From Major League Soccer to Life in an Airstream
If you follow Major League Soccer, you probably know of Brad Evans is. If you don’t, you should. He was one of the league’s most talented and loved players and just retired after 12 years in order to travel full-time across the country with his wife in their 23-foot airstream. They’re visiting as many national parks as possible and eating Taos Bakes to fuel their adventures along the way. We recently caught up with Brad to see how his trip was going.
For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your time as a professional soccer player
I’ve been playing major league soccer for the past twelve years. I spent two years in Columbus, nine in Seattle, and one in Kansas City. In that span, I’ve also played almost thirty games with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
You’re traveling constantly for your city, running pre-season warmups from mid-January to the closing games in November. Not a lot of downtime. And in the middle of all of that, the U.S. national team can pick you up any time throughout the year. It’s exhilarating, but I’m glad to have that phase behind me—last year was my final season.
How does living out of an Airstream compare?
The main thing is, I can actually spend more than a couple days in one place. And there’s a different breed of hospitality in the parks. We’ve had life chats with some of the most kind, outgoing people I’ve ever met.
Another thing! In ten years, this is the first time I’ve spent over a month with my wife, and we don’t hate each other! I’m pretty proud of that when you consider you’re sharing every inch of a small aluminum box. This has been a sweet time to rekindle with Becky and take things slow.
What have been your greatest challenges?
Believe it or not, food! I hate to say it, but food in the national parks is garbage. We made a promise a while to trace back the origins of our food, and to shop at grocery stores that carry whole, natural ingredients. You know—Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, local co-ops.
The problem is, none of the smaller towns on the road have these, and it gets difficult when you need to plan meals seven days in advance. We’ve ended up planning our routes around grocery stores, just to find food we want to cook.
What’s your Airstream setup like?
I’d been doing research for a couple years and landed on a 23-foot Flying Cloud. It’s a 2019 that we tow behind a Toyota Tundra. Part of the bargain was Becky got to gut and redesign the inside. Some of it’s been out of my wheelhouse, but nothing too challenging at this point.
Where do you think you’ll end up?
We’ve always had a soft spot for New Mexico—half of my family is from Truth or Consequences. We actually stopped in for a few weeks, visited my grandparents’ old home, and reconnected with the area. It’s always been a mystical place. I sorta feel like the desert is the last wilderness. But I know we’ll eventually end up back in Seattle. It’s where Becky and I lived for nine years, and when we’re tired of the road, I’m sure we’ll drift back home.
Follow Brad’s airstream chronicles on Instagram: @Bradrevans.