I got an email from Madison, Vancity Vanlife‘s official “Weirdo Assistant.” Chrome’s guy in the US, Paul, is road tripping down the west coast and into Arizona looking to shoot van tours along the way, and I’d thrown my email into the ring to get notified when he’s in the area. Suddenly, Paul was about to arrive in Quartzsite and looking to meet up.
Chrome has been the biggest influence and inspiration for me in this life on the road. I even drive the same van as him, a white 2004 Ford E250 extended. Of all the van life channels I’ve watched on YouTube, he is the one I never stopped watching after my initial flurry of research because I like his style, and I love his positive attitude. The opportunity to share my story was well worth the 90-minute drive back to Quartzsite to meet with Paul. Of course, being seen by his 233,000 subscribers wouldn’t hurt, either. That’s almost 1,000 times more than I have right now…
Naturally, it was the worst weather for shooting a video that I’ve seen since I arrived in the southwest. It was cold, windy, and rainy. I told Paul he must’ve brought some weather down from British Columbia with him. Fortunately, we ended up with just enough time between showers with good sunlight to shoot the video.
I’ve watched a bunch of Chrome’s other van tours, and he’s trained Paul to shoot his in the same format, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. He started by pushing me out of the way (not literally) and getting some shots of the van itself. This will be B-roll footage that’ll get edited into the intro, as well as on top of some of my talking bits to break them up some. Paul soon realized that I’d done this before, so while I still had him take the lead on directing this, I didn’t need much direction to give him what he wanted. I showed around the outside of the van, then the inside. Then I told the short version of my van life story, from starting the build a year ago during a New Hampshire winter, through the fire, the breakup (no details, only that it happened), and the recovery, as well as my future travel plans. It was a very straightforward and painless experience.
After some errands in town, I returned to my old camp. Only Yellow Wolf, Kendrick, and Wayne are left, and they’re all planning to take off soon. My FastNet internet connection in Quartzsite will let me get a bunch of work done, hopefully including another video. Since the wind has been quite calm after the storm, I set up my ham radio antenna for the HF frequencies, the ones that go longer distances, so I can play around a bit. So far I’ve heard all over the western and central US (including Alaska), but haven’t managed to make any contacts yet.