We received an invitation to the Wanderlust festival in Tremblant and met up with many great people along the way. Someone from their editorial team put us in contact with a couple that had attended every Wanderlust festival, traveling in a similar van to the one we own (GMC 1989). We were inspired to connect with Nicole Lindstrom, writer, and yoga teacher and her boyfriend Sasha Juliard, talented photographer. We found their road trip truly inspirational from the people they met along their way, to the roads less traveled they took. Being on the road is challenging for an individual and even more so for couples. We hope you enjoy this article.
Tell us a little about yourself & your project GLDMNE. When did you start the blog? I have noticed categories like Gems & Guides, what are they about?
A few years ago while traveling through Nicaragua, I found a dusty old bookstore. Used books toppled over themselves, falling into disheveled stacks on tables and benches, stools and chairs. Choosing one and blowing dust sparkling into the morning light, “This.” I thought, “This is a true goldmine.”The word “goldmine” is a noun defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “a rich and plentiful source of something desired.”At that exact moment the light switch flipped. What we continuously seek, time and time again, is not wealth in gold, but wealth in knowledge. In insight, in inspiration, and in wisdom.
Nicole stretching out in Nevada
I started GLDMNE as a home for gained insight, deep wisdom, and discoveries from worldly explorations. Created by one traveler for another, GLDMNE is a place for knowledge of places once visited and inspiration for places to go, in hopes the light will spark and further journeys will ignite.The Gems highlight specific places that we’ve fallen in love with, wether they be a bookstore or mountain road. The guides are curated lists of what to do, where to go, and where to stay for the places that we’ve visited.
Little White Horse Canyon, UT
How long have you been traveling in your van? Where to next?
We spent three months this summer living in our van, covering 6,000 miles total. Starting in New York City, we drove to West Virginia, Vermont, Colorado, California, Whistler, then back to Colorado. We’ve retired from van life to ski for the winter but are already looking forward to van adventures next summer. We will probably head straight for Utah once the snow melts.
Goblin Valley, UT
You mentioned that you guys have been attending all the Wanderlust festivals in the USA, which one is your favourite & why?
Yes, we drove to every 2015 summer Wanderlust Festival. Well, except for the last in Tremblant. The East to West to East was a bit much for us. I can honestly say I don’t have a favorite. They are all so different and unique, very special in their own way. If I had to recommend one over the others, I would say go to the West Virginia festival. I had no idea how incredibly beautiful West Virginia is until our first stop there. It is remarkable with it’s lush rolling hills that go for days.
Hudson Valley, OR
Have you adapted an ”on the road” yoga routine that you can share?
For an “on the road” yoga routine, I usually roll my mat out wherever we are and do the following:
Eka pada apanasan
Roll 3x to all fours
cat / cow 3x
plank / adho muka svanasana x
Surya Namaskar A x 5
Then whichever balancing / seated / restorative postures call to me at the time. Sitting in the van for long hours makes me feel so stagnant and getting onto my mat to breath and move is a life (and body) saver.
HWY 101, CA
What has been your biggest challenge since you have transitioned to the van life?
Staying seated for long hours. It drives me nuts. My body get’s really agitated. I also have a pretty serious case of carcolepsy. As soon as I get into a moving vehicle, the straight roads and soft lull of the engine put me right to sleep. So sadly, I am not the best copilot. Sasha drove 90% of our trip.
Goblin Valley, UT
Describe your favorite place you have explored and tell us what is your ultimate ”bucket list” location to visit with the van?
Favorites are hard. I can’t say I have a favorite place either. They were all amazing and I would never give up one for another. BUT! To recommend one for a bucket list, drive through Utah. Anywhere and everywhere. Utah is quite possibly the coolest state in the US. And that is really saying something. The diversity of beauty there is stunning and the state is pristine. Find a natural spring to stock up on water and stay up late to watch the stars. Anywhere you park your van is bound to be an adventure. And of course, drive through Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef.
Zion National Park
Goblin Valley, UT
Living in a confined space with a loved one can be challenging at times. Any tricks you can share that can be useful to other couples living the van life ?
Yeah, I’m surprised Sasha and I did as well as we did. I think the key lies in communication. Say what you mean, exactly how you mean it. If something is bothering you, address it. Don’t let it fester and build. Make sure to take space. I remember after months of traveling together and being side by side at all times, I went to the store without him and it felt so bizzare. I felt anxious, like I was missing something, and thats when I realized we had been spending way too much time together and had become too co-dependent. It is really essential for the health of your relationship to maintain individuality and space.
Also, don’t take your partners mood swings too seriously. We are all dealing with our own shit all of the time. If Sasha was ever short or annoyed, I didn’t take it personally. Lots of things come up when your on the road and holding space let’s them run their course without unnecessary friction.
Sasha and Nicole at Little Wild Horse Canyon, UT