After an intense love affair with Colorado (for anyone who hasn’t gone, go and allow yourself at least double the time you intend to stay there, it is AMAZING), Myles and I headed north toward Wyoming. We were told by quite a few people that Wyoming was home to some of the most beautiful and ever changing scenery. After crossing the border and instantly finding some hot springs, a new found favourite activity of ours, we were very happy to be there.
After driving through Wyoming we stumbled upon this lonely Syncro wasting away. Our undying love for these vans got the better of us and less than twenty four hours later we found ourselves with the keys in our hands and a forty-eight hour permit to leave the country.
After spending the most incredible day driving around southern BC from Oliver to the small town of Midway, we found ourselves on a beautiful spot in the middle of the woods that due to the lack of people seemed like our private little Haven. We had spent our day driving through the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever witnessed and until now, I had no idea there were so many shades of green.
With the most colourful yellow and green birds singing to us while we made dinner it was so magical that every part of me expected them to start helping me do the dishes. We decided to go to bed rather early (our days really are so hard lately) and the magic ended there.
I couldn’t sleep with the sounds of all the wildlife all around us. A seemingly beautiful way to sleep but I couldn’t shake the fear of something crawling inside our van and chewing our wires. I calmed myself down assuring myself that if there was something here, the three dogs would let me know. After all, they love to think that they’re little hunters.
When the morning came we started our day like every other, reaching for our coffee only to notice that in our cupboard all our plastic bags had holes through them. All our rice, all our granola and oats, all leaking and full of holes. Nightmares, apparently, do come true! We peeled all our food out of our cupboard and Myles began banging on the outside of our van. I look inside and see a fat brown mouse scurry from behind out into our cupboard. I calmly (ha!) slammed the cupboard door and ran away leaving Myles to deal with our furry visitor. We decided that seeing as though he isn’t pitching in for gas, we would evict him and one trip to the hardware store got us the mesh wiring to plus our hole (we think he came in through our outlet plug in).
Unfortunately the only way to get him out of our house was to get mouse traps and try to catch him. Neither of us like killing anything and having to do it this way really upset us. We are now mouse free, and hoping it stays that way.
To our friends and family and all our readers we greatly apologize for the lack of communication from us since our departure. This trip has been a roller coaster. Incredible highs met with unexpected lows. Vanlife, for us, was a way to disconnect; to completely unplug from our everyday lives and focus on our priorities, our little family.
When leaving we had a naïve excitement for what’s to come. A blissful work free, stress free easy lifestyle. We knew there was going to be an adjustment period but we thought mostly of the bright early wake ups and tripping over each other with the lack of space. What we actually found was something greatly unexpected and something that I believe we had to learn along the way.
For us, we began our second attempt at vanlife northbound up the coast of British Colombia where we visited all the major tourist attractions in Squamish, Whistler, and Lillooet (if you haven’t already done so, add the drive from Pemberton to Lillooet to your bucket list – a steep climb up a mountain rewards you with unbelievable views and many places to stop and relax) in an effort to get to our main destination: Kamloops. I wanted to visit some amazing friends of mine to say goodbye before departing into the great unknown. Only what we didn’t realize at the time was that we were already on our trip. Always living for the future is a hard concept to shake. Always having a destination was something drilled into us, it was unexpected and even while on our trip we didn’t realize we were still living by.
After spending two nights in Kamloops we had our next destination in mind, to go visit Myles grandmother and family in Vernon. Myles passport was lost so we were forced to spend almost a week of our trip in Vernon. Luckily, we met with both of our families to visit vineyards and help us pass the time. While we were oh so impatiently waiting for his passport to arrive we had the time to have one of our infamous worldly discussions where hours pass by unknowingly and we discuss every dream and worry we have.
We realized that silently we were both having the same doubts and concerns about our trip thus far. We were rushing through towns in an effort to find our next destination, we were not set up in the van how we wanted to be (completely over packed) and we didn’t actually believe we were on our trip; This meant we were not doing it how we wanted.
We were surprised however how much space we truly had, not once had we tripped over each other. In one afternoon we cleaned out our entire van (cutting what we had currently packed by about half). After (finally) getting Myles’ passport, and doing some much needed maintenance on the van (including a fuel pump and fixing our water pump), we were on our way with new eyes and hearts full of hope.
We set sail Southbound to Osoyoos stopping at local fruit stands and always finding time to jump in the unbelievable lakes, even in a storm. We learned a few things: cleaning was a constant and important task in such small quarters; opening up our blinds helped to make everything feel much bigger and brighter; and most importantly to never forget about the excitement of what we were doing. With having no more places to stop, nowhere to be, we continue with a little experience and a ton of anticipation. How vanlife should be lived.
We promise to write more often now that we have our life in order 🙂