Would you like to know more about us? Hopefully we can answer all your questions here!
Short answer: We’re driving down to Argentina!
Longer answer: We began our journey May 2019 from California and have been on the road ever since. We spent seven months in the US and Canada and then crossed into Mexico in the end of December 2019 and have been in Latin America ever since. We plan to spend the next 2 years making our way south through Central and South America. Our end destination is Ushuaia, a small town near the southernmost tip of Argentina.
Follow our adventure on Instagram @asobolife
Before we purchased our van, our initial estimate was to arrive at the southern tip of Argentina in 12 months.
However, and only partly because of Covid-19, we have been on the road for almost 1.5 years and still haven’t entered Central America.
We anticipate being on the road for at least 4 years.
Since his early 20s, Eric has always loved to travel and had backpacked all across Asia and Europe.
Together, Yuko and Eric would travel to different regions in Asia and especially loved their road trips around New Zealand and the Japanese island of Hokkaido with rented cars.
So the combination of traveling to a completely different continent (South America), with our own vehicle, and the vehicle also being our own ‘tiny home on wheels’ made this opportunity too good to pass up.
Yuko’s Top Three
1. Zion National Park, Utah, USA
2. White Sands National Park, New Mexico, USA
3. Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, CANADA
4. Tlacolula Sunday Market, Tlacolula Town, Oaxaca, MEXICO
5. Snorkeling in Huatulco, Oaxaca, MEXICO
Eric’s Top Five
1. Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA
2. Lake Louise & Morraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, CANADA
3. Copper Canyon, MEXICO
4. Farmer’s Markets in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, & Nova Scotia, CANADA
1. Embrace Uncertainty
As human beings, we are attracted to predictable outcomes, reducing risk, and creating habits/routines. Being on the road and living out of a van has encouraged us to embrace uncertainty and to break free from the human desire to have a comfortable, stress-free life.
Not knowing where we will sleep most nights, interacting with people who do not share a common language or culture with us, and driving out to new locations and not knowing exactly what to expect; we’ve come to embrace these daily issues and appreciate the diversity of our days.
2. It’s The People You Meet
We’ve witnessed stunning geography, gorged on scrumptious foods, and snapped photos at ‘must-see’ sights. But what makes our journey special and memorable are the people we meet along the way; the locals running the food stalls and stores, guesthouse and campsite owners, and even all the fellow travelers we’ve met along the way. We may speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds, but we are also all human beings first and with that comes kindness, compassion, and friendly curiosity in almost everyone we have met.
3. Anybody Can Do This
I used to think that only superstar travelers could undertake a journey like this. That you would need to speak the local languages proficiently, have high tolerances to stress and inconvenience, and have a good amount of money to sustain your travel.
While some of this is true and there is a learning curve and life adjustment process, we, and the other travelers we’ve met, are no superstars. Just ordinary folks, like most other people. We’ve learned that the hardest part of traveling like this is simply taking the first step out the door. Everything else afterwards just falls into place.
We keep our Instagram account up to date on our Pan-American adventure. Follow us @asobolife
‘Asobo’ is a Japanese word with an English meaning that’s difficult to capture. But it roughly translates to “let’s play”. In the context of this website, we use ‘asobo’ to mean having a playful life, filled with curiosity and an adventurous spirit.
Money & Expenses
2018 Ford Transit Van: USD $36,729.26
We have a full breakdown of the total cost of our brand new Ford Transit van. Get more information in our Total Cost Breakdown Article.
Total camper conversion cost: USD ~$17,400
How much we spend greatly depends on how much we drive and gas we need to purchase.
In May 2020, we began keeping detailed notes about our monthly expenditures. Everything from gas, to eating out, to van maintenance.
You can see our spending data in our Expenses Article.
Ahh, the most important question.
Of the two of us, Yuko is the one who truly works the hardest. As a freelance graphic designer, she works on projects for her clients back in Japan. Yuko also designs and develops websites for individuals and small business and is also working to improve her skills in film making.
Eric is fortunate to have lived a privileged life and primarily survives and travels off his savings and investments. He also works hard to build the AsoboLife blog, but since this site is not an income generator, he feels it is best to emulate Yuko.
We are driving a 2018 Ford Transit. It is the high-top model with the Ecoboost option to help get us through steep and tough terrain. We named her Bernie. She is no 4×4, however, so we try to be mindful about what kind of off-roading adventure we take her on.
We purchased Bernie brand new as an empty commercial van and had spent 8 months converting the van’s blank slate into a fully livable tiny home on wheels.
For more information on the entire conversion process, visit our page: Build Your Campervan.
It took us an entire 8 months to go from a bare metal, commercial van to a fully livable camper van.