Wow! We’re ecstatic that you made it out to this neglected corner of our blog.
We’re Yuko & Eric(!); just your normal, every day family of two (and Maya, our queen kitty 😸).
In 2019 we built a camper van, who we named ‘Bernie’, and are currently in the middle of a grand Pan-American road trip, on our way to Argentina in South America.
Van Life Fast Facts
- Vehicle of Choice: 2018 Ford Transit
- First Day of Van Life: May 31, 2019
- Last Day of Van Life: Still going strong!
- Current Location: El Salvador
How We Met
We met at a free salsa event in Tokyo, Japan.
We wish we could say our dance level was more of the super cool, advanced variety, but in truth our dance lesson was very much a beginners 101 course.
Imagine a class full of guys with two left feet, struggling to whirl and twirl their partners. That was Eric!
After that one class, we were hooked. We’d spend our free time together picnicking on the grassy lawns of Tokyo, ordering in decadent pizzas from Dominos, and jogging around the nearby park to burn those calories.
Through the first 4 years, our relationship consisted of long-distance phone calls and several short backpacking trips through Asia (Sri Lanka, New Zealand, & Indonesia).
We’d like to think that those short backpacking excursions set the stage for where we are today.
And then in mid-2018, we were both introduced to #VanLife.
And the rest is history.
Van Life Cat : Maya
On March 2021, we adopted Maya when she was ~10 weeks old. We were parked in a marina in Rio Dulce, Guatemala and she very persistently would not leave us alone.
A fiercely independent cat, Maya is a bundle of energy that loves being outside. She’s made it clear; she’s no house kitty.
Maya’s loves presenting us with unwanted gifts early in the morning. Rats, birds, lizards…we’ve seen it all.
She also loves chicken.
Why Van Life?
For us, van life represented three distinct opportunities for us.
1. Learn Some DIY Skills
As urban Asians, our DIY abilities were zero. ZILCH. Nada.
But after years generic computer office work, we were craving to create something with our hands. Something physical, not digital.
To build our own camper van interior from scratch gave us the opportunity we were looking for to build something meaningful in our lives. And to learn a bit about insulation, woodworking, electricity, plumbing.
2. Experience A New Lifestyle
Living and traveling in a vehicle was a concept so foreign to us at first. We had only lived in generic apartments and homes our entire lives.
But we try not to shy away from new experiences and saw van life as a way to try something new in our lives. That’s why we named our blog AsoboLife.
3. Travel The World Without Leaving Our Home
We had done our fair bit of backpacking in our past lives, but we were ready for a new type of adventure.
Although we loved staying at hostels and guesthouses, the idea of traveling internationally in our own camper van and home really appealed to us. Though our exterior environment would always be changing, we’d always be able to sleep in our own bed and cook in our own kitchen.
Having our own vehicle would also allow us to get to parts of the world that would otherwise be difficult to reach. We’d no longer have to rely on public transport and timetables.
We could go wherever we wanted, when we wanted.
Why Drive The Pan-American Highway?
This adventure, for us, is about pushing our boundaries beyond our comfort zones and exploring regions of the world that are unknown to us.
When we looked at a map of Central and South America, we saw so much land mass south of the US border that we knew nothing about. We had no idea what life looked like over there. And so we wanted to explore as much as we could of that unknown land mass as we could.
The physical journey was also important to us. The idea of being able to completely drive (minus the Darien gap) from Canada all the way to the southern tip of Argentina attracted us. A multi-year adventure only a few could ever say they’ve achieved.
Lastly, we wanted to challenge ourselves and push beyond our comfort zones. In our previous lives we had come from nice office jobs and took 2 hot water showers a day. Pretty cushy! But that life didn’t satisfy us.
But now every day feels like a physical and mental challenge. Every day is an opportunity to explore somewhere new and experience something we’ve never seen, eaten, or smelled before.