wander green team
Green Living - Travel - Technology - Food
Team Wander Green
We are Damian and Eliane, a couple in our forties who decided to escape the “normal” and travel full time while enjoying life outside the box. It all started with an epiphany on a Sunday morning stroll during which we were dreaming aloud of traveling the world once we retired. Our initial idea was to save money to buy and run an eco-friendly vegan B&B until retirement, and after that travel the world.
But then the thought popped up: “What if we die before we are in our 60’s, and find that we’ve wasted all of our lives working instead of soaking up life while exploring the world?” We realized that what we really want is to be spending time in nature, visiting different cities, meeting people from all kinds of backgrounds, and learning about life’s many wonders. What better way to do that than by traveling full time while we’re still young enough to fully enjoy ourselves? As soon as we had that thought we had set our intention:
Work less – Travel more – Keep it green
Who we are
We met on a beautiful day in April 2014 in the heart of New York City and have been falling in love with each other ever since.
› Born and raised in Switzerland, has lived in Great Britain and New York City
› Mostly vegetarian for the last 5 years
› Registered nurse, licensed massage therapist, and health enthusiast
› Runner, hiker and backpacker
› Former scuba diver, musician and ballet dancer
› Farmer’s market and farm-to-table lover
› Learned about eco-friendly living and organic farming as a teenager
› Has traveled all over Europe (England, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Germany, Austria, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Tenerife) by boat, train, car, and airplane and has visited Hong Kong, China, Barbados, Arizona, Utah, and both East and West coast of the US
› Has scuba dived in the Caribbean Sea in Bonaire, the Bahamas, and Mexico, and has backpacked through the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks as well as different areas in upstate NY and Switzerland
› Born and raised in New Jersey, has lived in Germany, Phoenix, Houston, Portland, and New York City
› Vegetarian for 22 years
› Computer geek, web master, digital data analyst, and SEO specialist
› Former cross country runner and DJ
› Passionate Dancer, runner, hiker and backpacker
› Environmentalist and organizer of earth day beach cleanup in NJ
› Has traveled to Switzerland, Italy, all over the US, and has backpacked in upstate NY and Switzerland
From spring of 2016 to summer 2017 we transitioned from a stationary life in NYC to a full time travel lifestyle while we realized that we could earn a living anywhere. Now that we’re on the road, we truly love our traveling lifestyle. Damian is working as a digital nomad, he has his own tech company and is continuing his previous work as an SEO specialist and web master while Eliane is working as a travel nurse and massage therapist.
We also are open to exploring other opportunities as they arise, including seasonal work on farms, restaurants, and hotels, “workamping” at national parks, or other short-term or remote work that might come our way. Anything we encounter will be an experience that adds flavor to the soup of life.
Moving into a travel trailer made the most sense for us, as it allows us to travel slowly from place to place while having the option to be stationary for a few weeks during location dependent work assignments without having to move the whole “house” when driving somewhere in the area. After calculating budgets we realized that living in an RV helps to keep living costs low. Having less expenses allows us to having to work less which means we have more time to enjoy life wherever we are.
Before going full-time we have spent many vacations and weekends camping, hiking, and backpacking and all with public transportation whenever possible, we only rarely rented a car for our previous camping and hiking adventures. We hadn’t owned a car in over a decade and we’ve never owned a home, so buying our own mobile home was actually a big step up for us.
Our ramp-up phase to full-time travel included:
› Working several jobs to pay off our debt
› Reducing our spending
› Saving for a car and travel trailer plus an emergency fund
› Renovating our new home on wheels
› Building up our web-based and remote businesses
› Downsizing our belongings to a comfortable minimum
› Learning about ways to adapt the principles of eco-friendly renovation for our travel trailer and make it green and self-sufficient
We are not extreme hippies, nor are we living the perfect zero-waste lifestyle, but we believe that striving to be as eco-friendly as possible should play an important part of all our lives. The planet needs caring and eco-conscious inhabitants so we all can enjoy its beauty and the magnificence that mother earth provides.
We hope sharing our experience through wander.green will help inspire others and improve the ecologic footprint of other like-minded humans.
Thank you for reading!
We are living in a 2003 Coachman Spirit of America travel trailer, a 25ft long and 7ft wide cube on wheels. It has big windows, and includes a kitchen, dinette, pull out sofa, full size bed, cabinets and a small bathroom with shower. We have spent a few weeks of renovating and cosmetically updating the trailer: we fixed a rotten sub-floor part and added new bamboo flooring throughout, painted the whole inside, installed a composting toilet which reduces water waste and eliminates the need for chemicals, added a wooden work-desk and exchanged the kitchen countertop with a wooden one, covered the sofa and dinette cushions with new fabric, replaced the dinette kitchen table with our old table, replaced kitchen cabinet handles with new ones and donated the old ones.
We added a solar system for green electricity, LED lights to reduce electric usage, a water saving shower head and faucet, a water filter to eliminate need for buying pre-filled waterbottles, and an induction cooktop to reduce propane use, as well as other green amenities as fit within our budget.
Wherever possible, we used eco-friendly materials: zero VOC paint for walls and cabinets, eco-bamboo for the flooring, added a natural latex mattress, re-used fabric for the curtains and a Nature’s Head composting toilet.
We believe in the saying: ‘you are what you eat’ and we love to cook our own healthy meals. We avoid processed foods and try to support local small businesses. We prefer to buy locally grown and organic foods if possible and shop at farmers markets whenever feasible.
Damian has been a vegetarian for 22 years and a vegan for 2 years.
Eliane has been eating a vegetarian diet 90% of the time for the last 5 years. About once every 3 weeks she eats a piece of meat or fish, preferably grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken and sustainably caught fish.
We also avoid cow’s milk as much as possible as the impact of the beef and milk industry on our environment is huge and contributing to a large amount of greenhouse emissions.
We are far from perfect, but we strive to reduce waste as much as possible. Here’s an incomplete list of actions we take:
> avoiding the use of plastic bags, containers, bottles, plates, cutlery
> using biodegradable garbage bags
> using reusable produce bags and fabric totes when food shopping
> using biodegradable soaps, dishwashing liquids and detergents
> refilling reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water
> reducing water waste when washing dishes or showering
> using a soda siphon instead of buying bottled seltzer and soda
> when buying new clothing we choose organic and eco-friendly fabrics if possible
> using natural body care products without chemicals and animal testing
> using solar power for our trailer, solar lanterns and chargers for phones and laptops when on the go and off-grid
> using an induction cooktop instead of propane for cooking
> avoiding waste as possible
> thinking about the need for new things before we buy them
> recycling whatever possible and donating goods to someone who can use them
> using public transportation if feasible
> using our feet or bicycle for shorter distances instead of the car