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: 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

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: 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!

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…



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!

5 thoughts on “Prologue”

  1. J’ai lu dernièrement l’article sur, super article!

    Nous avons la chance d’avoir de longue vacance l’été et nous profitons de ce temps pour réaliser nos rêves.

    Tout comme vous nous avons parcouru l’Ouest Américain et Canadien, mais j’avoue qu’en lisant votre magnifique site web que l’intérêt me reviens peu à peu.

    Depuis quelques années je cherchais du côté Ram et Mercedes, jamais pour un Ford. En lisant ton site que tu amènes de très bon point qui m’amène à me re-questionner.

    Les secteurs qu’on aimerait bien revoir serait le Wyoming et le Montana, mais cette fois-ci pas avec un Honda Element 2004, J’adore ce véhicule, parfait pour du Stop-and-Go, mais quand il s’agit de rester quelques jours au même endroit ce n’est pas vraiment l’idéal.

    Lien de notre blog:

    Je me permet de t’écrire en français, car je me dis que ça vous fera sûrement sourire! (Ça brise la routine).

    Un grand SALUT du Québec.

    • Les USA sont tellement vaste et diversifiées, il y’a beaucoup à visiter! Avec tous les grands espaces accessibles, une van est idéale pour voyager ca rend les choses si simple. On adore!

      Au plaisir de te voir sur la route :)`

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

    • Hi Aaron,

      I’m using 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?).


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