Arts, Culture & Media

This family is 'blissfully enjoying life on the slow road, with no end in sight.'

Argentinaa363.jpg

"What started as a dream - is now life on the road."  Adam, Emily & Colette Harteau left California in  2012 in their VW van, with the goal of reaching Tierra del Fuego.

Credit:

Courtesy Our Open Road

When Adam, Emily and Colette Harteau left California back in 2012 in their VW Westfalia, they had the dream of making the 7,000-mile journey to Tierra del Fuego  and then returning a year later. But a funny thing happened along the way. A few months into the trip, the family fell in love with the freedom of living on the road. So they decided "to embrace a future unknown and the rewards of slow travel." 

Player utilities

Listen to the Story.

Starting the day right with an early morning swim in southern Brazil.

Starting the day right with an early morning swim in southern Brazil.

Credit:

Our Open Road

 

The family, a few years later than expected, recently reached their destination in Tierra del Fuego.  

"It feels pretty amazing especially because our original plan was to make it all the way down to the tip of South America in six months, and after two-and-a-half years we just made it to the bottom. We just popped a bottle of champagne at the end of the Pan-American Highway."

They've had adventures along the way and met lots of friends. Their youngest daughter, Sierra, was born on the road last summer in Brazil. "She was made and raised on the road," says Emily Harteau.  

They are chronicling their travels at a website, Our Open Road.

'We just chilled here. There were amazing waves!' at a campsite near the ocean in central Chile.

'We just chilled here. There were amazing waves!' at a campsite near the ocean in central Chile.

Credit:

Our Open Road

What's it like to be on the road? Adam Harteau, a photographer and artist says "like a dream come true. It's our American dream. We just don't feel like living the American dream back home is accessible for young families. The fact that we can be all together, traveling and experiencing all of these amazing landscapes, meeting incredible people on the way, it's just a dream come true."

Stopping to take in the view of Mt. Aconcagua near the border of Chile & Argentina.

Stopping to take in the view of Mt. Aconcagua near the border of Chile & Argentina.

Credit:

Our Open Road

So what's ahead for the family of four? In the next couple of years, they're generally headed north toward Alaska, but they say "they are blissfully enjoying life on the slow road, with no end in sight."  

'We discovered this icecave' in Chile

'We discovered this icecave' in Chile

Credit:

Our Own Road

Solar panels and accessories keep our fridge cold, lights on and laptops & camera charged when camped remotely.

Solar panels and accessories keep our fridge cold, lights on and laptops & camera charged when camped remotely. 

Credit:

Courtesy Our Open Road