This Couple Left Everything They Knew to Chase Their Dream Across America
Have you ever thought about leaving it all behind? You know, setting out on the open road with nothing but a camera and a your sense of adventure? Well, this couple did just that. Meet Lisa Beggs and Victor Ving, two artists who started dating a few years ago while living and working in New York City. Now, they travel around the country in an RV painting those incredible “Greetings From” murals you may have spotted in places like Chicago, Seattle, and San Diego. Or, if you’re a basketball fan, there’s a chance you even caught a glimpse of their Cleveland masterpiece during a recent Cavs game.
So how did the whole idea for the Greetings Tour actually start? According to Lisa, not overnight. “It wasn’t like this huge moment where we were like, ‘Oh my God! We have to make murals and live on the road,’” she recalled. Like most things in life, it kind of “just happened.”
Victor did the “corporate thing” for eight years, while Lisa worked as a freelance photographer. After traveling to the West Coast together on vacation and meeting other couples living on the road, they realized they didn’t want their trip to end. At this point, Victor had already completed what would soon become the first official Greetings Tour mural in Chinatown, New York, and after overwhelming feedback from the community, they realized they could turn this concept into a bigger project.
So in April 2015, they packed their bags and hit the road as the Greetings Tour. To date, they’ve completed a total of 13 murals and visited 48 states (North Dakota and Alaska will complete the list). Along they way, they’ve trekked through Yellowstone National Park, camped amongst the hippies in Slab City, and fallen head over heels in love with Madison, Wisconsin. Their photos are, for lack of a better word, unreal. Oh, and the murals aren’t bad, either.
Of course, there are some downsides to living on the road, like foregoing your morning shower to conserve water for cooking. Lisa and Victor have had to get creative when it comes to their personal hygiene, but lucky for them, creativity is their specialty.
“We shower at the gym,” Lisa laughed. “It sounds crazy. In the beginning we’d last three days without showering, and then towards the end it got up to like five. But you get used to it. I still wash my face when I wake up and when I go to bed. I still brush my teeth every day. I still do all the normal stuff.”
While wearing makeup has become less of a daily priority, Lisa has had to adapt her skin-care routine to deal with increased sun exposure and a variety of climates.
“I use the Andalou 1000 Roses line for their cleansing foam, beauty oil, and facial SPF, and apply tons of Thayers rose water several times throughout the day,” she said. “That, and I drink a ton of water.”
Though their RV does have a full bathroom, kitchen, and living area, it obviously doesn’t have a washer/dryer. Victor and Lisa stop at laundromats whenever they can, but most of the time they end up re-wearing the same outfit a few days in a row.
“I’m like a cartoon character,” Victor joked. “I wear the same thing every day!”
Another surprising detail is where they actually sleep — more specifically, where they park their house on wheels. They’ve stayed in a variety of spots like campgrounds and RV parks, but their absolute favorite place? Good old Walmart.
“The Walmarts around the country are really nice!” Victor said. “There’s an app called Walmart Overnight Parking Locator that tells you which you can stay at.” Who knew?
Life on the road isn’t for the faint of heart, but for these artists, the pros outweigh the cons by a million percent. Although they’re currently back where it all started in NYC (their unofficial home base), they won’t be there for long. They’ll soon be headed to paint in Waterbury, Connecticut followed by El Paso, Texas, first stopping out west to experience Utah’s Zion National Park. And then after that, they’re headed back to San Diego, California to paint a naval tribute.
From there, Lisa and Victor plan to go wherever the wind takes them — as long as there’s an empty wall or two along the way.