User Experience Designer by day for Level Five Solutions in Kansas City by day. Designer, Illustrator, and Hasher by night.
An English Bulldog who enjoys playing soccer and swimming for days. His gassy outbreaks can clear an RV.
We are currently cruisin the country in a 26 foot 2004 Starcraft Class C RV named Ad Astra. We bought him in June of 2015 when our first RV, Stanley, started showing signs of slowing down after taking us on five years of adventures. Don’t feel too bad for Stanley tho, we kept him and still use him as our Burning Man vehicle.
Ad Astra Per Aspera means to “To the stars through adversity” and is the state motto of Kansas where we had lived for 10 years before hitting the road.
We added the galaxy wrap to match the star theme in October of 2016. While designing the wrap we asked our friends to draw stars for us to incorporate into our galaxy so we could bring them all with us as we travel.
In addition to our friends stars a keen eye can find Orion, Gemini, and Pisces along with The Roaming Pint logo, a men looking Jayhawk, and a couple true trail arrows to keep us moving forward.
While traveling abroad after graduation we realized we had visited more countries than US states and were motivated to see more of our own country. It wasn’t until a friend told us about his plan to buy an RV and National Parks pass that we realized this was our path to do it.
We bought a 29’ foot RV with 40,000 miles on it for $10,000 and spent the next six weeks ripping everything out and renovating the entire interior. We dubbed him Stanley and hit the road on August 15, 2010, just 3 months after the purchase.
When we hit the road form Lawrence, KS our first destination was Colorado. We had spent so much time renovating the RV that we hadn’t really planned anything to do once when we arrived.
Taking inspiration from the fact that our home town brewery (Free State Brewing Co) was the meeting place for our friends and social hub in the community we decided to visit the local brewery.
A short bike ride later we arrived at Laughing Lab Brewery and were warmly welcomed by the locals and bartender who gave us a list of things we needed to do in Colorado Springs. We spent then next day checking off the list and enjoying the inside tips before ending our trip to Garden of the Gods and another brewery nearby…so the cycle continued.
By the time we left Colorado we had visited 26 breweries and met some of the most genuine and entertaining people that #beertravel just naturally became our modus operandi: Seeking out the local craft breweries when visiting a new area.
Local breweries gave us location to map to when we had no idea where we were going, and gave us a lay of the land once we arrived, while even sometimes providing a place to park for the night before planning our next move.
Breweries became our visitors centers.
Now, as we approach eight years on the road we have been to over 600 different breweries in 42 states, 7 countries on 4 continents.
We were enjoying the benefits of this type of travel so much that we start writing about our journeys here on The Roaming Pint and started popularizing the hash tag #beertravel.
Check out our post about our “100 breweries in 1 year Milestone” to see our list of the first 100.
If you are currently a “beer geek” or just “beer curious” this site is for you. We also love hearing from our friends while on the road! If you’ve visited a place, would like to host us in your city, have a great beer pic you want to share, or think we could use a better information for a beer destination let us know! Feedback from our beer friends is what has determined a site like this needs to exist!
Q: Are you independently wealthy? / How can you afford to do this?
A: No, we are not independently wealthily. Unless you consider our considerable stockpile of freedom to move.
We support our nomadic lifestyle by working remotely. We can work anywhere we have an internet signal.
Maria’s company, Automattic (the parent company of WordPress) is completely distributed n that all 400+ of it’s employees work remotely and communicate via Google Hangouts and Instant Messaging.
Brian works for a small design firm (14 people) in Kansas City and is the only remote employee there. In two and half years of working there he has only been in the office for a total of 7 days.
Q: What’s your favorite place?
A: We get this question all the time and always struggle to answer it. Favorite place?! That could be anything, favorite state? City? Brewery? State of mind? We prefer top 5 lists where we can give a range of answers. But if you really want to pin us down to one it would probably have to be Black rock City the home of Burning Man which is location and state of mind with a community we could all learn from and enjoy
Q: Where do you stay/where are you staying tonight?
A: Well, tonight we will probably park in a large parking lot or side street somewhere near the last brewery we visit. But in general, where we stay is pretty varied, dependent on the weather, cost, and proximity among other things. We’ve stayed at all the parks, National, State, County and private, like a “RV Resort” and we’ve parked on all kinds of streets and parking lots. Walmart has a company-wide policy to allow overnight parking (O/N) at their locations, permitting the city does not have an ordinance against it. Sometimes, Cabellas, Home Depots and the other big box stores allow parking as does truck stops like the Flying J. We don’t prefer truck stops as those guys tend to leave their engine running all night long (because the company pays for gas) and they are noisy! If we are doing street parking, we try to find an open area or apartment complex to park by, rather in front of someone’s house. Generally, we are looking for a flat spot, preferably shaded, that can handle all 26″ of Ad Astra and then some.
Q: How expensive is all that gas?
A: Gas is actually one of our cheapest expenses to the point where we don’t really think about it anymore. In an average year we drive around 10,00 miles. When you consider how much a sticks and bricks household drives to and form their stationary home they are usually racking up more miles than that between two cars.
We can take it as slow or as fast as we want to go, roaming around this great U.S. Sure there are areas that hurt a little more than others (rural Cali for example) and times like this where gas will peak over $4, but we really aren’t putting on any more gas mileage than someone that commutes 1 hour to work each way. We hardly ever fill Ad Astra up all the way, but if we had to it would be about $150 and we can get about 400 miles on that. The generator is actually not as horrible as I thought it would be draining gas, but we typically don’t run it enough to matter.
You’ve got to remember with this question, there are trade-offs in life. We have no debt, no mortgage, no rent and no utilities to pay. We budget $600/month on gas and $200/month on RV parking. Those two expenses combined would be VERY cheap rent for 2 people anywhere and again, no utilities, NO DEBT. We do pay quite a bit for the internet and our phones, $250 combined, and health insurance definitely isn’t cheap, but necessary. Past that it is just beer and food! Lots of beer. And lots of food. Keeps us fat and happy.
Q: Who drives the most?
A: Brian does 99% of the driving usually while Maria is sitting shotgun working away on her computer with Buddha nestled in between us on his pile of three dog beds 🙂
Q: How do the dog(s) like it?
A: When we first hit the road we had two dogs and they both loved the road for different reasons. Boon docking and camping in desolate places allowed Ernie the freedom to roam around off leash and keep an eye out for his vulnerable humans.
Buddha enjoys getting to meet all the new people we meet on the road and cute them into belly and head scratches. We also discovered that he loves to swim since hitting the road and take every opportunity to get him in the water. (video of swimming)
Q: How many breweries have you been to?
A: We visited our 600th brewery since hitting the road in December of 2017. Our brewery visits have slowed down a bit in recent years as we were averaging about 100 a year the first couple of years. You can seen an up to date list of the breweries we’ve visited here: The Roaming Pint’s Official Brewery List
You can find us on the beer tracking app Untappd as: TheRoamingPint
Q: Have you been everywhere?
A: Nope, not even close! While we have been on the road for 7 + years we tend to visit our favorite areas again and again. We have been to 42 state and 2 Canadian Provinces in our RV’s. We have been up and down the East and West coast but still haven’t been to number of state sin the upper midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Indians, Illinois, and the Dakotas).
Q: Do you ever miss stationary life?
A: Not really. There are certain aspects of having a continual community to bond with that we miss (ie our friends back home), but the longer we travel the more communities we get to enjoy. We now have friends and groups of friends all over the country.
If there is one thing we miss that we can’t easily do on the road it would be intramural recreation. Some of our favorite moments form stationary life are playing a double header of softball early on a Sunday and tailgating in the parking lot after until the sun goes down.
Q: It must be rough being crammed into that RV all day.
A: That’s not a question, but I’ll et it slide. The space may be limited but our front yard is expansive and ever changing. While we do spend a lot of time inside the RV during our work days, we also get out quite a bit and have soem of the best work views you can find. Taking a conference call while walking Buddha through a park, looking at the ocean while writing an email, and creating a wireframe document while visiting a brewery are all things we get to enjoy.