You know those days when you’re commuting to work and you feel this urge to turn the wheel and just drive off into the distance towards, well, really you have no idea where, but somewhere chock full of adventures and unexpected beauty? We did that. This book is the result.
You did what?
Ok, to be fair, there was a little more planning involved, but in September of 2014, we quit our stable jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, tossed all our belongings in storage, and headed out into the unknown.
It was a kind of crazy idea, we know, leaving it all behind: the salary, the perks, our friends, the comfortable lifestyle of the Bay Area. But we kept stumbling into that nagging gap between living well and living authentically - that is, living in a way that felt honest to our passions, our strengths, and our ability to contribute to the world - so we set out to find the bridge that would allow us to cross over and create an authentic life on our own terms.
Ok, so tell me about this book
We had no plan other than driving south, to Francisco’s home country of Mexico; beyond that, we had no idea where the winds would take us. We ended up spending the better part of a year zig-zagging across Central America, exploring, creating, and learning. Along the way, as part of the path to figuring out how to live authentically, we grappled with a number of questions: What do we need to be healthy and vibrant? What are ways to live simply and flexibly in this big, complicated, modern world of ours? How does one construct or reconnect with one’s identity with far fewer of the props that we often use to signal our value to others and to ourselves? What does home mean? The book we’ve created is an exploration of these questions and a chronicle of this journey of traveling and living out of our car, exploring the abundant nature and culture that spans from California to Panama. It is a collection of essays and reflections, beautiful photos and illustrations, how-to guides for all those would-be road warriors, and travel recommendations. In essence, all the inspiration you need to take a leap and set out on the adventure of your choice.
Who are you guys?
Francisco is a designer with a background in mechanical engineering, which allowed him to magically transform our trusty 2004 Subaru Forester into a livable adventure vehicle stocked to the brim with surfboards, climbing gear, a roof-top tent, and more (the book walks you through all our most critical gear and how you can easily hack your own awesome adventure mobile). He also takes a pretty darn good photo and can mock up animal illustrations that miraculously make cute animals even cuter (check the rewards section for our awesome t-shirts).
Sasha is a writer and cook, so she was responsible for cranking out healthy and occasionally multi-course gourmet meals on our camping stove (the book includes a handful of delicious recipes that she collected along the way), along with capturing the beauty and challenges of leaping into the unknown in writing and leading our morning yoga sessions under the soft pink light of dawn creeping over the ocean (or mountains or desert or waterfalls…). We’re regular people who wanted to prove to ourselves and others that anyone who really wants to have a life-changing overlanding adventure can do it, because it can be done for way less money than you think. We proved this by hacking together our vehicle for a fraction of what people spend on fully equipped rigs, optimizing the essentials, and cooking the vast majority of our meals.
Adventure vehicle for the people: We walk you through how to set up your own all-terrain, fully-stocked adventure vehicle for just a few thousand dollars.
Aguachile rojo: Learn how to make one of Baja California's finest dishes
Close encounters: An illustrated account of some of the wonderful creatures that we encountered on our journey.
Still visions: Full-color photographs of the most memorable, yet often unassuming moments, reminding us that beauty resides in the simple respiration of the world as it breathes around us.
Tortilla Landscapes: A watercolor catalogue of all the permutations of flattened maize across Central America.
On meditation: Adventures in taming the mind and the struggle for transcendence.
Travel Guide: Learn about all our favorite spots along the way.
Plus much, much more!
If you want to see some full examples of our work, you can check the following links:
Essay by Sasha on Baja: http://www.basy.co/lifeinbaja/
Illustrated gear checklist by Fico: http://www.basy.co/inventory/
We made this for you!
We finished this trip so exhilarated and having learned so much - practical, impractical, cultural, medicinal, metaphysical - that we knew we needed to create something to share with everyone as inspiration, entertainment, education, or just eye candy of all the beauty the world has on offer. It’s a scary proposition to jump ship from all that is comfortable and familiar in your life, but we wanted to show you all that nothing is too big to jump from, and that while we hear so much about all that is wrong with the world, the remaining 99.9% of it is gorgeous and inspiring and full of caring, generous people who will help you fly however they can. We spent months (many of them) creating all the content and the graphic design ourselves, making the book the very best it can be, and now we want to get it into your hands (and your friend’s hands, and their friend’s hands).
What does your support get you?
We’ve got some great goodies for you at various pledge levels:
$10: A PDF of the travel guide section of the book for those who want to get the insider info on our favorite places (and some killer surf spots)
$30: THE BOOK! A beautiful hardcover copy that you can cherish for a lifetime and hand down like a family heirloom.
$45: Stickers of Fico's 8-bit characters, because you’re never too old for stickers. Nope, never. Also, you get the book. You can even put one of the stickers on the book if you want. Get carried away.
$70: A t-shirt with one of Francisco’s whimsical animal illustrations, along with your two stickers and a copy of the book.
$110: The ol’ twofer: two copies of the book, two stickers, and two t-shirts. One for you and one for your favorite other person, because we love you both.
$150: A framed 16”x12” photo of the beautiful stillness of Tenaya Lake in Yosemite at dawn (because we did start in California after all), a t-shirt, and two copies of the book
$250: You’ll get four copies of the book to hand out with abandon (or hoard, if that’s your thing), as well as your name or company logo on our sponsors section, recognizing you as a key contributor.
Where does my money go?
It turns out that non-digital publishing costs money! Truth be told, this project originally started online, but in keeping with our goals of balancing technology with the analog, we decided it made more sense to bring this journey into printed form, where we can give you the kind of satisfaction and magic we derive from material books: their smell, the texture of the pages between your fingers, the ability to physically interact with them and return to them like an old friend. We left the digital world of technology wanting to connect more deeply - with ourselves, with others, with the wonder of the universe - and this book is a representation of that wish, a material connection between beings.
To that end, our goals are to get this book to you as affordably as possible. However, for those who don’t know anything about printing books (like me, until quite recently), you have to hit a certain number of orders to get a reduced rate. This goal is based on the cost of that minimum number of print orders plus the additional costs of goodies and shipping. Shipping in the United States is incorporated into the cost at most of the levels, but for our many international friends and supporters (we love you!) shipping costs are added to your pledge amount in the system.
For our Mexican friends and family, please set your location as US, and we can get the book and goodies to you at a slightly later date without additional international shipping costs.
Any additional funds that we raise above our goal will go towards printing additional copies that can be ordered from our website.
When can you expect the goods?
The book is already finished and the rewards designed, so as soon as we hit our goal, we can place an order with the printer. The order takes 8-10 weeks to fulfill, and then we need to get it shipped out (up to 4 weeks, depending on where you live in the world). So, we’re looking at up to 14 weeks or 3.5 months from the end of fundraising until the book and whatever gifts you’re getting should arrive on your doorstep.
Find us online
Thank you for your support!
Like we say in the opening of our book: “May your life be full of blank pages to journey into.”
Risks and challenges
In keeping with full transparency, this is our first Kickstarter, and while we've exhaustively researched all the ins and outs and feel about as prepared as we can be, it's possible there are road bumps ahead that we haven't anticipated. While I feel fairly knowledgeable at this point about shipping (thanks, internet!), it does seem like this is a primary pain point for first-time Kickstarters, so we'll do our best to make sure that goes as smoothly as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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