last time. And so we'd start over every time based upon what was wrong and you start to get better. But it was so bad. It was so bad.
Jen Danger 12:09
Well you say horrible but in the moment we were, like, feeling high as can be because we're like every day is an adventure. We're like reinventing ourselves literally trying to figure out what we want to do next with no agenda. Just how are we feeling checking in with ourselves. For me, it was pretty incredible. I felt free, really free, for the first time in maybe my entire life except for maybe when I was five or six and just playing with weeds and bumblebees. And you know, grasshoppers. Yeah, but Bri did go through an evolution, so...
Brian Danger 12:43
A couple of them. I asked Jen what her luxury item was, I think survivor was big at the time: "What's your one luxury item?" She's like, "I need Ice. I need a cup of ice cubes for a cocktail at the end of the day." And oddly enough, we've built several vans now around the idea of just having ice like, we have ice we're okay, we don't have ice we're not okay. Like that's our- that's the line right?
Ashley Giordano 13:06
What's your luxury item?
Brian Danger 13:08
Jen Danger 13:10
Brian Danger 13:11
I think Jen is my luxury item. Yeah, I don't know. I've never thought about it actually.
Ashley Giordano 13:15
Ah, yeah. Well, next time we see you.
Brian Danger 13:18
I mean, I would like to say Wi Fi, but we never have that. That's not clearly not the luxury item.
Jen Danger 13:23
That's the dream. That's the future.
Brian Danger 13:25
I'll get back to you.
Ashley Giordano 13:26
So how long did you spend on the road in your Combi?
Jen Danger 13:30
So we left Vancouver, BC and we did about a year and a half down to Panama. And then we decided to- or Costa Rica actually, we dipped in Panama but we left the van in Costa Rica. We flew home to Oregon to see some friends and we thought we'd spend a month and we realized we really love the Pacific Northwest. Our time in Mexico and Central America has been like transforming, we feel different. Our friends are having kids and we don't have kids.
Brian Danger 13:58
Jen Danger 13:59
Yeah. And our, you know, dogs being reunited with a dog that she grew up with and like silly things like that. We're drinking wine and playing games on front porches with our loved ones and we're like, oh, this is what's really fueling us right now.
Ashley Giordano 14:14
It changes. I think that's the cool thing about you guys is you've pivoted based on what feels right and I see that, so that felt like home to you.
Jen Danger 14:23
That is just 100% well said! So we had won an award for like being like nomadic for a really long time or whatever. And- but we're like, oh, this is crazy because what we want right now is to like be in this neighborhood where our loved ones are three blocks that way and two miles that way and we can walk- we are going to do that for a little bit. And following our heart, I think, came really easy for us because it sort of reinforced like- what we're looking for is happiness, peace, balance, joy, feel like we're really living our true self not like, do we have a goal to accomplish. Though we stayed in Oregon for about a year before we went back and got our bus and we brought it back to the Pacific Northwest.
Ashley Giordano 15:12
And did you have a big design project? Was that when that happened? Tell us about that.
Brian Danger 15:17
We, oddly enough, we rented a house because our house was rented out so we rented out- I say a house, a tiny condo, two blocks from home. And there's that weird feeling: "Wow, I'm in my neighborhood, and I got my friends, but I'm renting a home and I have no furniture, so it's like an inflatable mattress on the floor and two camp chairs!" And we walked by our house and see people there that are happy. And so one night we woke up and we're like, "Oh, my God, like our garage is completely unused so what if we just moved into the garage so they can keep paying the mortgage." And somehow that turned into realizing that's actually legal now and the world has changed and accessory dwelling units are a thing. And the idea was just pull the Combi in and have a toilet and a sink in the corner.
Jen Danger 15:55
And an oven so we could have nachos and pizza whenever we wanted.
Brian Danger 15:59
You do sell that! Very nice. And so it started very simply right, and we like we'd already spent most of our money driving south and so I spent the rest of that money building this garage out into kind of a tiny home, a place that- you know, at some point, we just realized we might have to live here until we're 90. Like if we don't find other jobs, like this is all we might get. And so the designer in me went kind of nuts and spent the rest of our travel money and built a home out of a 480 square foot garage.
Jen Danger 16:29
The shower had two shower heads and it was gigantic and it was so spa like and it's in this little tiny, itsy bitsy garage renovation, which is hilarious.
Brian Danger 16:40
It's funny how priorities change, you know, like, you don't get a real shower for two years and you're like, "Okay, dual shower heads, and 480 square feet!" Suddenly they seem important, but yeah, we did that and suddenly we're like, "Okay, now we have no money! We have to live here forever!" But then one of our neighbors was like:
Brian Danger, as Neighbor 16:54
"Have you heard of Airbnb?"
Brian Danger 16:56
"No, what's Airbnb?" So they coached us and we listed it and then oddly enough, it booked out and paid for our flight back to get the bus, right? And then we drove the bus home, but we didn't know what we're doing, so it kept booking. So when we got the bus back to Portland, months later, we had no home. And so oddly enough, we just spent all this time and money to build a home. And we're still living in our neighborhood. And so I don't know, it just it was a really interesting twist that happened. And then we somehow realized in the middle of that a little bot of money's a good idea, like, we need that. And we started planning our travel schedule around when people booked our garage, and why people wanted to book our garage I have no idea, it wasn't even finished yet but it just had a look and feel that I guess people wanted.
Ashley Giordano 17:36
Was that the one that won an award or was in a fancy magazine or something?
Brian Danger 17:40
It oddly got a little bit of media, yeah. I don't know how but he actually ended up in the New York Times.
Ashley Giordano 17:46
You're so hilarious, like, "I designed this thing, It's, yeah, I don't understand why people liked it. Oh, it was in the New York Times!"
Brian Danger 17:54
I appreciate that. It's funny. We do things because they make us happy, like that's it right? Just make decisions because at the time it's what we have to do, but it's weird how many of those things happen to fall into niches of other movements or ideologies that are habit?
Ashley Giordano 18:10
Do you think there was like a certain design aesthetic that led to that or because it was a tiny home that was designed in a certain way? You don't know?
Brian Danger 18:18
Honestly no idea, I mean, I would love to take full credit. I mean, yes, I have all these years of education, all these loans I had to pay off, it must be me, but no...
Jen Danger 18:25
I have an opinion. In this sense, Brian's a designer. He doesn't see it like the rest of us but in my perspective, Bri designed this super unusual, unique, industrial, rugged. It's a garage! You can work on your van or you can cook pasta. You can have a spa like shower or you can, you know, watch a football game or like whatever. I mean, it was really beautiful, cool, different than anything we'd ever seen. Weird people found it. Weird people. We are weird so we say weird in a very, like...
Brian Danger 19:01
A very positive way.
Jen Danger 19:02
A loving way.
Brian Danger 19:02
Those are our people.
Jen Danger 19:03
Yeah. Weird people found it weird, weird creative types found it. It won some awards, it got in some magazines and we were so stoked because we literally- Brian designed it and we built it for us and our lifestyle and what we thought would be... make us the happiest.
Ashley Giordano 19:21
People loved it!
Brian Danger 19:22
I mean, it turns out later on, this is a reoccurring theme. We have no idea what we're doing. We're very honest of the fact that we have no idea what we're doing, and we literally just designed something that is perfect for us, right? We don't care if it matters to anybody else, we just design what's going to make us happy and comfortable. But oddly enough, yeah, it seems to also resonate with other...
Ashley Giordano 19:43
Brian Danger 19:44
Let's go with like minded rather than weird, maybe, for a little while. But yeah, it just somehow resonated, and that has been very fortunate for us. I mean, it's helped us get over those humps where we don't know what's next, and we don't know we're doing it, and we don't know how we're going to pay for it. And so somehow this turned into- you know, we would put it on a Airbnb and let it rent out for three weeks a month and then we booked one week for us so we could be there and then we would travel the other three in our van. And we just decided to be at home but now we're like, "But that's kind of fun." We want to be traveling and exploring the Pacific Northwest, we've never done that before. And then the longer it went, the more we just let it book because I always needed a homebase. I think the thing I was missing throughout those therapy bog sessions that we're talking about, I think what was always missing was a home base. I needed it at a very deep level that I didn't understand, and once we built it, I was like, "Huh, I'm good. Yeah, let's travel again, like, let's just go." And so we just started actually traveling more and more, despite the fact that we just built a home base, which I will never understand but turns out, I have to understand we just go with it.
Ashley Giordano 20:40
So jumping a little bit ahead, then, you'll see we saw this happen again with your zen vans build, another great example.
Brian Danger 20:48
Yeah, I actually forgotten a lot of the details of this until today, when a lot of people came and ask questions. But we were still in the Combi, not so great in the northwest, you know, rains outside, rains inside, still breaking down every three days, which we had gotten used to. But we got a letter from our credit union that was like: "You guys are pre-approved for a car loan at 1%."
Jen Danger 21:08
But it has to be a brand new vehicle.
Brian Danger 21:10
And we're like, "We haven't had a check in like three years, like, what's wrong with you guys?" Those sprinters, those new sprinters, those look really good like you can stand up in them like modern man, and so we bought a new sprinter. What were we thinking? Like even as we drove it home with a hammock in the back, somebody's going to come repossess this because they're gonna find out that we do not have jobs.
Jen Danger 21:28
Backing up just a sec, Bri I was looking at- there were a lot of food carts in Portland, Seattle at the time, and there were these taco trucks that looked really big and beautiful and like we're like, "That's like three times as big as our Volkswagen. What if we got one of those and lived in those, you know, for a bit?" They were like, you know, four or five thousand dollars, and that doesn't seem like a lot of money but we didn't have that. So then the credit union was like, "But if you buy something new? It's like 1% interest!" Bri's like, "Let's get a big giant van. And let's design something really cool in it."
Ashley Giordano 22:01
Which you did!
Brian Danger 22:02
We did. We kind of kept doing the same thing, so we would design and build and then the designer in me was like, "No, that's not right!" And we'd rip it out and we'd rebuild and we keep doing it again and again. And so I think over the next two or three years, while we're living in it full time, essentially, because we needed the money from the Airbnb, and we wanted to travel so we're living in it full time, we're trying to build it, it's failing, we're changing things and eventually, I don't know the designer in me was just like: "There's got to be a better way," right? So rather than self tapping screws and turning the van into Swiss cheese, what if we just bolted things to factory holes, then I could rip it out 1000 times without damaging the van. And there was this epiphany like, "Oh, my goodness, that'd be awesome! We could do that!" And I believe at the same time, we got invited to come to Overland Expo, interesting place, to do this interview. They just want us to come speak as feature travelers. And you know, we'd already had this experience in Home Depot parking lots or campgrounds where we open the doors and people just gather around and they're like, "Can you help us? Can you do this?" And we kind of do the same thing with our garage, where we help neighbors do the same thing just because they saw it and they came in and, you know, we wanted to share the happiness and the freedom and the extra money. And so while we were here, people were begging and throwing checks at us and we're like, "We don't do that, we travel. We really like to travel." And eventually we just kind of started to break down and realize, "Wait, we kind of just turned this into a system that might work. Kind of started doing both, we were still building our van full time while living in it but we were also like, "But what if we made tweaks that would allow others to do the same thing and to start to travel and feel the freedom and happiness and all the things that we had fought so hard for."
Jen Danger 23:32
And I think one thing that we were super aware of when we had full time jobs and we were very busy all the time, we didn't have enough time to really think about what we really wanted in life. Now we had free time, Brian's able to be creative with different designs. One thing that we realized was really- we valued that was really important to us is how do we somehow share with other people that are too busy to really think about what they want to know that if you have time to think about what you want you can make what you want happen. If you can step back a little bit, be like "Oh man, I want to take six months off and travel to Africa!" Or, you know you, can do that you just have to like go for it.
Scott Brady 24:15
And a special thanks to moon fabrications for supporting this week's podcast MoonShade by Moon fabrications is the portable vehicle awning you've been waiting for. MoonShade is built to last, simple to set up, and ships with everything you need to mount the MoonShade to most vehicle styles without a drill right out of the box. With over 60 square feet of shade coverage and multiple setup configurations MoonShade is the ideal choice for rigs of all sizes. MoonShade only weighs eight pounds and shrinks down to the size of a yoga mat so you can pack more of what you need out on the trail. Visit Moonfab.com. That's m o o n f a b .com to place your order today. For the worst summer sun, treat yourself to the best! MoonShade has you covered! Thanks MoonShade!
Brian Danger 24:58
It is quite weird how you take the thing that, at least for me, was terrifying, right? Like for her, it was easy. It's like: "Eh, it's just happiness. We're just gonna quit our jobs! Money? Nobody needs it!"
Jen Danger 25:06
Super easy for me.
Brian Danger 25:08
And I just I think I just spent the last two hours like trying to convince two different couples to quit their jobs or find a way to keep their job and work remotely and run away. And every time I'm like, well, I'm literally just talking. I'm just talking as Super Jen right now, I'm just saying all the same things that she told me for years, and I didn't believe any of them and suddenly now, you know, we're 10 years in. It's so easy to take the other side and be like, Look, I know it's scary, I know you don't know the answers, you don't know what the way out is yet but it will be there, like, there is an option after you leave and if there's not, you can always go back.
Ashley Giordano 25:44
You can always go back!
Jen Danger 25:45
You can always go back, yeah.
Brian Danger 25:46
I was so terrified that we could never go back! Going back is so easy! Like you already have that thing you already know how to do those things, leaving is hard but going backs easy, you won't want to do it.
Jen Danger 25:57
Because you know what's going back, you know what that feels like, you know what that looks like. It might not be the same job in the same city, you know what the perks will be, you know, what the advantages will be, you know what the disadvantages will be. You can choose that and you can create that again for your life. But going into the unknown? That's the scary part! I mean, we're huge believers, like, it doesn't matter if you want to be in a Volkswagen or a Sprinter, or overland or on a boat or whatever, whatever you feel is gonna make you feel like you are living. "This is good. I am doing what I should be doing." Go do that, doesn't matter what it is just go do that.
Brian Danger 26:41
Yeah, it's funny that this is the part that, I think- once we learned what the word overland meant, we always felt like we didn't quite fit in even though we were doing it. Always been about "Just take whatever's in the driveway, just go like find a way to go, you can figure the rest out." But for us, it was so clear, right? We already had a van that most people would never choose to take, it broke down every three days, we didn't know how to fix it, everything was going wrong but we were happy. And somehow when we looked at the highway from the beach that we were camping on, we were getting passed on the Pan Am by like tricycles and Fiats and like people that- you shouldn't even have been trying to sleep in your vehicle, and they're passing us and we're coming back after going all the way south. I don't know, it somehow just drove that vision deeper and deeper and deeper, like it doesn't matter just find a way to take one step and the rest of the steps will help find you. I'm still not a trusting person, like I- this is really hard for me, like I'm not fully adopted and adapted yet, but it is amazing the ways that we, you know, we have had to continually reinvent ourselves over the last 10 years. But it is not without opportunities and ideas and things that also feed in and help along the way. Like somehow we don't have to just go from zero to a hundred, there's something that comes along and it's like, oh, you know, like a letter from your credit union? For example, I guess.
Ashley Giordano 27:54
Yeah. I'm curious, because you guys went from van travel and made the leap into sailing. And so there is another example of you, you know, leaf in the net will appear or the boat will appear or whatever. What was that transition like? And why did you choose to leave land for sea?
Brian Danger 28:12
Again, purely accidentally, as we do things, I think? So we had just decided to eventually not say no to helping other people build vans, we said yes. So we decided to make a couple of DIY kits and see if it was a business! That did not go according to plan at all, early on. And so we came to Expo and we we presented it and feedback was amazing and we got a lot of great free media. Again, people were thrilled, I mean, to watch people be excited about something you design and build is...
Ashley Giordano 28:41
Brian Danger 28:41
It never gets tiring, right? I mean, it's just magical. So we walked away with this long list, but then when we looked at each other, and we're like, hey, we have to finish these two out of three vans we just started and we're already exhausted. So I think all in we spent, I don't know, six months of 22 hour days just working on this project. And so when we really checked in with ourselves, and we're like, "Okay, what do we want to do, we got all these new clients," we want to run away because that's what we're good at. And so we just kind of got into our van-
Jen Danger 29:08
We want to go camping...
Brian Danger 29:09
And we just drove north, right?And like Alaska was always on the list and so we drove north through BC and Alberta and Northwest Territories into the Yukon, up the Dempster and got to the Arctic Circle and drove over to Alaska and we're like," Oh, my God, dream trip. This is amazing!" And every time we'd get back into cell range, we'd get like 20 calls that would pop in and we're like, I'm afraid to call them back because we just walked away like we don't know what this is yet. We have to find our balance. And somewhere along the way we I think, you know, Alaska is where we, you know, we always found ourselves kind of camping at marinas and on the ocean like we just were always drawn to the sea and we're at a campfire with the sky, It's midnight so the sun's still out in Alaska, we have our shades on. And he's just miserable. I mean, He's bitter. He's, he's mad and we're kind of checking in like, "Hey, man, like this is really great, isn't it?" He's like, "No, this is horrible. I'm a sailor I want to be on my boat." "Why arent you on your boat?" And he's like, "Well, I'm too old, my body's breaking down, I have to move on to the next phase." And our entire life we had dreamt of being on a boat, but it was too much money, it was too far away, we didn't know how to sail it, it was always this like: "Later, later." And for whatever reason, we drove away and this guys words just hit us really deep and so we we made an offer on about three days later that we had never even seen before from Alaska.
Ashley Giordano 30:22
Three days later!
Brian Danger 30:24
Well, past lessons come true but we now realize once we make a decision about what we want-
Ashley Giordano 30:29
It's go time!
Brian Danger 30:29
There's no time like now. And so that means literally like within 60 seconds.
Jen Danger 30:33
And kind of circling back to what we said earlier, we knew we could always go back to the van. We love overlanding, let's try overwatering if that's even a word. And when we jumped into that path, we didn't know if we'd get seasick, we didn't know if we'd love it we didn't know if our like sweet precious dog, who was like our tri- you know, part of our tripod, if she would like it and we were willing to readjust if we got on this path and decided not to because we knew, well, we are happy camping and driving around to remote locations and living out of our vehicle but it turned out that we really liked it. That was almost four years ago, right? Three and a half years ago?
Brian Danger 31:21
Yeah, almost four years. I remember we made an offer on the boat. And then in that period where you can still run away, we had this conversation where we're like: "We've read about this enough, like we don't know a lot, we don't know how to sail at all, but we've read about boats, because it's always been a dream. And so if we do this, we're probably going to lose a lot of money." Like we just came into money for the first time in years, right? So we finally had something in the account and we're like, okay, if we spend all this money on the boat, we're gonna lose this many dollars. And it was a big number, like, I don't know how many fingers but-
Jen Danger 31:49
Let's do it anyway...
Brian Danger 31:48
We were both like, that's a six figure number, if we did this for a year or two, and we lose that many dollars, are we okay? Would we still do it? And we're like, yeah, like, we're doing it, right? And so we just did it, and then we kept expecting, like, something will fall through, it won't really happen. It did happen. And then literally at the day, we're arriving, like we drove cross- we sold our van moved, into a rental van, drove cross country and as we get to, like maybe New Orleans, reality started to set in? And we're like, oh my god, what have we done? Like, what if we get seasick? What if the dog hates it? Like, we're in trouble. And then we move aboard, and we start to look around and we're like, wow, it's huge. Like, this is gonna be easy to live in. Have you figured out how to turn the lights on like, do you know how to flush the toilet? Like we didn't know anything, right? We'd never even really been on boats! And so we just spent a long time kind of figuring out just how to live, much less how to sail, which we eventually had to learn. So we just adopted this like one new thing. And so in the beginning, that was like: how to turn the lights on, how to flush the toilet, how to do whatever, how to open a door. And then eventually, it was like: how to start up the dinghy motor, how to raise the sail. Which was literally, you know, we found ourselves in the ocean, because we were terrified to go back and dock the boat again, mostly like that- leaving the dock was easy, going back was like, no, we're not doing that.
Where was the dock that you were leaving from?
Fort Lauderdale, at the time, is where we picked up the boat. And so we were just like, I don't want to go back, do you want to go back? No? Okay, we'll keep going! So we went through a couple of bridges, got out to the water and we're just sitting there bobbing and we're like, well I guess we could raise the sails? Like that was like three weeks from now but we could try. So we pulled out the binoculars and we're like looking at the top like trying to follow the colors, we're like, what are these ropes- oh, wait, we can't say ropes; lines, they're lines. Which line does what? And we finally picked it up, and we raise the sails and we're like, yes! And we look around and the boats not going anywhere, and we're like oh, I thought that's how you sailed a boat? You put the things up and it goes! But that's- we started that, right? Like that far down the road that we had to learn literally everything about how to live this lifestyle.
Ashley Giordano 33:53
And also the thing that's great is you took it in bite sized chunks, so you weren't completely overwhelmed at the beginning and you're like, I can't I'm done, like, this is too much. So taking it a little bit at a time.
Jen Danger 34:04
Yeah, well said, well said.
Brian Danger 34:06
We were still terrified, let's be clear. We tried- we would tell ourselves that for a security blanket, but we did still have a date where we had to move off that dock, like our lease or whatever they call it on the dock was expiring. We had to be gone. And so we're like, okay, like let's take this real slow, but also we have to go and so we kind of just kept doing that I think our third or fourth sail ever was across the Gulf Stream?
Jen Danger 34:29
From Florida to the Bahamas.
Brian Danger 34:31
At that point we didn't even know what that meant. We're just like it's a body of water, it's fine and people are like it's kind of a big deal. Like you should know what you're doing. So we started learning how to- I should say Jen started learning how to read weather, figure out what the right timing is, you need a big window to make sure there's no storms coming. And to be quite Jen's the captain of the boat, right? Like this philosophical boat that we've been talking about for a while now is all driven by Jen and so Jen's the captain, Jen became responsible for learning how to read weather, how to steer the boat, how to do all the things because I'm still busy doing business things, I guess. Even though we swore there was no business. It's funny, we got to this port where most people pop off from to go to the Bahamas and we're looking for anybody to just say like, it's okay, it's okay! We're still looking for that blog that says you're going to survive. And we found one boat that was from Portland, Oregon and we're like, oh, it's gonna be okay! We dinghy around their boat, we knock on the boat, we yell at them, there's nobody on the boat. Uber Hi, uber low, which, as it turns out, is a theme in living on a boat, could not find them. I guess they were at the bar or something else. And it turns out, he's a meteorologist. And so we wrote eventually and said, we're gonna cross tomorrow, what do you guys think? And we didn't get their email back until we're halfway across the Gulf Stream, when they responded, whatever you do, do not cross tomorrow. And so we I don't even know how we got cell service. But we're halfway across-
Jen Danger 35:49
It was a lovely crossing, though, I have to say, I mean, I don't know what our expectations were, but it felt safe. And I mean, it felt big, we were on the open ocean, everything felt...
Brian Danger 35:58
It was pretty amazing. I mean the seas were big, there were things that were kind of a "gulp" moment but overall, it was fine compared to whatever we built ourselves up for. And so we got their text, we're like, oh, my God, we need to turn around but we're halfway what if it's behind us, we just kind of had to keep going. And we would learn days later, they actually decided to cross on the same day, just 10 hours behind us or something, it was fine. There's a lot of a reaction when you're reading weather and things like that and so it's just- I don't know, it's just another example of how like, at some point, you just have to...
Ashley Giordano 36:23
Brian Danger 36:24
You gotta leap, right? You got to make the jump. There are things that are almost built in that will terrify you along the way, and you just kind of got to keep going. And in this particular case, on the other side of that leap was I did like beaches and sunsets and all the things that we don't-
Jen Danger 36:40
Sea Turtles, and dolphins, and whales, and sharks. Lobsters.
Brian Danger 36:44
So anyway, I mean, terrifying start and we just kept going. From there, we basically just went down throughout the entire Caribbean and kept learning as we go and to be honest, we still know- I think most sailors would say we know nothing, but we're better than we were and we wouldn't change a thing. I mean, it's oddly similar to Van life in very many ways.
Ashley Giordano 37:01
I was gonna ask about that.
Brian Danger 37:03
Yeah, I mean, the lifestyle of, you know, moving to smaller spaces and kind of figuring out life as you go and having to deal with your own repairs and having to cross a lot of borders, I mean, there are oddly a large number of similarities. We somehow always catch ourselves saying that the only difference is the highs are way higher and the lows are way lower, and they tend to come with about 30 seconds of warning between you feel you're having the best moment of your life, and it is almost certainly going to be followed with like the largest fury.
Jen Danger 37:31
Rainbow dolphins jumping, you catch a tuna, and then here comes a storm. Like, not like a huge storm, but this squall, that's going to hit you for a good five minutes, and you're going to be in a tailspin for about five minutes and it's pretty stressful. Another thing is, maybe when hardware falls off, somewhere at the top of your mast, and you're like, was that important? Because I just heard something fall like what was that?
Brian Danger 37:59
What do you what do you think this piece goes to, Jen?
Jen Danger 38:03
Are we okay?
Brian Danger 38:03
That kinda seems important, doesnt it?
Jen Danger 38:04
And then you have to investigate every single part! And like, just, ah man, it's pretty. It's a lot like overlanding.
Ashley Giordano 38:11
Right! I was gonna say that maybe the risks- I don't know, I've never sailed. But I would imagine-
Brian Danger 38:16
We're gonna change that in the next couple of months or weeks, right?
Jen Danger 38:18
Ashley Giordano 38:19
Brian Danger 38:21
I got the commitment on recording, by the way.
Ashley Giordano 38:23
It's used as evidence now.
Brian Danger 38:24
Exactly! Carry on, what were you gonna say?
Ashley Giordano 38:25
Oh, I was gonna say, it seems like the risks are more intense, maybe, on a boat in some way?
Brian Danger 38:34
Yeah, I mean, so our original, like, as we drove south to Panama, our bus literally broke down about every three days. But honestly, it was good for us, a lot of the fears we had about Mexico turned into us feeling more protected and safe than ever, because there was always some community or some person that was willing to come out and save us, literally save us because we had no idea what we were doing. But on the boat, there's just nobody there, right? I mean, there's nobody that's gonna pass because there's not a road that you all have to follow, you're just in the middle of this giant body, figuring it out on your own. And to be fair, I didn't know how to fix the Volkswagen engine either but I certainly don't know how to fix the diesel engine and now I'm trying to fix it out in 10 foot seas in the middle of an ocean. It just... the bar gets raised fairly significantly in ways that we didn't expect. But...
Jen Danger 39:20
And then you see a rainbow.
Brian Danger 39:21
You see rainbows and dolphins jumping!
Jen Danger 39:22
And you're like, this is really freaking cool.
Brian Danger 39:25
Or you pull into port and you get to stay for several weeks because you're totally self sustaining and you get to enjoy all of those things which we now realize we've always been driven by. We've always basically driven the ocean roads, we've always camped on the beach, we've always sat there looking and staring and wondering what those people on the boats were doing. Once we get to our destination, there's no question this is our perfect life. We are literally living what we would have written down and actually did in some of some of Jen's daydreaming event.
Jen Danger 39:55
Brian Danger 39:56
We're living our vision quest, right, it's beautiful. It just comes with really terrifying, harrowing moments in between those beautiful events.
Ashley Giordano 40:04
Right. What are some differences, I guess, a few more differences between overlanding and sailing, do you think. Like in terms of even the vessel or I imagine it's different because you're popping by different islands and how often do you go to land, you know, and encounter other people? Are you more isolated?
Jen Danger 40:25
I think one of the most impactful differences to us- because the lifestyles very similar, we still seek out remote locations. We did that on land, we do that by sea, we still make our own power, make our own water, we didn't make our own water, you know, on land, but we carried our own water and low impact on the ocean, low impact when you're camping. But the thing that is so much different is that the saltwater, the ocean, it's so intense, and things deteriorate and corrode so much faster than dust or altitude, or like the things that we've experienced, you know, being a problem in our vehicles, you know, our electronics failing because too much salt, the bottom of the boats corroding. Basically animals like be deciding they want to live on the bottom of the boat, like what would you say, Bri?
Brian Danger 41:20
It's almost like everything is suddenly against you, right? I mean, the ocean will destroy anything that it gets his hands on. And so we're, we're suddenly like, Oh, we have to have a backup laptop, we have to have backup GoPro, we have to have a backup... oh, we can't afford any of them. Much less replacement oil filters and fuel filters and things that matter, impellers. And so we're just- we find ourselves so deeply over our heads, which should be tremendously stressful, but we're literally living our best life. And so it's like, how do you balance these two things, right? And so we try to get better at like, when we get into a port that has things, we just go guns blazing, like, we have to get all the things as fast as we can. And they're never all of the things, but you get as many as you can, right? And then we try to order as much as we can from home, but shipping is a complete nightmare. All the things that we always took for granted, like if you break down, there's AAA, or there's a gas station within range, or even in Mexico, at least with the Volkswagen, if a guy knows how to fix the toaster, he knows how to fix your your van, you're gonna be fine. Suddenly, there's just nobody there. And so it's this very odd dichotomy of like, I've never been happier in my life, there's no way I'm giving this up, and yet we're in constant risk of just drifting in the open ocean, right? Like, it's just this weird combination, but yet, we wouldn't change a thing. I mean, here we are. The last six weeks, we came back to the States for the first time in four years, moved back into a van, which at this point is a company van and you know, had weird things we never had in our van like plumbing and hot water showers and just, you know, things that are too good for humanity to endure. Yet we still miss it. We're loving every minute that we're in a van and I think that the lesson here is that at some point, the perfect balance is to have both, like I think we're becoming more aware of that but we also just miss every day that we get to- I think we're merpeople, I think we've actually decided that we're merpeople. I mean, in our best- when I wasn't working too much, and things like that we were in the water, like six to eight hours a day. Snorkeling, diving underwater, just meeting local sea creatures and like that is, as it turns out, that is our happiness, right? I don't know, it's funny. And now we're talking about crossing the Pacific, which I think we all know is way above our pay grade, like we're not even close to ready.
Jen Danger 43:26
That's like 30 days of sailing without potentially seen anybody. No place to stop, I mean, maybe even 35 days,
Brian Danger 43:36
We're slow, it's probably 40. But at some point, we just didn't hit, like, nobody's coming for you.
Ashley Giordano 43:41
Your on your own.
Brian Danger 43:42
We have kind of a phone tree, we do have a satellite so if something goes wrong, it'll text our friend and our friends like, hey, so who do we call? Honestly, I have no idea!
Jen Danger 43:49
There is no one to call, like, hey, we just want to say goodbye.
Brian Danger 43:54
I honestly think it's just us being polite and saying, Hey, I don't know what's gonna happen from here. And they're like, I don't think I want to be on the phone tree anymore.
Ashley Giordano 44:02
Brian Danger 44:04
I don't know. It's just so interesting that it is... I look back at the things that terrified me and I'm like, I have no idea why I was so afraid of those things, like that was just change, that was just being afraid of not normal. This is actually terrifying but we wouldn't change it for anything. I mean, it's just once we- in between islands when we're on and we have to be sailing, and we're dealing with weather like that is truly terrifying. Once we get to an island, I mean, we wouldn't change anything, right? We would import our friends because obviously COVID and we haven't seen anyone for four years, we would change who we get to spend it with and share things with but in terms of lifestyle, it's uncanny. And you know, we still think back to that guy at the campfire. Life is short, we have no idea what's coming for any of us or when it's coming and so it's all about living, you know, the happiest and the freest and the best we can every day. And so while we're still thinking about that, like we have found it, there's no question that this is it. It's very remote. It's a little lonely, but it's so good in every way, right? And so it's, I don't know, coming from the guy that wrote because he was terrified and was trying to do therapy for himself, it's really funny to realize that you've kind of gotten to this place where you just want you wouldn't change anything about it.
Ashley Giordano 45:15
And I think people see that through you and they're like, Wow, this is possible and so, yeah.
Brian Danger 45:20
You mean they're like, Wow, this guy's almost human now? He's not like freaked out all the time? He's a lot more fun to be around? No, I hear that, i totally hear that!
Scott Brady 45:28
And this special thanks to frontrunner for supporting this week's podcast. Looking for adventure at a moment's notice? Introducing the new slim sport roof rack from front runner! A low profile sleek alternative that's perfect for hauling sports equipment one day and driving the streets the next. Whether the day in the wild calls for camping, mountain bikes, sea gear, paddleboards, but just a few storage bags with slim sport makes it easier to get there. There's some key slim sport features, it's got a low profile designed to minimize drag noise and allow for easier access to low clearance garages. It has T slots in high strength aluminum slats that allow you to use most of frontrunners top mount accessories side mount accessories are accommodated through available rack mounting brackets. It's also got the ability to add any of frontrunners 55 Plus accessories to the slim sport so you can set up your rack for any adventure. Choosing your next adventure has never been easier with a new slim sport refract, slimsport is available for select vehicle models. Visit front runner outfitters.com to learn more.
Ashley Giordano 46:29
Yeah, I usually ask people like, what's your favorite book? Or where's the place that you would go if you could travel anywhere right now, but I want to touch on something before we wrap up that you guys once said that totally resonated with me. And I think Brian, you said it. You said "We're broken, but in the best possible way." Does that sound familiar?
Brian Danger 46:49
Funny how this term has stuck.
Ashley Giordano 46:50
Brian Danger 46:51
Yeah, no, when we- I think this fully hit when we first came back from Panama, Costa Rica. Left the bus and we came home and we actually had a conversation on the plane and we were like, okay, we can fit in, like we can make this work. Although all of our friends are having kids, we're gonna have kids, I think so we're ready, right? Like, we're going to do this thing. Peer pressure is going to be big. We're just going to commit to normal. We're going to have kids, we're going to do this. Yeah! And we both agreed, were like, yeah I think it's the time, like we're in, we're gonna be normal. And it could not have been clearer once we landed and got back home, like every event, every conversation, every parent that pulled us aside to say, Please never have kids, don't do it. We were broken, right? We could not- as hard as we tried it was just square peg, round hole, like we could not fit in. And so we kind of just started saying we're broken. And then we started realizing, hey, broken doesn't have to be bad like it could be a good word, right? And I think we actually shared around a campfire like, well, at some point, we should just have like a self help group where all of those of us that just can't seem to fit in anymore, because we made this leap. And we've seen the other side, we just need to band together, right? Because there are others of us out there. It's just not normal, right? It's just not common. And the further we go, the further we get away from normal. I think the more this this term really sinks in. I mean, I tried to describe it now. But I just feel like there's this wall that was built around normalcy that once was terrifying to to climb that wall or to break through it but once we got on the other side, you're like, oh, wait, there's other people already over here and they seem okay! And then like now that we move into sailing, granted, most of the people that are sailing have retired to get there, or they've done very magical things to get there but now we spend a lot of evenings talking with people that are living full time, this very removed lifestyle that we honestly never thought we would see in our lifetime. We just never thought we'd find the magical equation to get there. And all we do is talk about well, why can't everybody else see that this is possible. We literally sit around talking with groups of people about how do you convince other people that there is no magic and there is no thing holding you back, you just have to have the faith to get it. And it's so very polarizing from what I remember very distinctly being on the other side of that wall going, there's no option, there is no way to get out of this, there is no freedom. And there's just- there's also no way to do that, because I could talk to my younger self today, I still don't know the words, I still don't know what to say that would have made him feel free other than Oh, I love her and she's gonna go with me, I should probably get on this. It's really interesting to have come so far away and some... so full circle, I guess? And know that it's there, but also still not know how to talk about it. And I actually blog less now, I don't need the therapy, I guess. I probably still need the therapy very deeply. But I also just don't know the words, right? I don't know. I don't know what to say to those people. I don't know what to say to me 10 years ago.
I think to like you guys are really good about posting on Instagram and sharing kind of your day to day realities. And maybe that's another form of blogging just in a different way.
I think it is! It's a little less wordy, which was pretty bad before, as you'll attest. And now I think it's more just a photo album. It's a great way for us to look back and remember how far we've come right and to kind of remember- we look back over the last couple of years, it doesn't seem like our life. Like right away, we're looking at photos that are all blue.
Ashley Giordano 50:06
Jen Danger 50:08
What I think is really beautiful about our journey that I think is super relevant for other people is that we didn't know 10 years ago that we would be where we are right now, today. We knew 10 years ago where we wanted to be in a year, and then after that year was over, we were like, where do we want to be for the next six months or a year? Or two years or whatever. And so we constantly checked in with each other and it's been an evolution, it's been change, it's been different than what we expected. And I think that other people could really benefit if, if that felt right for them to also just say, Okay, where do I want to be in six months? Where do I want to be in a year, because sometimes five years, 10 years, those goals are like, they're beautiful, because you can think so big, like, this is what I want to do, and I definitely want to achieve this, or I want to go here! But it's also really hard to kind of bridge that gap of where I am today to where I want to be in five years, but if you just take those baby steps, reevaluate in the moment, continually ask yourself like, am I feeling fulfilled? Am I on the right path? Is there something I want to be doing instead? And just going after that, I think there's something really sweet about that.
Ashley Giordano 51:25
Absolutely. I think I wanted to just say thank you guys so much for coming on this podcast and I think that those life lessons gained over a more than a decade of experience definitely, probably will resonate with a lot of people. So thank you so much for sharing all your story with me-
Jen Danger 51:44
You're amazing, Ash.
Ashley Giordano 51:44
Thank you! And the listeners, and also where can people find you if they're interested in as in Zenvanz or in your sailing journey?
Brian Danger 51:48
Yeah, I mean, our personal stories- we still have the blog, we occasionally get back there but it is not as frequently visited, but it was just The Dangerz with z at the end, dot com. Now Instagram is probably the most current, which is The Dangerz as well, @TheDangerz with a Z. And then Zenvanz is oddly turned from a passion project into a real business. And so that's just in Zenvanz.com with a Z on both the front and the back and I'll be very clear, if you tune in to any of those channels, we still have no idea what we're doing. There's no good answer here. We've just I think both together grown into a comfort of not knowing and being comfortable- we're mostly just a really bad influence, I think.
Ashley Giordano 52:32
Nonsense! I think you're a good influence.
Brian Danger 52:35
And you're very sweet.
Ashley Giordano 52:37
Well, thank you guys so much for coming on. I really appreciate it and enjoy the rest of the expo and best wishes on your next sailing adventure. And yeah, all the overland journal podcast listeners out there, thank you so much for tuning in. And we'll catch you next time!