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 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?!
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).
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$.
2. Cover all the expenses of the trip
We had to guess how much travelling would cost, but fortunately you won’t have to do that. We’re keeping track and publishing all of our travel expenses here: faroutride.com/vanlife-actual-cost/. Hope that helps!
3. Have some extra cash to ensure a smooth transition back to a “normal” life after the trip
Yeah yeah that’s fine…
Saving Up the Cash
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!
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…
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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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!