November 16, 2017
Searching For Sero has had its ups and downs, naturally. It was born from the ultimate down after both Tracy and I lost family to suicide.
Planning the project and purchasing the Westfalia gave us a way to ease our minds. Times weren’t easy and we found ourselves in it.
That very van we were so excited for may just have caused the final down we can face on this project.
It makes sense to us that we have dealt with so many ups and downs while trying to complete Searching For Sero. In fact it is a topic that often comes up in our #SeroStories. Struggles are a part of life and all managing through them is a key part of mental wellness.
Shortly after purchasing our ’91 Westy we launched our crowdfunding campaign. We were both blown away by the support of our friends, family and followers. The campaign raised over $13,000. It was time to get to work and prepare for the launch of the project.
The van that held so much hope caused a few delays though. Mechanical issues set us back and we missed our planned departure date. We felt like we had let the crowdfounders down.
The Canadian leg went on as planned after that. Starting in Newfoundland, and traveling across to Vancouver Island. We picked up steam the entire way. Even if we encountered a few problems, they weren’t too bad.
Then financial troubles struck. Life on the road was more expensive than we planned for, even with stripping it down to just gas and basic food and money making was not easy when constantly on the move.
We had to make the difficult call to place the project on hold before starting the US leg. It crushed us to make that announcement. It was a new low for Tracy and I.
Overwhelming support and understanding poured in though. We put our heads down and worked hard to save up what we thought was more than enough funds to complete the US leg.
And so last July, we were finally off to Vermont. Working our way south we once again found ourselves meeting amazing and inspiring people.
But mechanical issues continued to plague us. All summer long, it seemed like something was consistently wrong. Each month we went a little more over budget as we purchased parts to solve our running issues.
Things kept getting worse though. To the point where it wasn’t really enjoyable. We didn’t know if the van would start each time we got in. And if she did, we didn’t have much hope on her getting us to our destination. So many times, we decided to not go on an adventure by fear of being left stranded. When on our own, we didn’t go off the beaten path, always wanting to have cell reception. Despite what we tried, she kept getting worse. Colorado and Utah were the worse. The mountain passes felt like we were trying to climb mount Everest and like she was going to die right there and then.
That’s when we decided to head across to meet our friends, GoWesty in California. We hoped that a simple fix would be the case, and we would be back on the road.
They ran some test and discovered a leak around the water jacket.
To fix it would be costly. The engine needs to come out, be opened and new seals go in. And on our high mileage engine, it just didn’t make sense.
That puts us where we are right now. Sitting in California with no engine in the van and no money in the bank. We will get her fixed and will have to focus on work again for a while. Will we go back to creating #SeroStories or will we move on to preparing the book with the content we currently have? I am not sure.
We don’t know what the future of the project is at the moment. It has been endless amounts of work, tough battles and draining, both mentally and financially for both of us.
We are going to take some time to reflect on our struggles and achievements before we figure out our next steps. As we speak, we do not have the mental energy to make the best decision to that regard which is why we want to give ourselves the space and time to do so.
Tracy and myself also want to offer every single follower, crowd funder, sponsor and #SeroStory subject a huge thanks for every little bit of support. We could not have made it this far with out the team effort from everyone.