Two Happy Campers is us, Mark & Michele
this is our story
We’re a couple of kids at heart that, after 12 years of marriage and 18 under the same roof, are as crazy about each other as ever. We love to live intentionally, challenge the status quo and remain fiercely rooted in today because it all could be over tomorrow.
A brief history of our many adventures…
I’m Michele, a professional photographer and the one who does the writing around here. My husband Mark is a professional pilot, jack of all trades and solver of most problems (I won the husband lottery, I know). We met in 2002 and thanks to an armed intruder became college roommates. In 2006 we started a photography business together and in 2008 became husband and wife.
After our first ever overseas vacation, we decided we’d rather spend more time and less money exploring the Mountain West than saving up for bigger but fewer “vacations”. That decision led to the purchase of our Four Wheel Camper in 2012. Since then we have owned and lived out of 3 different trailers…a 30’ Avenger travel trailer, a 17’ fiberglass Casita and a 15’ homemade utility trailer. All towed behind our 2001 Ford F250. While we’re always trying out different rig combos for both full-time and part-time RV living, the one constant that remains is our beloved Four Wheel Camper. It’s the best money we’ve ever spent and the one thing we may never part with.
In 2016 Mark’s passion for aviation led to the purchase of a Kitfox tailwheel bush plane. Airplane ownership had always felt just beyond our reach but when preparation met opportunity we were ready to make it happen. After four months and hundreds of hours poured in to refurbishing it, we had a plane that could fly. What Mark taught himself about all things Rotax engines and Kitfox airplanes in that time led to a job offer as a mechanic and flight instructor at Stick & Rudder Aviation in Idaho. In 2018 we left the Colorado Rockies to begin an entirely new chapter in Idaho.
It’s now 2020 and in wake of the Coronavirus we’re once again re-evaluating where and how we want to live. Is it possible to thrive rather than simply survive through a global pandemic? Will our careers as flight instructor and wedding photographer weather the storm? How can we minimize our financial risk while maximizing our freedom? These are the questions we’re asking ourselves as we slowly sketch a roadmap for the future. We’ve always lived our lives on the offense, never ones to sit back and wait for life to happen to us. We also believe there’s a very fine line between living your life to the fullest today, because it could all be over tomorrow, and planning to live to be 100. Either way, we’re always actively working at living a life with minimal complication and maximum freedom.
A few words that we live by.
A constant reminder that we work to live, we don’t live to work:
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”