How does one happen to go on a 2 year road trip?
My best answer is - Intention meets Opportunity.
Most people plan for something this big. I recently read an article on a couple that planned for a full year before making their two-year trip off the grid. For us, it wasn’t planned. I’ll admit, we had talked about the concept of having a window of time where we sold a house and waited to purchase the next one – a window where we had no commitments to a home, a location, a mortgage. Careful what you wish for they say.
Just two months ago, sitting at my favourite brunch place in Westboro, my best friend Jen asked the magic question: “Would you rent?” Well, it wasn’t 12 hours later we were the four of us (partners now included) and ironing the final details to a 2-year house sitting agreement that would allow us both the opportunity we couldn’t have imagined just 24 hours earlier.
Sever days later, all the details were ironed out, and we now had the opportunity we’d had nagging at us for the past year - The ultimate #freedomride. So instead of a year of preparation, we had a month. First order of priority was cleaning out the closet. Seriously, imagine having to reduce your life into a camper the size of your previous ‘walk-in closet’. I mean it. Bring on the “Closest Clear Out” SALE!! I think there were at least 20 lovely women in my life that went home with some “slightly used” but beautiful pieces. And yes, there might have been a few items that still had tags on them. URG!! If I’m honest, I am kind of embarrassed at how much clothing I’d accumulated. I know we have casual, business, cocktail attire for every season but SERIOUSLY???
If you haven’t done it, or have lived in the same house for more than 5 years, I highly suggest going through your closet and ‘cleaning house’. If you haven’t worn it in over a year – set it aside. If you haven’t fit in it in over a year – set it aside. If you didn’t know you even had it – set it aside. Take that pile of clothes to a local shelter, donate them to friends and family, or put some of these special items up for sale. Moving forward, for every purchase of clothing, one item has to go. Makes shopping a little more strategic and impulse buys have consequences.
Now, I don’t want to make myself out to be a Saint. I am not. I still have boxes of clothes I’ve packed up for two years. And I took two duffle bags with me. During our travels I will be attending some Events, Conferences, and flying off to Bali, so I packed on duffle bag of these items that are stored in our trailer.
After an arduous and labour intensive effort of ‘reducing our footprint’; putting clothes, bedding & supplies into storage, selling items, donating and giving away clothes & miscellaneous items, and throwing out the rest…we were finally ready.
If only we have a camper to put it all in? Yes, we have a trailer, and that’s where the mountain bikes, the dirt bikes and tools will go. Did I forget to mention that our Camper was all the way on the other side of the country and that we have to drive out to pick it up? Imagine trying to figure out how much to bring and what to bring, when you have yet to set foot in the camper. Yup, there was a lot of guess work involved. But I’m thrilled to report that after two weeks of driving across Canada, visiting with some friends, doing some work along the way (team meet ups, presentations, trainings, etc.) we arrived in Alberta and got to see our new home for the very first time. And the best part is everything fit!! WOOHOOOO!!
The first night with our new camper…where do we stay you ask? WALMART!!! I’m NOT kidding! You learn a lot about the hotspots when you talk to other RV’ers, and lucky for us, my parents have been RV’ing for over 50 years. Did you know that Wal-Mart is actually a great place to stop if you are passing through a city…it’s free, you have free access to wifi, toilets and shopping (groceries, toiletries, and necessities). Be sure to check AllStay Walmart to find which allow for overnight camping and which don’t. They don’t all do. We needed to purchase things we couldn’t do ahead of time, until we were physically in the camper – plates, cups, welcome mats, sheets, utensils, hamper, hooks, etc. So Walmart with a nearby Home Depot it was. The next night we stayed in our very first Campsite just a few minutes away from where we purchased the camper so we could test everything in the camper (electrical, toilet, a/c, heater, fridge, stove, oven, radio, etc.) before we hit the road.
We are ready for the #2yearRoadTrip to really get started. What ‘toys’ will we take out first?? Thank you for sharing in this journey with us. It means the world to us to receive your post, your text and your love. This is truly a dream come true for us, and being able to share it in a small way with each of you, makes it even better.
What I’ve learnt so far on this journey:
1 – never underestimate the value of an easily accessible bathroom
2 –you can shower fast when it it’s $2 per 5 minutes
3 – sleeping on top of your truck (almost literally) is weird
4 – I can’t believe I considered not bringing Spencer (teddy bear) with me
5 – receiving packages along the way feels like a treasure hunt (keep them coming)
6 – working with multiple time zones is going to be fun challenge
7 – never say you’ll never shop ,or sleep for that matter, at a Wal-Mart
8 – we have the best friends ever
9 – your life can drastically change over brunch with a friend
10 - it's never about the destination, it's the journey that counts
Stay tuned to see what come’s next for the McAllister’s on their #2yearRoadTrip.