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Who We Are

Hey, there. Welcome to Turtle Vida! We are Jeff and Clarinda. Thanks so much for stopping by, and checking out who we are.

We thought it would be fun to do this like a Q&A in a magazine.

Q: What made you guys decide to try out the RV Life?
A: That's a great story! We should devote a whole post to it. :) Long story short, after living in Las Vegas for more than 6 years in an apartment that had a lot of problems, we were tired of apartment living and dealing with landlords that had their own interests at heart instead of the interests of their residents. We also had a home ownership deal fall through in Nov 2018, so we were a little disheartened against traditional housing options. Jeff had long been intrigued by the tiny house and #vanlife movements, so we decided to buy a cargo trailer and convert it to a tiny home to fit our needs.

Q: Wow! You did your own trailer conversion? Impressive. Why did you choose that option rather than buying a manufactured RV?
A: After lots of research, we came to find that most RVs are prone to some break downs and problems. We wanted to be able to fix any issues on our own without having to rely on someone else to do any repairs. We also didn't want to have to deal with a black tank and wanted to use a composting toilet instead. Building our own RV also allowed us to create the exact layout we wanted as well as employ a bunch of stuff we already owned. It's definitely a labor of love that will continue to evolve.

Q: So, it's just the two of you out on the open road? No kids or pets?

A: No kids for us, and sadly, we had to say good-bye to our sweet Sallie in July 2019. We adopted Sallie from the Animal Humane Society in 2008. She was a border terrier mix, and we pretty much treated her like our child. She was the best companion we could have asked for, and we miss her every day. She would have loved being on this adventure with us. 

Turtle Vida: Who We Are

Now, it's just the two of us, plus Fred (our Toyota Tundra) and Shelly (our trailer).

Q: We know you lived in Las Vegas before becoming full-time RVers. Where did you guys grow up? Where else have you lived?

A: Jeff grew up in the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon); Clarinda grew up in Minnesota. In 2002, Jeff had the opportunity to move to MN for work. He didn't know anything about the state, other than it would get him closer to NYC, so he accepted the job transfer and moved. Clarinda had recently also moved back to MN after college in NY. We were married in Dec 2004 and have since lived in Brooklyn, NY; Dayton, OR; Minneapolis, MN; St Paul, MN, and Las Vegas, NV. 

Q: You sound like a pretty laid-back yet adventurous couple. We look forward to following along on your journey. What do you guys do for fun, when you're not driving to a new location?
A: We love to be outside (hence part of the appeal of RV Life)! Running, hiking, biking. Clarinda is the more avid runner, but Jeff joins her now-and-again. We're both certified SCUBA divers, too. We also enjoy reading or lounging around our campsite watching downloaded TV/movies. Let's just say that we love adventures, but we also love to kick back and relax.

Q: Okay, one last question. Turtle Vida. How did you come up with that?
A: Well, we've been to Costa Rica a couple times now, and they live by a saying, "Pura Vida," which, though it has many meanings, embodies their happy, laid back, and content lifestyle. And, while in the Virgin Islands, we got a little taste of "Island Time" living, which gave us further appreciation for the slower pace. Then, there's the fact that we love turtles! :-) They seem to embody us and our lifestyle - they carry their homes on their backs; they take the slow, leisurely way of life; they are steady and true to their course.

Well, that's all we have time for! Thanks again for stopping by!

Jeff and Clarinda

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