Who are we?

Hi and welcome to our blog! As many of you can likely identify with, we love the outdoors and traveling. We love to bike, ski, trail run, camp, hike, explore new places and meet new people. After college, we both pursued corporate careers taking us to New York City, San Francisco and, for Jakob, to London. In February 2014, we both decided to leave our jobs to focus our time on preparing for an extended road trip through the Americas. We don’t want to bore you with too many details about us, but hope that you’ll get to know us through our blog posts and please feel free to reach out to us anytime at nikki@sprintervandiaries.com or jakob@sprintervandiaries.com!


In January 2014, we adopted a dog! We named her Leika (like the Russian space dog, but spelled differently). We hope she’s as excited about this trip as we are – she’ll be getting plenty of attention and time to run, swim and play with us.


Nikki Levi and Jakob Celnik


  1. Hello sprinter van diaries! My name is Chris Sommer and I live in State College. I’m actually a friend of your little sister, Kyra. I’ve been following your whole trip and think that what you did was so incredible! I too was living in my car for a little bit, but I found that a Subaru Outback was not quite as spacious as your van hahah. I saw your last instagram post and would like to say that I am interested in looking at and possibly purchasing (if the price is right) your van, if you are selling it openly. Let me know what you think!

    Thanks, Chris Sommer

    • Hi Chris! Great to hear from you! If you’re in State College now, we should certainly meet up and you can take a look at the van and what not. Shoot us an email at sprintervandiaries@gmail.com if you have specific questions or want to coordinate something.

  2. Hi guys, looks like an incredible experience. My Peruvian boyfriend and I are planning a similar trip, and to do up a van. We were wondering how you went in terms of safety? Were there any times you were robbed, or hassled? We were just discussing how much crime is in places like Lima and how it might be unsafe to travel in a van in some regions. Would be great to hear from you and your experiences 🙂

    • Hey,

      Safety was a concern, especially before the trip, and we’ve had our share of bad experiences (read more here). We noticed what we called “next country syndrome” – wherever we went, locals always told us that their place was safe, but the next country a total mess. In the US, people are afraid of Mexico, Mexicans believe Guatemala is unsafe, Guatemalans think Honduras is terrible, and so on.

      However, we certainly don’t believe that safety concerns should stop you from traveling, and that taking some basic precautions can go a long way, such as never driving at night and never leaving your vehicle unattended. So with proper care you can minimize (although not eliminate) the risks.

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