First, a quick poll:
Our journey to becoming a nomadic family can be divided into 2 phases: life before and after August (our baby, not the month).
In 2016 we bought a campervan and left Newfoundland to head to Vancouver. The goal was to see if we liked #vanlife or would prefer living in Vancouver, again, or would want to return to Newfoundland. Our first van trip took 30 days and over 8000 km. Our first series of videos are listed as Cross America #VanLife.
Turns out we LOVED van-living and when we arrived at our 3 month sublet in Vancouver, we were slightly regretting rooting ourselves. We were eager to get back on the road.
At first we based our van travels around specific milestones. We had a vacation booked in Florida with our close friends and their kids over spring break (end of March), so that was our first milestone. We drove down the west coast and across the southern states and all around the pan-handle. See: #road2florida.
The next milestone was returning to Vancouver by May in order to make it to a conference where I was presenting a workshop. We went back across the southern US and up through Arizona and Utah and then back to Canada. See: #back2van
At this point we were getting the hang of #vanlife and our nomadic life was shaping up to look like this:
- Spring to early summer on the coast of British Columbia, bouncing between staying with family, friends, and van living.
- Summer to early fall in Newfoundland staying with family, friends, and at our cabin in the woods (leaving the van in BC).
- Late fall back to BC to prepare for the next van adventure.
- Winter traveling through the US, chasing single track mountain bike trails.
After an amazing spring and summer, we packed up the van and headed south again, this time all the way to Mexico. See our not-yet-completed video series: #flightofthesnowbirds.
At our first stop in Mexico, we discovered that we were going to have a baby and that changed everything. We fast-forwarded our trip a little by skipping some of the Mexican destinations so that we could fly back to Canada for some of the initial health-care appointments. Once that was taken care of, we spent a month or so traveling through Arizona and Utah and then back to Vancouver Island.
Instead of spending the spring in BC and then summer in NL, we remained in BC with my mom until October. August Ellory was born on Aug 22 in Victoria General Hospital. Greg’s family in Newfoundland was really eager to meet the little guy so we flew out there right after Thanksgiving and stayed until mid-January.
My mom wanted to go to Hawaii for her 70th birthday so we traveled from Newfoundland all the way to Hawaii with a 5 month old. Door-to-door was a 30 hour journey and 6.5 hour time zone change! August handled it better than any of us!
From Hawaii we returned to my mom’s in Sooke, BC and are now currently considering our options.
We have been debating heading south again with August, but there are a few concerns we have about traveling in the campervan with him:
- We’d have to disable the airbag and have the carseat installed in the front passenger seat – although this is legal and safe, it just isn’t as safe as being in the back seat of a vehicle.
- We wouldn’t be able to drive for much more than an hour or 2 at a time which doesn’t work well with the long distance travel we like to do.
- We are using cloth diapers so we would need to be at a laundry mat every 2 days.
So for now we’re staying put, getting used to being parents, and considering swapping the van for a vehicle with a towable camper.
We’re super grateful for our family’s support in our early days of parenthood. We are getting eager to get out on our own and see what our little nomadic family adventures entail so stay tuned…