This Family is Taking an Epic Road Trip From North to South America
The Harteau family overlooking Peru, one of their South American stops. (All photos courtesy of Adam and Emily Harteau)
In October 2012, Adam and Emily Harteau decided to cast off the definition of “normal” life, hop in a tricked-out Volkswagen Westfalia van, and drive from California to Tierra del Fuego in South America. They planned to return one year later. If you’re thinking this merely sounds like an extended road trip, you should consider that Emily and Adam took their daughter Colette, then 21 months old, with them.
This crew is still on the road, trekking through South America at their own pace. On June 22, Emily gave birth to her daughter Sierra Luna.. And she concedes that being on the road during a pregnancy is no small feat.
“The first trimester on the road was rough,” she recalls. “We were at 12,500-foot elevation for a good two months, a height that’s difficult enough without the added hormonal rollercoaster of growing a child. Adam was able to spend a lot of time with Colette, so I was thankfully able to get some very necessary rest.”
Rest is relative for this family. They have no plans of stopping, documenting their journey on the website, Our Open Road. Read on for their incredible story, as told by Emily to Yahoo! Travel over email:
The family in Baja California, Mexico.
“When we departed, Colette was 21 months old. Strangely, we do not have a pic of the three of us with the van at departure. Colette is now 3 years old. While we don’t have a curriculum we follow to ‘home school’ her, we value education very much. We explain and discuss the things we experience, read books daily and integrate learning into our daily lives.
“A 1990 Volkswagen Westfalia T3 became part of the family in 2004. After six years of loyal service and many miles, the original VW motor gave out and the long-talked-about conversion to a Subaru EJ2.2 motor began, upping the horsepower from 95 to 135. Before we hit the road, GoWesty rebuilt the front end, installed Fox shocks and a 10-foot roll-out Fiama shade awning.”