The Problem With Our “Old” Life

Actually, there was no problem! We had everything we wanted: well paid permanent jobs with benefits, a nice house, cars, friends, mountain biking trails, whitewater rivers, craft beer scene, etc. We’re not attracted by luxury (except for mountain bikes!), so we considered ourselves “rich” in a way that we could afford all the fun we wanted (keeping in mind that we’re reasonable people! are we?).

Life Without Van

 

Life Was Good, But Could It Be Better?

We lived a comfortable life, but when reaching our mid-thirties the years seem to repeat themselves. The idea of repeating the same pattern until our retirement was not really fulfilling…  there had to be better?!

The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone is a Beautiful Place, but Nothing Ever Grows There.

 

 

Could We Afford It?

One does not simply take a year off or two to travel in a van… we had to prove to ourselves that we could sustain it financially. Before we leave for our trip, we had to save enough money to:

1. Pay for the van

a) Van Cost

Buying a new van allowed us to finance it at low interest rates (2.9%). This way, the money we have to save before the trip is the cashdown and the monthly payment for X months of our trip duration (plus some buffer of course).

First Ride Avila

First Ride!

b) Conversion Cost

At the time of writing these lines, we’re tracking the complete conversion costs. See our Cost & Labor page: faroutride.com/cost-and-labor/. To make a long story short, for a conversion similar to ours, expect to pay between 12-18k USD$.

Cost and Labor

 

2. Cover all the expenses of the trip

This part is hard to predict. Here is our guesstimate at our Monthly Expenses:

Notes:

  • This is total for 2 people.
  • “VAN” includes the financing, maintenance, registration, insurance, etc.
  • “Others” includes cell phone & internet, restaurants, bars, health insurance, laundry and showers.

 

3. Have some extra cash to ensure a smooth transition back to a “normal” life after the trip

Yeah yeah that’s fine…

 

So, how much money are we looking at (for a 12 months trip)?

Basically, the cost of the trip is the predicted monthly expenses x 12 months = 2,600$ x 12 = 31k for two (15 500$ per person). Hey, that’s not more than living a sedentary life! (except that we will have no income…)

Of course, we also have to pay the van cashdown (11k$) and the conversion cost (15k$)… including this, we’re looking at 31k$ + 11k$ + 15k$ = 57k$ for two ( 28 500$ per person).

 

Saving Up the Cash

So, how many years will it take us to save up 28.5K$ each to cover the cost of the van and the trip? This is where things get interesting! Once we got the van, we spent most of our time working on the conversion. More work + less “fun” = less spending!

Clean your mess

More work, less fun…

 

The rate at which our saving started to increase was pleasantly surprising. We realized how much beer, restaurants, bike, lift ticket, gas, etc costed us in our sedentary life. We finally met our objective much faster than we anticipated, yay! This could also means that we could maybe extend the trip duration…

From the time we started saving until the beginning of the trip, about 20 months passed. We did NOT saved up 57K in 20 months… we had some saving beforehand and sold a lot of stuff, sold the house, sold the cars, etc, etc.

 

 

We’re Taking The Plunge!

We’re young, resourceful and healthy. In the end, what is the worst that could happen? Have our van & stuff stolen? We’re insured. Run out of money? We’ll just go back to our old job, we will most likely get re-hired. Regret our decision and want to go back to a sedentary life? Go back to a sedentary life and have a good laugh at all of this! Enough excuses, WE’RE DOING IT!!

 

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and we’re seeking for the ride of our life. We bought a Ford Transit van, converted it to a campervan, sold our house and hit the road full-time to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!

3 comments

  1. Comment by Aaron Traxinger

    Aaron Traxinger Reply August 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    We seem to have similar attitudes in life. Down to the mountain bikes spending problem. (my wife just bought a sweet Scott Spark last winter and I am getting the new Genius this winter).

    This question: this website is amazing. I am thinking about doing one as well so that others can use me as a resource, sort of a “Pay it Forward” thing. Not sure that my goal is to earn any money from the site (TBD). What tools are you using? ( I am a very experienced programmer so I am not scared of that aspect, graphics are not a strong skill)

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply August 17, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Hi Aaron,

      I’m using WordPress.com with Voyager theme. I’m hosted by Arvixe (cheap but a bit slow, you might want to check BlueHost instead).

      Webpage design has come a long way; you don’t need any programming skills anymore to do a website similar to mine (unless you design your own theme and stuff). I’m just using the basic WordPress engine with some plugins.

      If you’re willing to put the hours and efforts on documenting your build, I strongly advise to do so! The internet is big enough for both of us 😛 Faroutride = free gas & free beer, sweeeeeet! I think I put as much time on this website than on the van build, but the positive feedback is very rewarding and my contact list is populating (local trails guide?).

      Cheers!
      Antoine

  2. Comment by Aaron Traxinger

    Aaron Traxinger Reply August 17, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for the replies. You can use us for local trails guides for sure. Although Bozeman is not considered a mountain biking destination(probably because our trails are not grouped into riding parks) we have tons of great riding. I have already put in 100,000 ft of climbing this year and over 700 miles (150 from a week in Fruita and the rest locally). While you are up in the Fernie area you should try to make it to Whitefish. They have a pretty amazing trail system that they are building.

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