Vanlife

Introducing Diversify Vanlife: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Outdoors

Interview By Diversify VanlifeJun 28, 2021

Diversify Vanlife is a platform that highlights the less-heard voices in the Vanlife and Nomadic communities. They work to remove barriers and amplify the stories of those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S, and those with disabilities. We have been lucky enough to connect with Diversify Vanlife and learn more about their community and their efforts to reclaim safe spaces for those facing underrepresentation, inaccessibility and exclusion in the outdoors. 

We’re excited to introduce Arthur & Patrick, two members of the Diversify Vanlife community who have kindly shared their experience and what vanlife means to them. With the support of the Diversify Vanlife platform and its members, they hit the road this past year with their two pups and have chronicled their journey on Instagram and You Tube @paws4apitstop.

Meet Arthur & Patrick of @paws4apitsop

Diversify Vanlife Pride

 

Hi there! 

We are Arthur & Patrick, and along with our dogs, Ezra & Lucy, we are @paws4apitstop! Arthur was born in the Philippines, grew up in Guam, and moved to LA in 2002. Patrick was born in DC, grew up in the DC area, and then lived in Orlando for 10 years before moving to LA. Now we’re both living in LA!

How did you two get introduced to Vanlife? How long have you had your rig, and where are you at with it now?

We had known about vanlife for a while, but it wasn’t until the pandemic and local stay-at-home orders were introduced that we really started looking into it more and seriously considered it. We started following a few vanlifers on social media and became obsessed. We’ve always loved to travel, especially road tripping with our dogs, so we felt this could be a really fun way to keep traveling while staying safe. We started our vanlife adventure last August and have been building out our van ourselves since then, all while working full time — plus, Patrick is in school right now, so it’s taking a little longer than expected. But we’re almost there! 

Where did “paws4apitstop” come from? 

When we decided to start this project, we knew we wanted to document everything, mainly for ourselves, but also for friends and family (and anyone else willing to follow along), and wanted a catchy name to go with us. Our dogs are a big part of this, so we wanted to make sure that was represented. We had a few ideas, a few we thought of, and a few from friends and family, but ultimately went with this one — like “pause for a pit stop” on a road trip!

Tell us about how the two of you met. How long have you been together? 

We met through mutual friends. It was a total setup! Patrick was invited to a board game night that a friend-couple of ours hosts monthly, but Arthur knew of this sneaky setup and came prepared. We instantly hit it off and now, three years later, we still like each other quite a bit! 

Starting our van build has definitely strengthened our relationship and appreciation for one another ( Big thanks to our friends Max & Jose, check them out on YouTube, “Ketchup with Jose & Max”)!

What are some of your favorite things to do together? 

Traveling! This has obviously been tough over this last year, but it’s also what kicked off this van adventure in the first place. We’ve already enjoyed several trips together in Gwen the van - named after Pixar’s Onward - which is also why we’re not finished yet!

We really love anything and everything outdoor-related: exploring, hiking, watching movies, Patrick cooking and Arthur eating. 

How do you balance your work lives with travel & play? How is your shift to vanlife changing that balance for you, if at all? 

We both have pretty demanding full-time jobs. Patrick works as an Emergency Manager for Disney, while Arthur is a payroll and HR Manager for a Healthcare company. So, before COVID, taking on Vanlife would not have been an option. Now that we’re working remotely, however, we love it. We’ve been able to juggle building the van out with working from the road. Ultimately, we’d like to make this a more permanent setup. 

What does Pride Month mean to you? How do you celebrate? 

Pride month means being proud and authentically you, and showing it to the world. It’s also a time, however, to reflect on how we got here together as a community; that which previous generations fought for and experienced should never be forgotten. We’ve come so far, but we still have a long way to go. In years past, we’ve celebrated Pride with friends and family at Pride parades and events, which we’ll be doing this month!

Be sure to check out Arthur & Patrick’s journey on Instagram and YouTube @paws4apitstop

 

Thank you to Diversify Vanlife for all of their work and for introducing us to the amazing Arthur & Patrick and their adorable dogs Ezra & Lucy. Connect with Diversify Vanlife  on Instagram @diversify.vanlife and check out their website diversifyvanlife.com to learn more.