Advantourers12 Comments

Our First Post!

Advantourers12 Comments
Our First Post!

Welcome to Bonita and Dalaney’s van blog! A place where we can document our travels around North America and share the trials and tribulations of living in a van. But before we begin, please allow us to introduce ourselves.

Not pictured: fatigue.

We are a couple of foolhardy Canadians who have left our home, families and beloved cat behind to set out an a journey around the U.S and Canada in our DIY converted van. Our one year mission: to explore strange new places, to seek out new friends and new restaurants, and to boldly go where no van has gone before.

This ain’t our first rodeo: we are fairly well travelled. Bonita has been throughout Southeast Asia, India and Europe; and Dalaney has done two lengthy trips through South America and Europe. We’ve also explored our own beautiful country at length, but neither have seen much of the U.S. Of course we’ve spoken of a big roadtrip before but had assumed it would take place far in the future but apparently we just couldn’t wait...

This whole crazy idea came around a year ago. We had recently bought a house in Edmonton and we were happily working our jobs as regular adults do. One day I (Dalaney) came across this guy's site and became immediately enamored with the idea of van life. Initially I brushed it off as a vantasy, but the more I thought about it the more it took hold. We took a road trip to Banff for a weekend where I pitched the idea to Bonita who was immediately on board..(soulmates).

So we started looking for the perfect vessel to turn into a living space and in April we found an old plumber's van that suited our needs perfectly. Thanks to the folks at Edmonton Truck Sales Ltd. we took the first steps and bought a Ford Econoline 250 Extended Cargo Van.

At that point, there was no backing out. Over the course of the next 9 months we spent a lot of our lives turning down social engagements to work on the van. We laughed, we cried. We tore down, and built up. We cursed the van, then quickly rescinded. Eventually we finished the van and ended up with something that we are truly happy to live in for the next year.

We did our best to document the whole conversion and are in the process of putting step by step guides on this site about how it all went down for anyone who is curious. The conversion took a bit longer than we had initially planned (hence us leaving in the dead winter) but we are glad we finished it properly and are thrilled with how our little home turned out. Check out a glimpse of our handiwork below. 

But what of work, you ask? What of the house we just bought? Good questions. We didn’t immediately have the answers either, but eventually found good solutions for both. Renting out the house seemed like an easy task, but we didn’t want just anyone in our house: we were quite picky. In the end we found three wonderful tenants to sign a one year lease, so we are happy our house is in good hands.

As for jobs: Bonita left behind the best co-workers and quit her longtime job as a legal assistant. Alas, she also had to take a hiatus as a magician’s assistant as well. No more being cut in half for a year! Her plan is to eventually find an amazing remote job to help support the trip (so if you have any leads, let us know!) I on the other hand, was lucky enough to keep my job as a Designer with Granify. I hesitantly brought the idea of working remotely up and much to my surprise the fine folks at Granify were very accomodating. Shoutout to my Granify peeps, much love.

So that’s the abridged story of how we came to be living in a van. Stay tuned to our adventures: we should have regular updates. Oh! And send us your travel recommendation, any tips you have for vandwelling and thoughts on the van!

Look at that beauty.