Monday, April 15, 2024

Vandemic Adventure: Hitting the Road to Explore a New World

With plans for his post-college adventure cancelled due to COVID-19, Coronado’s Morgan Willis put together an alternative plan to celebrate his graduation and pursue a dream. He will be sharing his “Vandemic Adventure” with us as he travels the country meeting, interviewing and connecting with people from all walks of life.

At the beginning of March 2020, I had big plans. I would soon graduate college, fly to Europe and hike the Haute Route trail through the Alps. After traveling around Europe for two months, I would come back to the US to begin a career in public relations and marketing.

Much like many others around the world, everything changed with the COVID-19 outbreak. My flights to Europe were cancelled, classes were moved online and I moved back home to finish my last semester of college. Just like that my plans were changed to no plans at all. So I came back to Coronado, my hometown.


Despite these setbacks, I still had an urge to travel after graduation. The thought of going straight from sitting in a classroom to sitting in an office all day made my heart sink, especially as I watched vanlifers and adventurers on Instagram travel around the country visiting interesting places.

I always thought they had amazing lives but I never thought it was attainable. I had always believed that I absolutely had to procure a stable office job immediately after graduation and that was just the way my life was supposed to go.

Even though I was looking forward to hiking the Haute trail, I kept feeling like there was a weight on my shoulders. I didn’t know why I had this weight, but it made it hard to be excited about the future. It took my plans getting cancelled to make me realize what that weight was.


With my post college plans cancelled and me living at home, I started seriously thinking about what else I could do to celebrate graduation and start a career. I certainly wouldn’t be able to safely travel abroad, so I thought maybe I could take a road trip across the country.

As this idea developed over a couple of months I went from planning to travel around in a small van for two months to thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could make a life out of this. Graduation was getting closer and I began realizing that there really was nothing holding me back from pursuing that dream.


Armed with my new perspective and plan, I set out to find the vehicle I would be traveling and living in for the foreseeable future. After researching several options, including Ford Transits and Dodge Sprinters, I decided on a 2000 Volkswagen Eurovan. It has everything I need, and to me it’s both retro and modern cool. Along with telling stories about the new world that I discover, I’ll also share what I needed to gear up… and what I really didn’t need that I thought was essential.


While on the road, I’ll be exploring ways of building a new life in a new paradigm where commuting to office jobs may soon, to my great relief, become a relic of the past. For me, this new life includes returning to nature while communicating with hi-tech, online tools. It involves meeting, interviewing and connecting with people from all walks of life along the way. I’ll seek to find that which binds us together rather than what divides us. To tell meaningful stories and share magnificent adventures. To explore this new, challenging world none of us expected. That’s why I invite you to join me on this adventure as I hit the road to explore a new world that none of knew was coming.

Next Stop: Northern Arizona!

Follow Morgan at his blog and Instagram page.

Morgan Willis
Morgan Willis
Morgan grew up in Coronado and attended Coronado High School. He recently graduated college at Arizona State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is now traveling around the country in a Eurovan, sharing stories from the road.

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