An American man and a Spanish woman both had a desire to travel when they met five years ago – and were quickly brought to Las Vegas so that they could travel through the US in a van.
Lidia Rico, 28, from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, worked as an au pair in the US when she met Philip Miller, 33, from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, in San Diego, in December 2014, and the two quickly felt the same.
After Lidia’s visa expired, she had to return home – but it wasn’t long after that Philip flew to Europe to ask the question and brought her back to the US to say “I do” so they could travel around the US sail and Canada in the RV of Philip.
Wanderlust: Lidia Rico (28) and Philip Miller (33) have resigned, hitchhiking and are now traveling together in a van
Downsized: They started in an RV but exchanged it for a small van
Lidia worked as a personal trainer and had a house by the sea in Spain when she decided that she wanted to travel more and learn English.
“My life was perfectly back in Spain. I had a good job as a personal trainer and also worked as a bartender, “she said.
“I had a nice apartment on the beach and lots of friends, and my family was always around. I can say that I had a very comfortable and easy life back then.
“But one day I started to feel curious about learning a new language. I really wanted to learn English and I was also very interested in traveling abroad alone. I looked up some options and the best one for me was moving to the US.
“After months of research and a lot of paperwork, I moved there with a work visa as an au pair and the opportunity to go to school to learn the language.”
Meanwhile, Philip worked as a mechanic in Florida and wanted more time to enjoy life.
“I was completely fed up. I worked six days a week and was just covered with fat and sweat just to pay bills and be broke, “Philip said.
En route: Lidia, who is from Spain, worked as an au pair in the US, while Philip had left his job in Florida to travel
Quick: about a year after they met, they got married in Las Vegas
On the road: The couple set off for Philip’s RV, driving to Florida, then Canada, and then back to California
Vrijuit: “Routines are not for me, I was tired of doing the same thing every day,” Philip said about his decision to quit his job
“Routines are not for me, I was tired of doing the same thing every day, going to the same places, seeing the same faces that I didn’t really like. I always moved to different houses and changed stores / jobs out of boredom. ”
He decided to buy an RV and lead a nomadic lifestyle that traveled through the US to California.
Lidia made a solo trip to San Diego in December 2014 at the same time that Philip was in the city of Southern California, and the couple fell headlong and started dating.
“We’ve dated seven wonderful months, but unfortunately my work visa has expired and I had to go home to Spain,” Lidia said.
“It was very difficult to divorce Philip, but we continued a long-distance relationship for several months. To my surprise, Philip flew to Spain in September 2015 and introduced me. “
Both returned to the US and on December 3, 2015, they tied the knot in Las Vegas, Nevada with an Elvis impersonator who served as an officer.
Do-it-yourself: They bought a 2006 Ford E350 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel 4X4 van for $ 3,900 and renovated it themselves
Economical: they have saved a lot of money by doing their own work on the vehicle
Fun excavations: the couple spent about $ 20,000 on their current van, but they estimate it’s worth about $ 100,000
They then set off on Philip’s RV, driving to Florida, then Canada, and then back to California.
In 2018, after three and a half years on the road, they upgraded their old RV for a 2006 Ford E350 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel 4X4 van for $ 3,900.
“We have been living on the road for more than five years,” Lidia said, adding that they have traveled more than 20,000 miles together.
The pair has spent around $ 20,000 on their current van, but they estimate it is worth around $ 100,000.
Philip and Lidia did the renovation work themselves, saving them $ 15,000 in labor costs.
In terms of spending, Philip said that food costs them about $ 2,000 a month because they buy “high-quality, fresh and organic foods.”
Gas is between $ 150 and $ 800, depending on how much they have traveled in a given month.
Healthy: in terms of spending, Philip said that food costs them around $ 2,000 a month because they buy “high-quality, fresh and organic foods”
“We afford this lifestyle because we never pay campsites or campers and we never have to pay to visit a mechanic thanks to Philip,” Lidia explained.
Car insurance costs $ 50 a month, recreation is between $ 100 and $ 300 and car maintenance is $ 0 to $ 120. They have also always saved around $ 1,000 for emergencies.
“We afford this lifestyle because we never pay campers or campers and we never have to pay to visit a mechanic thanks to Philip,” Lidia explained.
Yet their parents were skeptical when they made the commitment to live in a van.
“The first reaction from our families was:” Are you okay? You must be crazy! “But we feel that our families have always supported our decisions and respected our pursuit of happiness,” Lidia added.
“We have felt a lot of love from both sides of our families and we have contact with them almost daily through WhatsApp or Instagram.”
They are currently saving to explore Mexico, and also want to explore “remote areas” of the countries they visit, “find the best off-road trails and secret beaches.”
Do you: their parents were skeptical when they made the commitment to live in a van, but they are still supportive
Next: They now save to explore Mexico and also want to explore ‘remote areas’ of the countries they visit
They document their adventures social mediaand encourage others to follow their example if they consider themselves adventurous.
“This allows you to do more things you love, and you save thousands of dollars every month,” Lidia said.
‘If something has aroused your interest, stop thinking and start doing it. The only way to know if you will like it is to try it.
“Life is too short, so don’t wait until you” retire “and you’re too old to enjoy. Find out what you really want in life and what gives you the most meaning, then go after it.
‘In the end, we don’t just do this to save money or travel. Every day we discover more about ourselves and the world in such an intimate way. “