It is now 27 months since we sold our home in Toronto and we are still home-free (credit to the brothers from @thevanwithnoplan for that concise descriptor!) as opposed to home-less and living from our home on wheels.
While we were stationary in Amherstburg we had the van painted. It is now green! 1974 VW Ravenna Green to be precise. As soon as we picked it up from Mark Robson (an extraordinary guy who is tops in the field of auto restoration) and reloaded it with our belongings we hit the road on June 1st bound for our first VW meet-up in Christian’s hometown of Almonte. We spent three days parked on the Almonte Fairgrounds with about 250 other VW buses and owners. We met some really awesome people that share our love for these old vans. And Christian even got to visit with some of his old pals from high school while we were there!
We then continued on visiting with friends in Ottawa and Enterprise and camping in provincial parks we had never before visited including Lac Phillipe in Gatineau, Silver Lake, Bon Echo, Turkey Point, and Wheatley. We have explored both sides of the mitten of Michigan, mostly the west and quite a lot of the slipper which is commonly called the UP (pronounced Yupee) and now northeastern Wisconsin.
We have been considering a home base for the past several months. Our thoughts have been that it should be low maintenance, small but big enough to accommodate a work space, and close to our family and friends. We’ve looked at condos in Toronto, an old church in Elora, a house in Prince Edward County and condos and houses in the Windsor area. We’ve even tried to buy a couple of places in Windsor. And just yesterday we drove to Rice Lake, Wisconsin to look at some tiny homes. The reason we have been looking at places in the Windsor area is largely because of Julie’s dad who has Alzheimer’s Disease. We’d ideally like to be near him while he still knows who we are and within easy proximity to his retirement home. We are struggling to find a solution and it feels like we are overthinking everything which is contrary to how we have always approached life. We generally make decisions, usually without much deliberation and embrace that decision wholeheartedly. If it feels right, it is right is our rule of thumb. So we are starting to ask ourselves why is nothing feeling right… Though we are very comfortable in van life we are feeling like continuing on in the van is without purpose. In part because it doesn’t solve the dad problem, and in part because we find it difficult to do the work we would like to be able to do from the van. The conditions of van living are at times imperfect for working…interruptions from well meaning campers that want to talk about our van or the one they used to own in their youth; irritating insects….mosquitoes, deer flies, etc; too warm or too cold or too wet or too windy; a perfect storm of no electricity or sun to charge the solar panels; no internet; too many distractions; etc.
When we first sold our house we thought we’d travel in the van for six months to a year. After that we would find a place to live and that place would likely be the home we’d live in for the rest of our days. The reality is that we are having great difficulty in reconciling the idea of living in one place. We are conflicted by familial responsibility and a desire to live somewhere likely very far and more beautiful from where we have been looking. So these past few weeks we have continued exploring areas we haven’t seen before in an effort to distance ourselves from this dilemma. Hoping we’ll arrive at a solution that makes us happy, in our own time, in our own easy way.