Our Story

Our-Story-Heading-1920

Our Story

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

That job interview question is a tricky one. I've always lied about it. The truth is, I didn't know back then and still don't know. 5-years-life-plan minimize risk-taking from our live; that's the best way to miss opportunities, if you ask me.

1- The Normal Life

The Problem With Our "Old" Life.

Actually, there was no problem! We had everything we wanted: well paid permanent jobs with benefits (we were both engineers), a nice house, cars, friends, mountain biking trails, whitewater rivers, craft beer scene, etc. We’re not attracted by luxury (except for mountain bikes!) and we don’t tend to buy a lot of stuff, 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-Before-Vanlife
Life before vanlife.

2- Redefining Normality

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 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, can we create a lifestyle where we can enjoy these activities to the fullest when we’re still young and healthy?

Road Gap Van Island
This won't happen in my old days.
Getting deep into the backcountry requires knowledge, but also good knees...

Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle

Play more, work less… Less expenses, less income. It’s all about balance. Can we turn that daydream into reality?

Less Expenses

Easier said than done. How much converting and travelling in a van cost, actually? There was a lot of guesswork involved in our planning… But if you’re reading this now you can take the guesswork out of the equation, because we tracked everything down:

Van Cost

There are so many different van options out there, so we leave this part up to you. Check out classifieds (used) or inquire to your local dealer (new or used) to get a quote. On a side note, here is how we decided on the Ford Transit:

Conversion Cost

We tracked down the total cost and labor it took us to convert the van. It’s breakdown by category/task, so it doesn’t get any more  comprehensive than that! Hope that helps!

Vanlife Cost

We publish our monthly travel expenses. There are over 2 years of data in there, breakdown 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).

Less Income

Pro tip: Quit your day job = less income!

You’re welcome.

We’ll be fully transparent here, we initially didn’t plan on becoming “true” full time vanlifers; who does that? Instagram stars do it somehow, and we certainly didn’t fit into that category. 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 idea 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:

How To Start A Website (and Make Money)

3- Life On The Road

Life's Good.

We started roaming in August 2017 and we're still going...

4- Introspection

Years later, have we changed?

Sketchy Clock

Wait for it! Section coming soon...

5- Where do we see ourselves in 5 years?

Nice Try! Follow us to find out 😉

STAY IN TOUCH!

Join 30,000+ followers via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, e-mail or Patreon:

about us

Nice To Meet You.

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

21 thoughts on “Our Story”

  1. Antoinne et Isabelle! Magnifique travail! Que c’est raffraichissant et informatif! Ca rend le reve un peu plus proche de la realite! Nous devrons attendre pour nos vieux jours car avec 7 enfants c’est un peu chaud! Mais ca nous donne de bonnes idees! En attendant nous continurons nos camping trips accross the US en famille! Bon courage et on vous souhaite plein de bonnes aventures!

    Reply
  2. Antoine, the photo of you flying through the air on your bike, 3 metres off the ground sums it up perfectly and you’re right, you won’t be doing that in your old days! I recently caught some air on my skiis and my legs couldn’t take the landing and gave out. What an eye opener! Getting old isn’t for sissies! My wife and I met in my ’72 Westy, I proposed in my ’87 Westy and we just did a little road trip celebrating our 25th anniversay in our ’97 Eurovan camper but it may be time to move up to a Transit or something with a bed big enough that we don’t feel like pretzels waking up. Now if I could only convince my wife to quit her job… Carry on in all directions!

    Reply
  3. Hi,
    A couple of comments. I like the vision you have for your site and the quality of your content. It shows the respect you have for your audience.

    The other comment is about your lifestyle. I can tell you with high confidence that you will come to appreciate the wisdom of your choice to live a good life. It’s a gift not to be wasted. We’re a few cycles farther down the road from you. And quite a bit older now. My wife and I (Nurse and Engineer) quit our jobs on our early 30’s a bought a sailboat and took 5 years to sail around the world. Kid’s were never in our plan but somewhere alone the trip we decided not to skip the experience. When we got back we had a 2 yr old and my wife was 7 months pregnant with our second. We went back to work for a 7 years and enjoyed and appreciated it. Then we left again on a bigger boat when the kids were 7 and 9 and did a 4 year trip around the Pacific. West Coast to NZ to Japan then to Alaska and back to the West Coast. Never burned any bridges when we left so went back to work with folks we know. Got the kids through high school, bought a nice piece of land in the country and worked till I was 61. Retired and built and really nice small house on the property. Have a 32 foot diesel trawler we plan to spend summers on up in Alaska and now my wife retires in 3 more weeks so we just bought a 2021 AWD Transit cargo and going to set it up for land travel. I’ll be checking out your site a lot. All the boat stuff I’ve done translates over pretty well so have some head start on the system stuff. I shared all that just so you could see one example of how this could play out for you in the long term. The key is to have a dream turn into a plan and a commitment. And a little luck.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your story, I enjoyed that a lot.
      We’re 3 years into this Vanlife thing, so of course we’re wandering what’s next. Ship the van to Europe? Buy a house and stay in it 6 months/travel 6 months? Build a new van? Many decisions and options on the table, and Covid doesn’t make it easier! We’re having a hard time deciding what’s the right choice. Can’t complain though, we’re in a good position.

      Good luck with your future projects,
      Antoine

      Reply
  4. Your website and story are true gems. I appreciate the detail and intelligence with which you write/develop content. My wife and I are in the planning stages of a van build (and retirement!), and I’m sure that we will reference and share your site extensively.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights.

    Reply
  5. I’m 55 with three kids (2 in college) and an Optometry Office. Arggggghhhhhhh….I wan go van(ning) NOW…. Really, as I tell our kids, 21, 18 and 17 (yes, that’s a year difference 🙂 ) do it now. You’re welcome.

    Reply
  6. Greetings, I am new to the van conversion life, still in the planning stage, on your website I feel like I struck gold, with unmatched details about any and everything I need to do this right, can’t thank you enough for the well designed and delivered information, links, ideas, reviews, diagrams and illustrations. Thank you !

    Reply
  7. Saludos desde Argentina, sinceramente estoy parado aplaudiendo lo que han hecho, yo siempre lo soñe aunque lo veo lejos y los años pasan, tengo un hijo, poco presupuesto pero siempre manteniendo el eje.
    Soy tecnico de Shimano y trabajo de ello hace muchos años, los saludo desde la distancia.

    Reply
  8. Hello dreamers!

    Glad to see you’re living your dream! I am a bit envious actually! Working on my dream which is similar to yours. Love the detail and the analytical view, I’m sure that comes from the engineering background! I have a technical background as a master certified automobile tech and will be looking to complete a build-in 2020. I enjoy seeing what you have accomplished and that you have done it without being a video content provider! Great job on the site and enjoy the journey! I hope to cross paths someday.

    Reply
  9. Hi Isabelle and Antoine:

    I appreciate your detailed description of your shower system, and ways to improve on the set up.

    Reply
  10. We met you yesterday at Freedom Vans! I had most of the details right, I’ve learned a ton from your website, thank you! Our van is 3 days old and we’ll be following in your footsteps. I’m also an engineer, and appreciate your thought out recommendations. Thanks! We’ve already found a place for your sticker. 😉

    Reply
  11. Hi you two, love your site! I am just past 70 and my wife turning 60 . We think it’s not to late to do what you do . Having owned a VW Camper vor 25 years we thought it’s time to upgrade, so we bought the same Ford Transit as you and I am currently in the process of building it out. As it turns out it going to look similar to yours. Hope to be done in a couple of months. I just wish I had come across your website sooner, it would have saved me a lot of time. I love your order and detailed directions of the process and product information. Great job! You have become my favorite site!
    If you ever in San Diego would love to buy you a cup of coffee. (Espresso) ☕️
    Happy traveling!

    Wolf

    Reply
  12. Hello!

    Have ether of you realized on your journey that there is a need to earn an income one way or another? Traveling off savings is one thing but for those looking to work as they go; is there anything that obvious that is not apparent today during initial planning?

    I love the site and the way its structured and appreciate your lack of influencer position. One can influence in the same way someone follows their passion, the rest will come!

    Best of luck

    Luca P

    Reply
    • Hi Luca,
      “is there anything that obvious that is not apparent today during initial planning?”. Do you mean budget-wise? Don’t know if you stumble on our Vanlife Actual Cost page: https://faroutride.com/vanlife-actual-cost Everything is there 🙂

      Otherwise, we have some income with this website, but we met people on the road doing alllll kind of stuff. Google “Digital Nomad”, it’s a thing.

      Cheers!

      Reply
    • Hi guys. Just stumbled over your page. I really like the Stile of the page. Just easy to read on and on. You did an amazing job on the camper installation. In my day to day live I’m at the exact same point as you are before you started all over. I will keep following you.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.