We're Ben & Meag, the founders and writers behind The Wild Drive / @wilddrivelife. Design a Life You Love Living. We created The Wild Drive to share our ever-evolving journey of building an alternative lifestyle.
We are imperfect, self-employed, alcohol-free, trail-running vegans, part-time nomads and home renovators, pursuing a life lived fully.
Building an Alternative Lifestyle
There are so many ways to create your unique path. There's no right or wrong, just true to you. We are all dealt certain circumstances in life to work with. Ben and I have been on our own financially since high school. We are not able to have kids naturally because of Meag's Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia. Even still, we understand the deep privilege it is to pursue a path of our choosing. We will never take it for granted.
What can we do with what we have to work with?!
Our goal is to support our physical, mental, spiritual and financial health and care for the natural environment around us. We lead a low consumption, vegan and sober lifestyle. For two years, we lived off the grid in a tiny home bus conversion. It deepened our passion for the outdoors, community, fitness; the simple things that mean more than possessions.
Last summer, we sold our first bus on Tiny House Listings to buy an old, affordable home base to renovate ourselves. It doesn't make for pretty pictures but we don't care, it keeps us from drowning in debt.
We hope to find our next (smaller!) bus to renovate for part-time travel soon!
Quality over Quantity
Our lifestyle is DIY and frugal by nature, reclaimed and repurposed. We approach decisions with a low overhead outlook to reduce our impact or offset it with some good.
Volunteering has brought us a lot of joy; speaking to high school students about paying off student loan debt, packing meals around the holidays, tending gardens, and more. We encourage others to find a way to give back even a small bit of their time each year.
If you have that voice inside you tirelessly strategizing ways to live in a more deliberate, healthy way, to appreciate simple pleasures and more time outdoors, it's okay to listen.
Do you have to do exactly the same as us or some major Instagram account to live alternatively? Not at all. To us, it doesn't matter what you live in, or where, it's the how that matters. Pop on a podcast that moves you, here's one of my favorites, and let your mind roam.
What do YOU value, what do YOU want to improve or have a positive impact on?
The simple rewards of writing your own story are worth the extra effort.
Welcome to The Wild Drive.
Sometimes Different feels Right
The Wild Drive celebrates unique ideas because, well, we've never quite fit into the "norm." We seek out possibilities and solutions, authentic actions and imperfect conversations. It reminds us that we're not alone!
Somewhere, woven into the active process of building healthy habits, mindset and routines to enhance your physical, mental and financial health, real alignment begins. That feeling of, "I'm living a life that doesn't feel like mine", or "How did I get here?!" can start to fade.
Choosing to live a little differently is an ongoing commitment, one that evolves continually as you grow and change. You're never done learning. How boring would it be if we were?!
All of our reasons, timing and motivation are different, and that's a beautiful thing. In reality, it's what makes the alternative lifestyle community so special. There is no concrete definition or rules, it's just a matter of living a bit more closer to YOU.
Our Story: 2013 - 2017
We didn't become self-employed and hit the road right away. Though that was appealing, it wasn't possible for us. We didn't have a financial safety net and had to make one ourselves.
We lived very frugally from 2013 - 2017 to help set things up. This involved adjusting our lifestyle and daily habits in any way possible to save more and throw anything extra at our loans. Expensive nights out at the bar or movie theater add up, as do unnecessary purchases and possessions you never use. Seek out free or low cost entertainment and activities that improve, not detract from your physical or financial health.
By 2016, we had successfully paid off $100,000 of student loan and vehicle debt together. Along the way, we decided to build a tiny home out of an old bus. We didn't have six figure jobs, we just got obnoxiously creative with what we had to work with: our lifestyle, daily expenses and habits.
The process helped to reorganize our priorities and taught us, over time, that the stuff that truly matters is pretty simple: health, love, relationships, purpose. In addition, living alternatively taught us who the heck we are. Authenticity prevailed over what others expected us to do, say, prefer, and pursue, for the first time in our lives.
These choices changed us forever.
2018 - 2020
We traveled and lived tiny full-time for two years in search of where we wanted to establish our home base. In 2020, a trashy year full of unexpected turns for all, we sold our first bus and bought an old 1880 house in the mountains.
These unexpected moves enabled us to continue our alternative lifestyle journey with a sense of place to create in a community we love. On the road, we felt that element was always missing for us. Like our first bus, our old house is full of potential and in need of so much love and work. So in other words, it was the perfect one for us. 🙂
We received some tough news in the summer of 2020. Meag was diagnosed with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, a rare genetic disorder that affects the lungs, sinuses, ears, and fertility. It hit us hard but also served as motivation to continue on a path of our own design. Life is short and we want to live it well.
Ben and I are best friends and partners through it all. We've known each other for almost 20 years! We love to hike, run, make outside of the box decisions, travel, build, work, and dream together.
Don't worry if you're not quite "there" yet in seeking in the lifestyle you want. Who is?! It's all a process, and an imperfect one at that.
We've tipped the scales from full on day to day winging it without a plan, to a very structured, professional 9-5 lifestyle in one place and everything in between. Writing your own story is not easy. That said, I wholeheartedly feel alive in the process and can't imagine it any other way.
Bus #2 is on the horizon for us (we're searching for a 5-window), as is our Mitsubishi Delica van conversion project and who knows what else. An alternative lifestyle takes all sorts of twists and turns!
We love to help others by writing and sharing about the lifelong journey that is alternative living.
This is The Wild Drive Life.
The bus was our catalyst for a life lived fully, imperfectly, and true to us. Once you've experienced it, you can never fully "go back."
What will be your catalyst?!
We don't have it all figured out but we try our best to enjoy this life. We hope, if you're reading this, you're on your way too.