Just Go Climb

Gabi and fiance Brandon left their home in Boston, Massachusetts to travel in a Shasta trailer for a year (plus).  Their goal is not just to see North America, but rock climb as much as possible.  Along the way, they’re inspiring others to make big life changes by documenting their journey on their website, Just Go Climb.  Learn more in the interview with Gabi, after the jump.

All photos above and below (C) 2015 Just Go Climb

Meet Adventurous Gabi

How did your trip come to be?

Photo (C) 2015 Just Go Climb
Photo (C) 2015 Just Go Climb

Almost a year ago exactly, Brandon and I were enjoying a warm rest day at Hueco Tanks [Texas] messing around on the slack line. I was reflecting on how amazing the past week had been, and daydreaming about a life of full-time climbing. I said to Brandon, “You know, we could do this for a year, instead of a week”. He looked at me with a growing grin, as if he had been thinking the same exact thing.

Why the Shasta Trailer?

For a trip like this, it was either a camper van, or a travel trailer. We weighed out the pro’s and con’s of each, but ultimately we wanted a place that would feel like home. We really liked the idea of being able to drop the trailer at our camping spot and have a “big” space to come home to after a long day of climbing.

Your website, Just Go Climb is inspirational.  Part climbing guide, part how-to for life on the road. Why did you decide to start it?

I have met too many people who get that special glimmer in their eye when they imagine themselves on a trip like this, and then shut the idea down the with the words “but I could never do something like that”. To make my dreams a reality, I approach every obstacle with a “Just Do-It” mentality. Hopefully through the website we can spread the mentality and inspire other adventurists to start their own journey.

What have you learned about Brandon that you might not have without this adventure?

Photo (C) 2015 Just Go Climb
Photo (C) 2015 Just Go Climb

Brandon is invincible. The Tahoe gets a flat, twice in one week? Simple fix. The alternator dies in the middle of a busy road? Could be worse. It’s snowing, windy, and cold at the boulders? At least it’s not raining. There isn’t a single thing life could throw at him to take him down.

What’s your preferred camping location – formal camp site, National Forest, BLM, city streets, etc. ?

Right now [January 12, 2015], we are parked on our friends street in downtown LA. Showers, internet, power, and running water are very nice things to have, but I’d trade them all in a heartbeat to be hidden amongst the snow capped mountains.

If you and Brandon’s “trailer roles” were a Venn Diagram, how would they overlap?  How would they differ?

HA! There would be two circles that don’t overlap at all. He does the driving, I do the navigating. He makes the coffee & tea, I make breakfast. He cleans the floor, I clean the dishes. We developed our specific roles naturally and haven’t switched them up at all. Why mess with a good thing?

You wrote a fantastic post about “how to finance your next big trip.”  What do you think the biggest misconception about long term travel and money is?

Oh man, I could write an entirely new article on this subject, and probably will. I guess the short answer is however much you put aside for emergency repairs, double it.

Take a photo of your five must have items for road travel.

Photo (C) 2015 Just Go Climb
Photo (C) 2015 Just Go Climb

Nail polish – For those lazy rest days. And to keep in touch with my girlie side.

Tea – Gotta have my morning tea.

Hand Warmers – When it falls below 50, I don’t go anywhere without these things.

Books – The sun sets at 4:30 these days, what else can you do beside read, read, read?

My Dawg – Aiko is pretty much the #1 reason we took this trip. Watching him romp around the boulder fields is why I get up in the morning.

What’s the most challenging route you’ve climbed?  

That’s a really tough question (so many climbs are running through my head right now), but the climb I struggled the most with was my very first lead climb. It was a 10b on the river boulder in Ten Sleep, WY and every move I made to get to the next bolt was a mental battle for me. That’s when I realized I am a rock climber who is afraid of heights.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve climbed?

Squamish and Bishop are tied for most beautiful, but Bishop wins the award for favorite. Along with its breathtaking beauty, Bishop has free camping, perfect sending temps, natural hot springs, a world famous bakery with 35¢ day olds, and a brand new brewery for the climbers to relax at after a long days’ work in the boulders. Bishop is hard to beat.

At the end of your one year journey (in June 2015) – do you think it’ll be hard to go back to Boston?

June might not be our end date, we are playing with the idea of turning this trip into a lifestyle. We’ve fallen in love with life on the road, our adventure, producing videos, and sharing our adventure through our blog. Boston is my favorite city and I love living there, but for the foreseeable future, the road will be my home.