This is PLC, a 1988 Ford Festiva. The nickname stands for PeaceLoveCar, and it has been the transportation – as well as the office and home – for YogaSlackers members for 10 years running. That’s why it’s also been called the YogaSlacker Mobile, too. But it’s a dead car walking…it’s so worn-out, it’s currently on its final legs of active duty. So, what better way to send off a loyal friend than with a final adventure? It’s being called the PLC: End of the Road Tour, and piloting it through all 50 states are YogaSlackers Sam Salwei and Raquel Hernandez-Cruz.
Traveling this way isn’t much of an adjustment for Sam; he’s been living in the Festiva full time since 2008. “I really like the novelty of living in a subcompact car,” Sam said. “Everyone lives in a van. But this added a challenge…less than 20 square feet of space.”
The “peace car” was bought by Sam’s friend’s brother in 2003 with around 60,000 miles on the odometer. The paint job came courtesy of the friend’s high school students. Sam took possession of the car around the same time as YogaSlackers was founded, toward the end of 2005, and now the Festiva is inching its way toward 450,000 miles.
It has the original engine, a replacement transmission (they’ve blown more than one transmission from trailering), new tires, and other refreshed odds and ends; Sam loves the ease and simplicity of working on a Festiva. “This model has quite the cult following. It’s a super cheap car to play with.” And when the car has broken down on the road during the tour, Sam finds Festiva fans from all over the country are willing to lend a hand, such as users on fordfestiva.com, who have either come in person or have helped him with troubleshooting or repairing through online conversations. “We broke down in Ohio and a guy from Indianapolis drove five hours after work to help me put in a transmission until 3 in the morning, then drove five hours back to get to work.”
He and Raquel have been a couple since 2012, and this final trip was actually her idea. They’ve both been living in the car since that same year. What kinds of challenges come with this kind of living arrangement? “No bathroom when you need one,” Raquel said. “I don’t really feel that much challenge,” Sam noted. “It’s comfortable to me, and I like the constant change.”
What about life lessons learned from living on the road in a Ford Festiva? Sam believes cars are replaced too frequently, as he’s managed to keep the Festiva running a long time on a budget. Raquel’s lesson has been, “The less we have, the more we can actually do. The more capable we are.”
YogaSlackers is a company Sam cofounded, and it combines yoga poses with a slackline, plus acrobatics. It’s a lifestyle/workout that’s gaining momentum as a hot trend all over the U.S. Which yoga poses most resemble the Festiva’s last journey? Sam and Raquel agree it’s the handstand, “because it’s scary, but when everything is in alignment, it’s fairly effortless, and things flow smoothly.”
You can learn more about their trip by clicking here!