After living in the city for years, Jess and Andy Wickstrom packed up shop and hit the road in search of good climbing and beautiful scenery. We caught up with the Wickstroms along their adventure and learned more about their fairytale story. Hey, we can dream, can't we?
On the morning of August 1, 2014, a small U-Haul, an SUV towing a fiberglass “egg” trailer, two people, and a dog named Pickle made their way up the Kennedy Expressway, carefully zig-zagging through traffic and out of Chicago.
After eleven years spent living in the city, Andy and I had finally managed to hatch an exit plan and were on our way to a new life of adventure, entrepreneurship, and joyful uncertainty. The plan had multiple dimensions and was a synthesis of our desires to responsibly fund a life on the road, give back, and climb as much as possible. We had just wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign for the project we call DesignEgg , a creative firm on wheels that provides free graphic design and photography services to artists and non-profit organizations across the county. With the support of our friends, family, colleagues, and more than 130 people on Kickstarter, we left Chicago that summer with the wind at our backs.
We’ve been on the road for seven months now. We’ve traveled over 7,000 miles with our renovated trailer, downed more than 400 cups of coffee, visited ten national parks, and are on our eighth world-class climbing destination. We have made countless new connections, expanded our freelance business, and are helping 16 individuals and non-profits in eight states by designing their logos, books, posters, updating their websites, and photographing their spaces for free.
Every morning, we wake up in our cozy little bed with Pickle, the rescued pit bull, right there between us—three lucky dogs who beat the system.
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