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1212 Bickler Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
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Best Road Trip Podcasts

Emily Forsythe

Hitting the open road this summer? We’ve curated a list of our favorite podcasts to help pass the time. From true crime stories to a look into the minds of some of the worlds most popular musicians, we’ve got a little something for every interest. Have a favorite podcast that we didn’t list here? Tell us about it in the comments!

When we were on the road driving those long stretches or in South America where we weren't getting any phone service, the podcasts that we downloaded helped make the drive even more of an adventure! You better believe that Sarah Koenig of Serial and This American Life was our narrator while driving on the treacherous, unpaved Pan American Highway! 

And don’t forget the tunes — our Summer Van Jams Spotify playlists will set the mood for an unforgettable road trip.

 

Call Your Girlfriend

Long distance besties: this podcast is for you! Follow along with BFF's Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman as they keep their long distance relationship alive through recorded phone calls every other week. These ladies are hilarious — from relationships to pop culture and politics, nothing is off limits.

The Moth

This podcast makes you feel things. You’ll either belly laugh until it hurts or be moved to tears by these real stories recited by real people at Moth StorySLAMs. Learn how one man set out to find the perfect girlfriend by reverse engineering OK Cupid’s match algorithm, the way one woman found salvation in swing dancing after her husband’s death, and so much more.

Song Exploder

Calling all music lovers! Listen to musicians like Phoenix, Gorillaz, Sleigh Bells, Chvrches, The Lumineers and Norah Jones pick apart some of their most popular songs and explain how and why they were made. You may just find some new fave tunes to jam on your trip.

My Favorite Murder

Admit it — you love a juicy murder mystery! Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are true crime fanatics, and every episode they discuss a different murder tale and hear hometown crime stories from their friends and listeners. Don’t worry, it’s not all dark and depressing — Karen and Georgia find a way to twist a little humor into each story.

You Made It Weird

Comedian Pete Holmes interviews actors, musicians, and fellow comedians about the things they’d feel uncomfortable discussing with their parents. Things get hilariously weird, to say the least! They’re long, too — each episode is at least 1.5 hours long, making it the perfect listening material for your next road trip.

Decked Out VW Buses We Love

Emily Forsythe

Ad from the 60's of the VW Camper. 

Ad from the 60's of the VW Camper. 

In a perfect world, we could drive down the west coast in a bright shiny teal VW, with the windows rolled down, blasting Slow Ride by Foghat, and park our bus with its back doors and a big, cozy bed opened to the sun setting across the Pacific Ocean. Well, lucky veedub owners get to live in that world-- or something similar to that variation.

We came across the coolest, most unique, and decked out VW buses whose owners let their creative minds show. Enjoy. 


The Beach Bus

On our road trip, we cruised through many small beach towns dotted along the Southern California coastline that were littered with VW buses. If we lived in CA, I could imagine that it would be impossible to think of VW buses without thinking of the beach.. Almost every trip down to the beach, surfers prep for their sesh, slapping on Zinka (colored sunscreen), and zipping up their wetsuit in the back of a parked VW bus. VW’s are big enough to load up surfboards and roomy enough to chill in after a long day of surfing or hanging by the beach. 

Surfboards are tied to the top and towels are hung out to dry. 

Surfboards are tied to the top and towels are hung out to dry. 

Why not have a surfboard as a table?

Why not have a surfboard as a table?

This bus serves as a true tiki bar! Mai Tais anyone?

This bus serves as a true tiki bar! Mai Tais anyone?


A Blast From The Past

Extremely retro and extremely bright, this bus encompasses all that is the 70’s. The classic Jimi Hendrix poster, the all-orange interior, and the hanging pair of fluffy dice really takes you back to the decade of classic rock and hippie vibes. 

The VW bus is an icon of the hippie era and many painted exteriors represent the compelling and psychedelic art, music, and politics from the decade where the U.S. welcomed the love bus. Here are some of the coolest painted hippie buses: 

Retro chic interior!

Retro chic interior!

This bus painted classic rock legends, like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan.

This bus painted classic rock legends, like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan.


Cozy Common Areas

Packed with beautifully patterned pillows, blankets, tapestries, and greenery, the interior of these buses is an invitation to get comfortable and cozy up with your friends or significant other. 

Even bloggers have gotten in on the VW craze! California blogger Liz Cherkasova of Late Afternoon Blog owns a blue Westfalia that she calls fittingly, Baby Blue!

Even bloggers have gotten in on the VW craze! California blogger Liz Cherkasova of Late Afternoon Blog owns a blue Westfalia that she calls fittingly, Baby Blue!


Your Travel Buggie

We came across some buses with decked out living areas that include kitchenettes, couches and even beds that are loaded up in the back. These buses are seriously dedicated to the traveling lifestyle and ensures comfortability and convenience to your next camping destination. 

Wes Vanderson is a quirky little bus with a modern Scandinavian inside, equipped with a kitchen and all!

Wes Vanderson is a quirky little bus with a modern Scandinavian inside, equipped with a kitchen and all!

Birch wood modern kitchen cabinets with little touches of home!

Birch wood modern kitchen cabinets with little touches of home!

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Personalized but organized - everything has it's spot!

Personalized but organized - everything has it's spot!

The key to having a great travel buggie is to have a comfy spot to rest your head.

The key to having a great travel buggie is to have a comfy spot to rest your head.

This couple has been traveling in their VW bus for over 5 years with two little ones in tow! Follow along with them here: Our Open Road

This couple has been traveling in their VW bus for over 5 years with two little ones in tow! Follow along with them here: Our Open Road

Having enough spots for storage is an important element to living out of your bus.

Having enough spots for storage is an important element to living out of your bus.


Here are some other appreciated decked out VW’s that we love:

VW turned food truck! Yum!

VW turned food truck! Yum!

This was a shot we took on our South American trip - it was a 'completo' food truck which is the Chilean version of our hot dog, but they know how to dress it up with all the fixin's!

This was a shot we took on our South American trip - it was a 'completo' food truck which is the Chilean version of our hot dog, but they know how to dress it up with all the fixin's!

The orange hawaiian flowers add a nice, simple touch.

The orange hawaiian flowers add a nice, simple touch.

A VW to hold ALL of your friends!

A VW to hold ALL of your friends!

We strongly encourage putting googly eyes on everything. 

We strongly encourage putting googly eyes on everything

Beautiful, realistic clouds are painted all around the bus. 

Beautiful, realistic clouds are painted all around the bus. 

If you can't go to the desert, might as well paint it on the side of your van!

If you can't go to the desert, might as well paint it on the side of your van!

Obviously, VW owners are dedicated to creating the perfect bus. Whether it’s used for traveling, posting up at the beach, or showing off its beautiful art, the VW bus is personalized to each and every driver. Hopefully, you've either gained insight into the craft of each bus, or maybe, even inspiration for how you'll deck out your VW.  

Make sure to check out Vannagram's Pinterest "VW Love" for more awesome VW buses. 

How to Name A VW Bus

Emily Forsythe

The story behind each VW bus tells a special part of history. Amongst the van’s travels, destinations, and drivers, the VW represents freedom and individuality; and, his/her name depicts the story and personality of each owner.

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Styled Shoot: Gypsy Picnic in the Texas Hill Country

Emily Forsythe

In the midst of a busy spring wedding and social season, we somehow managed to squeeze in a styled shoot just before the summer heat hit! We teamed up with our friends over at Birch & Brass Rentals using some of their newest finds and styled up a gypsy picnic that is worth taking a road trip to Spicewood for!

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Summer Van Jams

Emily Forsythe

We've logged a lot of hours on the road - A LOT. From living in our beloved Volkswagen bus for 5 months, traversing the continent to coming home to Austin and creating a photobooth business out of the same bus, we like living out of our car. Surviving the van life directly depends on having awesome jams to pass the time (when you're on the road) or to keep the party pumping (when photographing an event).

Here are two playlists we're rolling with this summer:

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Best Wedding Venues in Austin

Emily Forsythe

Finding the perfect venue for your wedding is exciting, but it isn’t exactly easy. Austin has so many wedding venues to choose from - urban, Hill Country, rustic, outdoorsy, classic, modern, elaborate, or simple… the sky’s the limit in our vibrant and versatile city! Luckily, thanks to our adventures with Anna the Vanna, we’ve experienced many of the best wedding venues Austin has to offer.

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Best Wedding Photographers in Austin

Emily Forsythe

Selecting your photographer is no small decision, and while the Austin area is lucky to have plenty of talented individuals and studios to choose from, the search can be a bit overwhelming. Obviously, our beloved mobile photobooth, Anna the Vanna is our favorite gal when it comes to wedding photographers in Austin, but we have a few more friends we highly recommend. We suggest starting with our list below - all Austin-based wedding photographers we’ve worked with and/or admire.

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The Best Austin Rehearsal Dinner Venues

Emily Forsythe

Choosing to have your rehearsal dinner in Austin, Texas naturally sets the tone for an incredible evening with family and friends. This sparkling city offers a guaranteed good time (and good food). Venues that have outdoor patios with the Texas night sky in view, intimate underground rooms, beautifully layered dishes from award-winning chefs and never ending lists of decadent wine. No matter what your aesthetic, the venue to suit you and your family's vibes is here. Whether you're focused on a decadent meal, beautiful space, award-winning wine, or all of the above, Austin has plenty of private dining options perfect for a memorable rehearsal dinner. Here are some of our favorites. 

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Our story

Emily Forsythe

In the spring of 2015, we took a huge leap of faith and decided to quit our jobs, buy an old VW bus, leave the life we had built in Austin and go explore! At the time, we were newlyweds who had just taken a three-week honeymoon to Thailand. Rough life, I know. Upon our return, we both felt the itch to extend our adventure and in the coming months, we devised a plan to not just think about the dream, but actually live it! 

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#VANLIFE

Emily Forsythe

When we returned from our travels, the question we always got was how could you guys live in a van?! What was it like? How did you cook? What did you cook?! Where did you sleep?! Was it comfortable?! Where did you go to the restroom?! This video explains quite a bit of those questions and gives a glimpse into what #vanlife is all about! Check it out!

In 2011, Foster Huntington created the #vanlife Instagram hashtag, and unexpectedly spawned hundreds of thousands of posts and a family of eager followers. It became a community of like-minded individuals who delight in the kind of adventure you can only get by traveling through the wilderness in a clunky, decades-old vehicle.

 

TORRES DEL PAINE: PART II

Emily Forsythe

luckily i awoke the next morning an hour after our alarm was supposed to go off or else we would’ve been really late!! we quickly got dressed and drove the hour or so into the national park to the catamaran port. there we would leave our beloved van (ché!), pack a bag for a couple nights (clean clothes!!), gather a few food items for sandwiches and games to play and hop on the boat to the refugio.

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PUERTO NATALES TO LAGUNA SOFIA

Emily Forsythe

we woke up around 9am on the side of the highway pretty much frozen and had not gotten a lot of sleep that night. my toes were so cold (even with socks on!) and jared was chilled too. we both realized that this was probably one of the worst sleeps we had had in some time. the night before we had planned on cooking up a great breakfast, but because we were so cold we opted to skip breakfast and continue on our journey to puerto natales. 

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