Hey y’all! We are Emily and Macy and we call ourselves the Van Babes. We’ve been best friends for ten years and for the last month we’ve been living and traveling in our converted Chevy van, who we call Lil Ma. We have a pretty extensive route planned, hitting mostly national parks and major cities all across the western US and a little bit of Canada, too. So far we’ve hit Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.

Although we thought we had planned and prepped all that we could, we have had to learn to adapt to what life on the road really holds.

When you make the road your home, you are subject to a whole new set of elements and you realize how much you take for granted when you live in a stationary home. We learned this pretty quick and have had to change our plan quite a bit in the last two weeks.

The west has had a unseasonably warm winter, which has worked in our favor so far. But a cold snap sent us on a detour across Utah. Once we had explored Arches and Canyonlands and were making a plan for the next few stops, we realized it might be too cold for our small heater set-up to handle. Feeling discouraged, we called around for anyone in Utah who would be willing to take in a few strangers for a couple days. If we’ve learned nothing else on this journey, we have learned that people are incredibly generous. So with a confirmed warm place to sleep, we made the five hour drive to Salt Lake City.

We met two families while we were there, but I’ll tell you about one. I got the number of a woman named Babs from a regular of the pizza shop where I work at home. This was a shot in the dark, but I gave her a call and she was excited to host us for a few days. When we arrived, we were greeted by Babs and her pet squirrel, Chip. Babs owns an urban farm in a quaint neighborhood in Salt Lake City proper. She made us feel right at home. A near Olympian, farmer, AirBNB host and political activist in SLC, Babs taught us a lot about life, politics, farming, people, and mostly to trust what the universe is giving you. We stayed there for three nights and left with a promise to be back in May to see what the seeds we had planted, literally and figuratively, had grown to be.


We weren’t supposed to be in Salt Lake then, we weren’t supposed to be with Babs for three days, but we were meant to be. Life on the road teaches you to roll with the hills and except what the universe has on the agenda.

So far, life with Lil Ma has been a roller coaster, and this roller coaster is one we’re meant to be on.