“¿A dónde van?” is Spanish for, “Where are you going?” For brevity it often gets shortened to a phrase that sounds like a single word – ondevan.
This question of “where are you going?” has become a familiar one for Omar and I. We both are avid travelers who have a taste for getting off of the beaten path. Friends, family members, and coworkers are hardly surprised when we let them know of our latest plans to pack up and explore somewhere new. One of the other questions we often get is, “How did you guys meet?” Omar is from the coastal region of Peru and I’m from the Midwest.
People understandably respond with confusion when we tell them we met in Guatemala. I had recently graduated from college and had taken my first job at a non profit, Omar was working as a Marketing Coordinator for a large multinational company. The only thing that originally connected us, was the fact that Omar was from Peru and I had studied abroad there a few years before.
We quickly discovered however, that we shared many of the same qualities: an interest in international affairs, reading, traveling, coffee, and more than anything, an insatiable sense of curiosity. We loved exploring new places together.
After my time was over in Guatemala, Omar came to join me in the US, where we got married and soon after moved to the Miami area. We loved the international vibe, the weather, the fact that Spanish was often the language of preference. Coming from middle America I could still count on my hands the number of times I had been in the ocean. Needless to say, being 5 minutes from the beach was a plus.
One of the few things I didn’t like about Florida upon moving here was that the state is astonishingly flat. Being from Illinois — another state with a reputation for monotonous expanses of unblemished terrain — I can tell you with expert authority that Florida is somehow flatter. Besides falling in love with Omar while in Guatemala, I had also fallen in love with mountains and volcanoes.
I had taken up rock climbing shortly before moving to Guatemala but during my time there I had the opportunity to climb outdoors almost every weekend. This was one of the hardest parts of coming back to the US for me. When we moved to Florida I quickly got a membership at a local climbing gym, but I wanted something else that would allow me to get outdoors more. When we found the van, my heart fluttered as I thought of all of the future road trips.
Omar, being the competitive entrepreneur and the more practical half of our team thought, “How can we make back the money we invest in this? Can this be something more than just a hobby?” We were sure that we weren’t the only ones who wanted to explore Florida in a more adventurous and bohemian manner.
And we were right. When we started telling people about our idea their faces lit up. We quickly found helping hands that wanted to make the campervan a reality. They helped us convert the interior, paint the outside, even figure out the less exciting bits like the best way to insure the vehicle. Because of all of the enthusiasm around the project, it materialized very quickly. Within a month the van was ready to hit the road.
We’ve already had our first adventurers join us and come back with raving reviews. It’s been a labor of love and we’re excited to offer you the opportunity to have your own adventure.
The only thing left for you to answer now is – where are you going?