It all started 8 years ago...

We met in high school when we were 16 years old on the alpine ski team.

The story of Mattea and Mike began unexpectedly when Mattea joined the ski team. Mattea never wanted to join the ski team, but the team was one girl shy of being able to have a team. Long story short, she joined the team and quickly became best friends with Mike. It’s funny- you always hear that you’ll know when you find your person but you just laugh it off. Well, in our case, that cliche was true, and the rest is history.

Fast forward to May 2023, we left our jobs, left our rental home, and sold most of our belongings. With the help of Mattea’s dad’s building skills, our 1999 AWD GMC Safari, lovingly named (Van) Morrison, was transformed into our mobile haven just a couple of weeks before we embarked on this journey. From May to November, we explored 20 US States, 7 Canadian provinces, and numerous national parks, and consumed too many hot dogs while clocking 19,000 miles.

Our plan? Well, truthfully there wasn’t one and still isn’t one. Before the pandemic disrupted our plans in 2020, our dream was to travel together after graduating college. But we put traveling on the back burner and did the whole work thing instead.

Mattea went to college for environmental science and geographic information systems (GIS). Her main passion was freshwater fisheries conservation and after working seasonal jobs, she landed a fulfilling full-time gig with the Maine Dept. of Marine Resources as a fisheries scientist. However, a grueling three-hour commute got old after a couple of years. After work hours, she went through a massage therapy program to earn money on the side to save up to travel. She quickly realized that she had more financial freedom massaging a couple of days a week rather than working a whole week being a scientist. So, after two years of being a scientist, she called it quits in February 2023 and became a full-time massage therapist until April 2023 when we got ready to hit the road.

Mike went to college for outdoor recreation and business administration. His passion is in alpine operations, specifically operations management at ski resorts. This is no surprise since he’s been on skis almost longer than he can walk. We always joke that he can ski better than he can walk. (It’s true- he once broke his leg and tore all tendons and ligaments after hopping over a couch. This resulted in many surgeries and 6+ months of not walking.) From making snow to grooming trails to more recently ski patrolling for 5 years, he’s passionate about skiing and the operations to run a successful resort. He worked full time at Saddleback Mountain patrolling during the week, then worked at a bowling alley on the weekends for extra $$ to travel.

We both worked our asses off 6 to 7 days a week between multiple jobs from November 2022 – April 2023 to save up money to take a break from working just to survive, to roaming aimlessly across the country with our pitmix named Karma.

Before 2023, Mattea had never been west of Niagara Falls, Mike had previously flown to Colorado twice, and Karma had never been south of New Hampshire since we have owned her 2 years ago.

Cheers to one heck of an adventure!

Much love,
Mattea, Mike & Karma

P.S. If anyone has any cool destinations and funky hole-in-the-wall places to visit, let us know here 🙂