1- The Normal Life
Life before Vanlife
The Problem With Our "Previous" Life.
Actually, there was no problem! We had pretty much everything we wanted: well-paying, permanent jobs with benefits (we were both engineers), a cute house, and friends to go on adventure with. We didn’t buy a lot of stuff (except for sport gear!), 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?).
2- Redefining Normality
Change is in the air
Life was good, but could it be better?
We lived a comfortable life, but when we reached our mid-thirties, the years seem to repeat themselves. The idea of working full time and taking short (and expensive) vacations each year until our old days was not really fulfilling… Mountain biking and backcountry snowboarding is what we love the most in this life, so we asked ourselves: how can we create a lifestyle where we can enjoy these activities to the fullest while we’re still young and healthy?
Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle
Play more, work less… Fewer expenses, less income. It’s all about balance. Can we turn that daydream into reality?
Easier said than done. How much does building a van and living in it actually cost? At the time, we couldn’t find any data about that, so it motivated us to track our van build cost and vanlife cost. Hopefully this would help others following our footsteps!
Van Build Cost
We tracked down the total cost and labor it took us to convert the van. It is organized by category/task, so it doesn’t get any more comprehensive than that! Hope that helps!
We publish our monthly travel expenses. There are over 2 years of data in there, organized by categories. You can use this as a baseline to plan your own trip (don’t forget to adjust the numbers to your own lifestyle).
Pro tip: Quit your day job = less income!
We’ll be fully transparent here, we initially didn’t plan on becoming “true” full time vanlifers; who does that? So our initial plan was to travel about a year (from our savings) and settle somewhere on the west coast.
So here’s the crazy part of the story. We decided to build this website; far out something. The idea was to keep us busy during the rainy days in the van (to share our travel pictures, stories, etc.), that’s all. We’re not exactly sure how and why, but it finally turned into this massive how-we-built-our-van reference website. This might be one of our best ideas ever because while our day jobs enabled vanlife, FarOutRide.com turned it into a full time gig. We can’t say it enough: -THANK YOU- for using the affiliate links (e.g. Amazon) from our Build Journal, for downloading the diagrams from our store, or for becoming a Patron. Without YOU, we couldn’t keep this going. It’s as simple as that! 🙂
Thinking about starting your website too? Here’s everything to get you started:
From House to Van
The months before moving into our van were absolute madness! There was so much to be done in so little time…
3- Living The Dream
Life On The Road
We built our van, quit our jobs, sold our house, and we're now living full time in our van. it feels unreal!
Vanlife is cool and all, but what really matters are the adventures!
As days, months, and years go by, we learn to live a normal life in our little home on wheels:
4- Keeping The Dream Alive
when life throws you a curveball
So we've been exploring Mexico for the past two months, and here comes 2020...
With travel restrictions in place and many public services shut down, Vanlife doesn’t get any easier. To respect the local communities, follow public advices, and because the van seems smaller than ever before, we’ll spend a few months in apartments between Squamish and Revelstoke during that period.
March & April 2020 Tales From The House: Plans are made to be changed!
May, June & July 2020 Tales From The Road. Back to #Vanlife!
August, September & October 2020 Tales From The Road: Exploring British Columbia best mountain biking trails!
Tales From The Road: Winter 2020/2021.
Driving to Yukon, cell phone coverage, dealing with the midnight sun, mountain biking, hiking, lakes and more!
We’ve been going back-and-forth about this for a little while, but we finally did it! We bought a brand new van to convert! It’s a Ford Transit 2021, AWD, 3.5L Ecoboost, same size as our previous van (high roof, extended length).
5- Redefining The Dream
The Eternal Search For Happiness
This part of our story is a work in progress...
Life is all about finding balance. We went from a life focused on work, to a life focused on travel and riding. We shifted the balance from an extreme to another, and it’s been absolutely incredible for a few years! But in the long term, too-much-of-anything is rarely sustainable… Life-is-all-about-finding-balance.
Any good story always involves a quest, so that characters can evolve in it. We can’t keep living the same dream for the rest of our life. We’re at the point of our story where we have to find our next quest. We can’t evolve if we don’t have goals, projects, or dreams. It doesn’t mean turning our life around again, more like making small adjustments.
Because of the pandemic, we had to settle down for a few months. This made us realize that it’s actually nice to have a place we can call home. A place we can go to whenever a pandemic hit the world, or if one of us get sick, or simply just if the van starts to feel too small and we feel like having more space and more independence.
At this very moment in time, here is what we think would be a good life balance for us:
- Travel in our van 6-8 months per year (ship the van to Europe maybe?).
- Stay home for the remaining of the year. Ride and hangout with our friends. Get a new van for “R&D” projects and document it on the website (we miss building stuff!).