Ben (along with his cocker-mix pup Alaska) set out to document their travel adventure from Chile to Alaska in a 1992 Brazilian-made Volkswagen van (a Kombi) dubbed “Co’Pito” two years ago.
Ben saved for a one-year journey, but since the VW was not in the best of shape when he bought it, he spent most of his savings in the first year on repairs. No worries though because Ben hasn’t given up. At the two-year mark, he and Alaska are currently in Mexico making their way up to the United States.
On Ben’s “Kombilife” webite, http://kombilife.com/ he states that his “plan is to follow the Panamericana, pick up hitchhikers and travel as cheaply as possible. We will surf the pacific coast on every wave between Chile and Alaska, learn about Latino culture through this amazing adventure and go on a voyage of self discovery as we struggle to keep our VW Bus alive.”
In the first YouTube episode of the adventure, you can see the beginnings of Co’Pito, see how the van was made and what life was like on “the roads less travelled” through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
“We never stay in campsites or pay to park. We shower where the locals do in lakes, rivers, waterfalls and if all else fails, in the ocean. We never charge other people to stay with us; our hammocks, tents and bed are for sharing.” Ben tries to think of inventive ways to make money on the road and his most recent way is to give away the van (after they reach Alaska) to one of the many who help them along the way.
In their YouTube video that they posted about a month ago, Ben tells about the project and the plan to give away theVolkswagen to a randomly selected individual who donates at least one dollar to help keep the road tripping project alive.
On this recent video, they explain what they spend their money on and how they spend their time. To date they have made thirty-six episodes of the “Hasta Alaska” journey.
“We know that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone and it does come with a downside; but any sacrifices we have to make by living in a Kombi pale into insignificance by the rewards it offers. It enables us to travel cheaper than regular backpackers; usually we spend less per day than a single traveler does just on a dorm room in a budget hostel.
“Having the ability to stop when we want, go where we want and leave when we want gives us a freedom that most people never experience in a lifetime!” You can keep up with what’s happening with Ben and Alaska on their Facebook page.
To search for just the right RV for your dream adventure check out RVT.com’s classified section.
Author Levonne Gaddy’s book “This Restless Life: A dream chased through California parks in an RV” chronicles her relocation adventures from the Southwest to Central Coast California during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. They encounter many twists and turns including a dead body found near their camp hosting camp site, problems finding work and multiple threats of floods. @Levonnegaddy
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A humble beginning can lead to great things… stay thirsty my friend. Larry (1967 VW bus on a ’79 tour, 1971 VW bus on a ’81 tour)