We are Brendan and Sam Binger, the wayfarers behind Life Among Pines.
We are an average 20-something couple from the Southern New Jersey area, just twenty minutes outside the city of Philadelphia. After marrying in August 2013, we lived the American dream for a few years. We had successful careers, a house on a quiet street, a yard, a garden which we tended with care, two cars, and a few pets. However, there was one problem with our beautiful, suburban life: we both had an incessant thirst for travel, what many refer to as “wanderlust.” We wanted to see the great big world that we knew was out there.
We had each previously been afforded amazing opportunities to travel, both domestically and abroad. For us, these experiences changed our lives in powerful ways. They opened our minds to new perspectives. They exposed us to vibrant cultures and ways of living. They taught us the value of experiences and memory. But above all, they left us craving more.
Sure, we could have satisfied our thirst by spending all our money on one or two exciting trips per year. This idea crossed our minds many times, but, for us, this just wasn’t enough. Plus, we both knew all too well that life often seems to have a way of thwarting such plans, and we wanted to ensure that we would be able to travel as often as we liked. Thus, we designed our entire lifestyle to center around travel.
Since we both possess a deep fascination with natural beauty, we, above all, desired to seek and experience awe-inspiring landscapes and natural wonders. We knew that our very own home country, the United States, offered, itself, an unprecedented number and variety of such landscapes, specifically through the US National Parks. This was one of the primary reasons that we chose to base our new lifestyle of travel in the United States.
Long-story short, (you can read that long story here: The Journey to the Journey) we made the decision to make this fantastic dream a reality. In early 2016, we began the intense process of restructuring our lives to support a lifestyle of travel. Then, in December of 2016, we packed up and hit the road in our 36ft motorhome.
Life Among Pines is the result of this decision: the brand which we founded around our journey. Our mission is to share the joys of our travels, our experiences in this amazing country, and the memories that we make, with anyone who shares the same beliefs and passions that we do or who simply wishes to read and learn more about our experiences. Along the way, we hope that we can encourage others who are interested in a similar lifestyle to take the plunge, or maybe even to help those individuals turn their dreams into a reality. Further, we hope that our journey can inspire others with one of our most sacred beliefs: live the life that you desire with every single day.
Hi, I’m Sam Binger,
and I have the extraordinary privilege of travelling the United States fulltime, while making a living doing what I love. After graduating from Rutgers University, I spent three years working as a substitute teacher before my newfound life of travel. I am an animal-loving bookworm, an avid photographer and an amateur chef/wanna-be foodie. I savor the joy which can be found in the beautiful and the simplistic, whether that be an exciting new landscape, the scent of my freshly watered houseplants, a film that leaves me speechless, or the sound of falling rain on the roof of our RV. I especially love to write about the topics that I am passionate about, both old and new, and I spend way more time than I should photographing my pets, who bring me some of the greatest joys of life. I believe that I tend to see the world a bit differently than most. I guess that you could say I am a free spirit. When not exploring with Life Among Pines, you can find me running MugsySupplyHouse, the custom drinkware company I founded in 2016.
the other 50% of Life Among Pines.
I am a self-taught designer and marketer by trade. Prior to life on the road, I held a successful corporate career as a Marketing Director. In the after hours, I would spend much of my free time operating my design and marketing consulting brand, Brendan Binger Co., where I helped my clients to successfully navigate the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
I enjoy the singular privilege of waking up each day to spend my time doing what I love.
Recently, I have been applying my time towards growing my freshly founded web design and digital marketing agency: Quarry Design Group.
When not working, you can find me riding triple fins or seven-plys, digging my nose into the pages of a new book, or exploring the wilderness of the US.
Luna is a one-year-old white German shepherd. We brought her home from a breeder in Vermont when she was just six weeks old, and she has been such a great addition to our little family. Any GSD owner can attest to how silly/dopey they can be, and Luna is no exception. Her favorite things are her toys, her bed and Max, with whom she has been completely obsessed since the day that we brought her home. She and Max play very rough together, but they never fight. They are inseparable, and stay right alongside each other, even when given as much space as they would like to run and play. Luna really is the sweetest little dog, and she is a valuable member of the Life Among Pines crew!
Maxwell is a two-year-old “border aussie,” (a border collie/Australian shepherd mix). It must be a great mix, because he is truly the best dog ever! We adopted him from a little Southern NJ farm in 2014, and since then has been just the best little companion. His three favorite things ever are food, Frisbees, and his ball, in that order. He loves to run and play, and he and Luna play so rough, running, chasing and biting each other. He loves walks in the outdoors and playing in open spaces with his siblings, wherever that may be. He can most often be seen wearing his classic red bandanna. Max welcomes new friends of any kind, and hopes to make many, many more friends throughout our travels.
Archie is a Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise cross, commonly referred to as a “teddy bear” or a “shichon.” He was our first pet together, and we got him as a little 2-pound puppy. While only three years old, we often refer to him as a grouchy old man, because he acts and seems much older than he is. While generally quite calm, he knows how to quickly switch into “play” mode when the moment is right. Even though he only weighs 15 pounds, he keeps up very well with Max and Luna and loves to play and go on long hikes. He can often be seen sporting sweaters and bow ties and loves most to lay in the big window at the front of the RV, especially when we are on the move.
Elsa is a three-year-old gray/white domestic short-haired cat. She and Anna are littermates, and we got them at the exact same time. (Yes, the names are from Frozen! We got them just days after the movie came out and used the movie as name-inspiration, lol). She loves to chill and lay in the same spot, sometimes for hours and hours at a time. She especially likes to hangout nearby us, no matter what it is that we may be doing. Brendan affectionately refers to her as “the gray cat.” She is very friendly with strangers, and her personality more closely resembles that of a dog than of a cat. She travels well, and seems to enjoy looking out at all her new surroundings.
Anna is a three-year-old calico cat (domestic short-hair) and Elsa’s littermate. She is much smaller than Elsa, which allows her to curl up and “fit” into the smallest of spaces. We often say that she explores anything new brought into the house within 5 minutes, and she can almost always be found playing or getting into things. She loves to lay in laps, but only when it’s her idea first, haha. She is usually the first to greet us in the morning, mostly in search of her breakfast. She has more of a “cat-like” personality than Elsa, but they are ultimately the best of friends and are rarely seen in separate locations. Like Elsa, she loves to travel to new locations and watch all the interesting sights as they pass by.