Chris and Sara of Let’s Be Us are digital nomads and coffee connoisseurs with a drive for adventure! They’ve learned the importance of a reliable rig after upgrading to a new van with commodities such as air conditioning. With a new van comes a new power system, which is why Battle Born Batteries is proud to supercharge their rig on their travels near and far.
Meet Chris and Sara:
Chris Pochiba and Sara Aho of Let’s Be Us have been on the road since October 2018. The two originally met in 2014 when they both were biking across the country for the second time. Sara began the trek as part of a non-profit event to raise money for refugees in Myanmar. The two met in the van that was being used as part of the cycling tour and one of their favorite jokes is that they “met in a van and now live in one!”
Sara is a photographer with grand, fun ideas, and the two have joked about starting a coffee table book all about their love of coffee and donuts. Chris works in the graphic design and marketing industry and owns his own business. For the past decade, he’s created visual campaigns for top brands all over the world. Chris’s interest in biking and living a more spontaneous lifestyle began after reading the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Don Miller. The novel explores the concept of being able to change your life into something that could make a great story, and Chris certainly believed it was something he needed. The couple eloped in 2016, lived in Seattle for a short while, and then decided to make the leap into van life.
Some of their favorite trips in the van were adrenaline–pumping bike trips in Idaho, where they rode to the tops of the highest mountains they’ve ever ridden on! Chris also enjoyed driving on the unpaved Dempster Highway in Canada on their way to Alaska. Even though they admit it’s sometimes cliché to say, it really is about the journey, not the destination.
Living in a van with their Goldendoodle Kramer has been quite a journey (especially on rainy days!) but they really like giving their pup “an ever-changing backyard” with each adventure. National parks were a challenge, however, because of strict policies for dogs, so learning to adapt was something that Chris and Sara had to keep in mind.
“A lot of breweries are dog–friendly, so finding little places that were able to take Kramer inside were definitely helpful,” said Chris. “We’d find little life hacks to make it work, and we also don’t like to leave him in the van alone for too long.”
Working as digital nomads allows for a flexible schedule but can lead to technical issues especially if they’re in the most remote places possible. Chris says that working while visiting in Alaska came with challenges because of the spotty cell service.
“We didn’t know what we were getting into with the drive up there,” said Chris. “We had clients that were worried for us because we couldn’t check–in due to no service. We’ve learned a lot since then, but just making sure that you’re able to have connections to the internet is always a good start.”
What’s in the Van?
Chris and Sara are currently running 5 Battle Born BB10012 batteries in their DIY Sprinter van. They also have components from AM Solar, an Oregon based company specializing in energy management and power solutions for RVs and other rigs. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the couple recently moved into a house and are putting longer drives on hold. They’re slowly getting back to the van renovation process, and their newest video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the projects they’ve done for their dream home on wheels. They even offer “Van Life Starter Kits” for anyone interested in foraying into the nomadic lifestyle.
Chris and Sara are passionate about how much freedom they have on the open road but admit that it takes a lot of planning and preparation when making a travel itinerary and working with clients. Overall, they see the van as a mode of inspiration and a place to sleep at night. Meeting fellow travelers allowed them to see how others maintain a work-life balance while on the road. It’s an important factor to not overlook when first living the van life, the couple said.
A lot of their brand’s content is travel based, so meeting people and seeing the sights is their primary focus. Chris says it helps with his graphic design projects and with the creative process significantly.
“Being able to be in a different place, whether it’s a week or a month at a time and being able to explore a different place and see someone else’s different way of living and their culture is inspirational,” said Chris. “When we were traveling abroad in Thailand for a few months, the design process is definitely different from here in America. There’s no box to think inside and seeing how their creative ideas and styles help to incorporate new things into our work.”
What’s Next for Let’s Be Us?
Chris and Sara are patiently waiting to get back on the road, and some of the places they’re ready to revisit when it’s safe again include the desert Southwest, along with the Pacific Northwest. They are also looking forward to traveling to Alaska again since they feel they’ve learned so much more about van life since their initial visit.
Currently consuming coffee every chance they get, Chris and Sara have compiled a list of every coffeehouse they’ve visited. They love the culture that coffee shops bring and how people can collectively come together to relax or work. It’s all about the taste from a quality batch of coffee beans, and Chris and Sara love to talk with owners about their passion and connect with them over a popular, energizing drink.
Their blog post highlights the criteria that they use for judging coffee, basing their decisions on the quality and taste of the coffee itself, the shop’s atmosphere, and the friendliness of the staff. There are over 230 shops that are on their list, and Chris and Sara consider it to be a necessary splurge of their monthly budget!