Steve and Jody

"It's a small world."

photo by parker hilton

It was a dismal scene: rain poured down on the streets of Sayulita while the Vanajeros slumped on a stoop under an awning, drinking Tecates, scarfing down tamales, and above all wondering where the hell we were going to sleep that night. After two months of travel, we had never found ourselves without a place to park the van and lay our heads, always scoring beachfront camping, or trading our skills for a spot at a hostel or campsite. But tonight, no such luck. The beaches were private, the campsites were expensive, and the hostel had no need for our skills. It was looking like it might become our first foray into urban camping. And then...Steve and Jody appeared.

“You sure drove a long way,” Steve remarked to Parker after spotting the Minnesota plates on the van and sauntering up to greet us. We quickly learned that they were quite adventurous themselves, having lived all over the world in places like China, Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand. Not only that, they did it all with their two daughters Kailey and Megan, and their lovable dog Bodhi. They arrived in Sayulita about five days before we did, albeit with a much better sleeping arrangement than ours. They kindly offered theri spare bedroom and driveway to our cause, and we got to postpone our urban camping endeavors for the meantime. Phew.

After climbing an inexplicably steep hill just a few blocks from the town center, we were outside their house (named Casa Bonita), and came inside to meet the fam. Kailey and Megan were curled up on a bed working on their Spanish homework. They’ve been raised in many different communities, but they are mostly fluent in Chinese, and are on their way to speaking Spanish, too. Jody explained that they are able to live just about anywhere because she works remotely for the BitCoin Foundation. That’s right, the BitCoin. And although she did a proper job explaining to us what BitCoins are, we still don't really understand.

All we needed to understand, though, is that it's a sweet enough gig to afford Jody and Steve the opportunity to raise a family while exploring the world. And as far as we’re concerned, that qualifies them as being very badass parents.