Jorge and Jessica Gonzalez of “Live Work Wander” are an enigma. They married young - something uncommon in this day and age. Twelve years later, they chose another uncommon path: leaving behind a home in Austin, TX to call their ’91 VW Vanagon, lovingly referred to as “Falkor," their new home. Over a year and a half has passed since that initial decision, and there’s no plan to look back. Navigating forest service roads is their daily commute — the night sky is the roof that hangs over their head as they sleep.
Neither Jessica nor Jorge are strangers to living on the move. In their life prior to calling the road home, they moved a total of 12 times. The lingering question of “Where is home?” remained unreconciled until Jessica suggested the possibility of living in a van. Freelance graphic designers by trade, the need to remain stationary was nonexistent as all of their clients were remote.
“Live Work Wander” tread a fine line between easy going and fearlessly extreme. Within the first hour of us meeting at a coffeeshop in Port Angeles, we followed their van to a “closed” forest service road in search of an abandoned fire lookout. Not five minutes after unhooking our trailer and heading up, our truck had its first flat tire. As we struggled to change a flat at an incline, Jorge and Jessica waited patiently, offering help when needed and taking care of their two dogs, Petunia and Linus. In the two days we spent together, we traversed multiple forest services roads between Forks and Sequim, WA.
The two of them are quick to acknowledge that this way of life isn’t for everyone. Whereas some people living on the road might view the minimalist traveling lifestyle as morally superior, Jorge and Jessica point out that their decision to hit the road came from a place of personal fulfillment. In the year they lived in Austin, they worked nonstop, making only a handful of friends. The road has forced them to find balance between work and play and they expressed their gratitude for the many new people they've met and befriended along the way.
Navigating a solid workflow while living on the road is something they have developed over the past year and a half. In addition to their current explorations of unfamiliar places throughout the Pacific Northwest, Jorge and Jessica recently rented a workspace in Redmond, WA to complete a recent graphic design project. This is a common pattern - working hard in a shared workspace for 4-6 weeks at a time in order to help them sustain the “wandering” side of “Live Work Wander”.
Listen to the full interview below.