Twenty-four hours isn’t a very long time. We plan to be on the road indefinitely, so we’ve got a helluva lot more time ahead of us. But selling 90 per cent of our possessions (see ya never, cloud-like mattress), and squeezing everything into our tiny home (holy shit, we brought way too many coats) for the first time has been a serious test of patience and packing skills.

It’s also been the most liberating experience of our lives.

Our first 24 hours of van life took us eastbound from Toronto to Gananoque. Here’s what we learned.

Purge once, and then purge again.

We weren’t attached to many of our things, so we sold and donated a lot. But still, our closets continued to vomit stuff every time we thought we were getting close to being done. Eventually, though, it was empty.

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Saying goodbye to your cat is really hard.

We’ll be honest, we both cried like we were cutting onions. We love that little jerk like crazy, and wish he could’ve come along for the ride. But he couldn’t, because though we’re admittedly crazy cat people, we’re not that crazy of cat people. Rest assured, he’s happy at his new home in Whitby, Ontario, where he lives with two other cats named Lola and Gus.

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Things are a lot tighter than you’d think.

We know, it’s a van, and inherently small. We knew we’d have to embrace the tiny living trend, but we thought these closets would have a bit more depth…or height…or length. Seriously, what is this, a closet for ants? (Needless to say, we will be investing in a roof cargo box, and soon.)IMG_2197

You friends and family really love you.

Like, really. There were so many weekend sewing projects, wine-fuelled cleaning sessions, and useful gadgets given to us. Seriously, we can feel the love. Thanks everyone! We love you and miss you all.

You’ll be stoked to speed out of the city.

We pulled out of the parking, turned on some CCR, and were ready to feel the glorious wind in our newly freed hair. But traffic crapped all over that. So we crawled out of the city instead, heads bopping the whole time.

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The roads less travelled is your best friend.

The 401 is a bitch, especially when your van doesn’t particularly want to do more than, say, 108 km/h. (Yes, we’re annoying to get stuck behind–that’s why we got “Life in the slow lane” plastered to the back…)  Luckily, the backroads are pretty as! Everything takes a bit longer when you’re driving a 33-year-old van, and that’s ok.

It’s probably a good idea to book a campsite ahead of time.

We thought we’d just show up to the campgrounds at any old time of night like we would at a hotel. But that, friends, is not the case.

If you don’t, be prepared to find an abandoned lot to sleep in.

This is not a campsite. And it was just perfect! Tucked next to a few old rust buckets, we blended in just fine. (And were so thankful for the amazing privacy curtains my mom had sewn.)

 

But in the end, you made the best decision of your life.

It was tough. We slept like shit, ate candida-diet-friendly fast food (twice), and still haven’t showered. Yup, it was best 24 hours of our lives.

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