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
The Eternal Search For Happiness
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! But in the long term, too-much-of-anything is rarely sustainable…
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 want our story to be filled with many different chapters. We can’t evolve if we don’t have new goals, new projects, new dreams. It doesn’t mean turning our life around again, it means 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.
To live in a van is a lot of compromises; we had to let go of many other passions that shaped and defined us as human beings. We still want our life to revolve around mountain biking and skiing, but it’s time to expose our brain and body to new activities. Learn new things, be beginners at something again. Reclaim a little bit of complexity and all-aroundness that used to define us.
At this moment in time, our ultimate life balance would be to travel 6-8 months per year and enjoy activities at home the remaining of the year. That’s pretty high expectations, but if we made our #Vanlife dream come true a few years ago, maybe we can make our new #LifeBalance dream come true as well? Let’s see…
A New Base Camp
So we bought a house!
As we’re slowly settling in, memories from the past years keep on coming back in our head: dreaming and discussing about living in a van, putting the house for sale, the day we moved into the van, the first time we filled our water tank, crossing the border to Mexico, etc, etc. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that buying a new house is like going back to square one, but really it’s not. Moving to the West Coast has been a dream of mine for a LONG time, and that just happened. That’s the start of a new chapter, and it’s very exciting! We have a new playground to discover and a much better life balance. And it’s not the end of #VanLife for us, we still want to travel 6-8 months per year and rent the house during that time, hopefully.