Howdy, Fellow Wanderers,
My name is Barbara Brann, and my husband and I are the proud owners of a Winnebago Travato! We are also owners of a Fleetwood Excursion 41.5 foot Class A RV. We have been RV'ing for the last 17 years.
My son, Dylan, and daughter, Kaitlyn, and I make up the Brann Clan! I have been traveling with them since they were babies, and I am happy to say that I have passed the vagabond gene onto them. But they weren't always good travelers. In fact, Dylan hated it. While most babies love to travel in cars and driving will usually put fussy babies to sleep, my son Dylan hated traveling. Putting him in his car seat was a sure way to get him to cry. It wasn't until much later in life that he was bitten by the travel bug. But once he was, he traveled farther than all of us. And between the three of us, we have been all over the world. If you can name it, there’s a good chance that one of us has been there, or has a trip planned. We have been to Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Egypt, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, & Belgium to name a few. And we’ve traveled all around the United States, including Alaska, which is where my son Dylan has been working in the tourism industry since early 2011, & where he met his fiance, Becky Heath, who was born and raised in Anchorage. My daughter Kaitlyn joined them there for the summer of 2016 to work as a server on a train car on the Alaska Railroad. She currently resides & works in Park City, Utah. Even as adults we have continued to share many of our travel adventures together. Among them, Dylan and I traveled Hwy 61, the Blues Highway, from the Canadian border to New Orleans, and Kaitlyn and I have been to Ireland, Mexico, & Alaska together.
Riding Insanity atop the Stratosphere in Vegas Oct 2007
We have traveled using many different modes of transportation; plane, bus, train, car, kayak, and RV. In fact a few months ago, my husband and I bought our 5th RV, a 2018 Winnebago Travato van and found that we are quickly falling in love with this popular van lifestyle.
At the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Hwy August 2017
Flying Over Denali June 2015
Kayaking the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior July 2014
In just a few short months, we have vanned from Florida where we purchased it, to Tybee Island, Washington, DC, various Civil War battlefields out east, on to Castle Rock Colorado, southern Utah along Scenic Byway 12, out to LA and then back home to Erie, PA, mostly along Route 66. Well along with a quick stop in Traverse City, Michigan to help my brother celebrate his 75th birthday.
After many years of buying progressively larger RVs, with ever more slideouts, and the luxuries of home, such as TV's with surround sound, sleep number beds & combo washer/dryers, we decided that it was time to try downsizing. And as we have been adjusting to and enjoying the many advantages that van life brings, we have been learning new ways to adjust to a smaller space and to improve upon the lifestyle along the way. It is quite the adventure. One that I hope continues for quite some time.
National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK December 2017
This store, blog & website that we have built is a work of love dedicated to sharing what we have learned with our fellow wanderers. So BUCKLE UP, as it’s going to be a wild ride!!!
Bryce Canyon National Park November 2017
Howdy all, this is Kaitlyn Brann. Together with my mother, we decided to start this website, inviting my brother to join us along the way. We are lucky enough to get to experience life on the road together often, but it wasn't always so. Our story starts out with a single piece of mail, that arguably changed our lives forever.
Southern Utah November 2017
When I was sixteen years old I received what appeared to be a piece of junk mail. I was going to throw the letter away but something about it caught my mother's attention. It was from a group called People to People, inviting me to a seminar regarding an opportunity to travel to Ireland and the UK for three weeks with my fellow classmates. My mother was supportive and practically dragged me to the seminar. At this meeting, we watched video upon video of previous student's adventures. Seeing them filled me with excitement for what lay ahead of me. I was drunk with wanderlust and ready to sign up no questions asked. When I then turned and saw the look on my mommy's face, I saw a mixture of sadness and joy. She expressed how lucky I was to have this opportunity, and how she had always wanted to travel the world but had given up on those dreams to start a family. My heart sank, and I thought there is no way in hell I am going to Ireland without my mommy! So we plotted a way to go to Ireland ourselves, no program, & no funding. I watched my Mother transform. She had picked a goal and she wasn't going to let anything get in the way. She began planning and researching, and since her car had recently been paid off, she put aside the same amount that had been her car payment each month, into our savings account for the trip. And I started selling candy bars to help do my part to fund this trip. Together we made it happen. In August of 2004, we spent 10 days touring Ireland together, just the two of us!
Cabra Castle in Ireland August 2004
This trip was the beginning of many travels both together, and separately. We have swum in the cenote caves of the Yucatan Peninsula, and seen the beginnings of the Yukon River. We have bathed in the Liard Hot Springs on the ALCAN Hwy, and flown over Denali. We have hiked in dangerous slot canyons and climbed various mountains of Colorado. We have been to the Arctic Circle on the infamous Dalton Highway and cruised scenic Highway 12 in Southern Utah.
Swimming in a cenote cave in Mexico, June 2010
That first trip infected the both of us with a never-ending wanderlust, that has ultimately lead to the van lifestyle. We are now stumbling and fumbling through the ever common problems of Van Life Today. We get lost, we pray we don't run out of poo powder when we have winterized and have no water to flush the toilet, we search far and wide for stamps, and we reminisce about when exactly it was that we last showered.
Our goal is to learn how to better improve the Van Life Today lifestyle, and to share those findings with you, our fellow travelers!