Shifting Gears: From Popup to Poland

Polish Zlotys

For the past month, we’ve been living exclusively outdoors and sleeping on a magic carpet. At least that’s how it felt.

Our plan was to take the new popup travel trailer on a serious shakedown trip, and in the process, escape the when-will-this-be-over heat of coastal Georgia.

After a month on the road in the northern USA, where we enjoyed cool weather and lots of Roadside Americana, we’re happy to report that both goals have been accomplished.

Even though handling the new rig presented a steep learning curve (towing, backing, setup, and stowing), we’ve put it through its paces and are now comfortable with it. There’s no denying that it’s considerably more complicated than a 9X7 tent, but the added comfort is just what we wanted.


It’s pretty cozy sleeping on a queen-size bed (avec soft mattress), hovering in the air, magic-carpet style, and knowing that we’ll stay high and dry.


But, we’re back home now shifting gears again, getting ready to head back out on the road. Where to, you may ask? Well let’s just say that the Polish zlotys aren’t the only new currency we’ll be tackling. Stay tuned.

Happy Trails,
James and Terri


We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

27 thoughts

    1. Thanks Alison. After all those years of sleeping on the ground, it really is sweet. After our Europe trip, we plan on taking it back out for some cooooool fall camping and leaf peeping. ~James

  1. Your Americana series has been delightful. And the popup, such civilization. 🙂 looking forward to Poland and points east. Haven’t decided on our next adventures beyond Mexico in November. May even stay home for awhile. 🙂 Curt

    1. Thanks Curt. I’ve also really enjoyed the Burning Man series. Thanks to your posts, I now know a good deal more about the event, and have a new perspective. And here I thought it was just an excuse to go into the desert and drink. In addition to Poland, we’ll visit Ukraine, Slovakia, and Hungary. Three of the 4 are new for us, so we’re excited. ~James

      1. Sounds like a great trip… We just passed on a journey that included Lithuania since it conflicted with our trip to Alaska this summer. Glad you have enjoyed Burning Man. Yes, there are people who show up and drink for a week… but it is so much more. –Curt

    1. Nifty invention indeed Jo. It was such an improvement over a tent, that we almost felt guilty … but not really. We’re really looking forward to Poland. It’s been on our list for years, and we’re glad to finally be going. We’ve read all your informative posts, and it’s nice to see your photos. In addition to Poland, we’ll visit Ukraine, Slovakia, and Hungary. Of course, we’ll keep you posted. ~James

    1. Thanks Kelly. The popup is a hoot, and it makes our camping life a lot more comfortable. We’re looking forward to Eastern Europe. It’s nice to be able to travel easily between countries for a change. ~James

  2. I love the idea of a magic carpet! It must be pretty nice temperature for you to be able to do that! I would absolutely love to go on a driving tour around America when I have a chance…. the caravan thing sounds perfect =)

    1. Thanks Tanny. The US is a huge place, and consequently, has an incredible diversity of history and landscapes. We’ve traveled across it many times, and are never disappointed. If you ever get the chance, I’m sure you will enjoy it as well. ~James

  3. I’ve recently heard the term ‘glamping’ bandied about (as in, glamorous camping), and I feel like your pop-up fits the bill! Here’s to much more glamping in the not-so-distant future! 🙂

    1. I’m not sure that this qualifies as glamping in the truest sense of the word Miranda. But as we sit inside, having a drink, and watching a video on our laptop, it feels like glamping to us. BTW, It’s good to see you back How’s Cali? ~James

    1. Thanks Suzanne. It is a contraption, but it’s a cute contraption. It’s parked while we’re in Europe, but we’re looking forward to more camping in October. We’ll keep you posted. ~James

      1. Enjoying your posts – the country looks absolutely delightful! And I rarely say this – but I want to go shopping there from what I’ve seen so far.

      2. When we travel, we’re more lookers than buyers, but we’ve seen some very nice stuff in Poland Pam. They have excellent folk crafts, and it’s also a big center for amber. I really enjoy both of these crafts, and it’s been hard to resist. Also, compared to the rest of Europe, the prices are very reasonable. ~ James

      3. Oh my two favorites – hand-made crafts and amber! I was enjoying those beautiful suns on the buildings too. Very colorful and cheery!

      4. Thanks Pam. I love these old clocks. After doing a bit of reading, the technology was quite a feat for the time. Some of them also show phases of the moon. Very cool. ~ James

  4. Wow,your pop-up is the only one I’ve seen that is smaller than ours except one teeny chalet type that we saw at a campground a couple years ago. I also follow a blog of a gal that travels all over towing a teardrop. Her space is cute as can be and perfect for her, but too small for two people to be comfortable on a long-term basis. Our bed extensions are only full-size, but that works for us. We move the mattress from one end to double up the mattress on the bed end. The extension devoid of mattress becomes the extended kitchen on one side, books and such in the middle, and clothes storage on the other side. We got the Pony (used) less than two years ago, also a step-up from tent camping. At our age, having a table and place to read and write comfortably after dark became more important than “roughing it.” We still look forward to backpacking outings to see the more remote areas of our great outdoors, but love our Pony camping.

What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s