WHEN ADAM AND EMILY HARTEAU LEFT THEIR HOME in California in October 2012, they only expected to be gone a year. The plan was to drive in their tricked-out VW Westfalia with their daughter Colette from California all the way to Tierra Del Fuego at the tip of the South American continent and back over the course of the year. But 5 months in, they realized that they didn’t want to stop. And they haven’t. In 2014, their family grew from 3 to 4 with the birth of their second daughter Sierra (born in Florianopolis, Brazil), and they’re still going to this day. They document their travels on their blog, Our Open Road.

The Harteau Family in Argentina. All photos via Our Open Road.

Their VW Westfalia is how they get from place to place. They’ve fitted it with bunk beds, solar panels, a fridge, a two-burner stove, and a small sink. They’ve secured it with steel bars that can be placed onto the front windshield and windows during stays in cities, and they padlock every door.

Driving the iconic Ruta 40 in #Argentina #Patagonia

A photo posted by @ouropenroad on

They funded their trip by selling pretty much everything they own in garage sales, by running a Kickstarter, and by holding occasional fundraisers as well.

Adam is an artist who specializes in photography, and Emily is a fashion designer and a chef, who is in the process of writing a cookbook.

Chile, we love you. Hello again #Argentina!

A photo posted by @ouropenroad on

They practice the art of “slow travel,” which allows them to take their time while traveling cheaply and inexpensively through South America.

When they decided to extend the trip from 5 months to an indefinite amount of time, they realized they needed more money to keep going. So they invented the 24-hour bazaar, which are flash sales at the side of the road.

Colette is getting her education on the road — she loves singing and drawing, and her parents packed a plastic tub as her own portable pool.

Colette in Chile. Via Our Open Road

You can follow the family’s adventures at their blog, Our Open Road, or at their Facebook or Instagram pages.

The family in Peru. Via Our Open Road.

Cruising through a #Patagonia paradise! #TorresDelPaine

A photo posted by @ouropenroad on