To start I’d like to introduce ourselves. We are Josh & Vanessa, a Canadian husband and wife team who love to explore new places, and make unforgettable moments. As a barber and a graphic designer, we don’t feel like we need to stay in one place.
This is Gertie, our self-converted camper van. This old beast is a 1992 Mitsubishi Delica L300. Gertie has been our main adventure outlet for the past 6 years. Allowing us to camp and explore some amazing places in British Columbia. She is right hand drive and hella slow but she can go anywhere!
As of now we are planning for a grand road trip along the Pan American Highway down to Ushuaia, Argentina in 2023. Unfortunately we aren’t driving Gertie for this journey – there’s many reasons as to why but we are happy with our decision. That is because we found our dream rig, which is a 1994 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser. We are working hard to make sure it is van-life and off road ready. Which we will be sharing the build process with you of course!
To be honest, 2021 was a bad year for us. In May of last year – literally one day after Josh’s birthday- my mom was diagnosed with cancer. This news made my heart drop into my stomach. After 5 long months of battling with leukaemia, my mom passed away on September 30th. Now why am I telling you this? It was due to this very unfortunate circumstance that I realized that I don’t want to wait until I’m retired to enjoy my life. My mom was years away from retiring and her health was taken away from her. Our health is not guaranteed when we’re old. So why wait until we’re old to enjoy everything this life has to offer? This change in my life has lit a fire in my heart that pushes me to keep going and live a full and happy life like my mom would want me to.
Take a look at your current circumstance. Do you have a lot of responsibilities that need your attention? Are you able to drop everything without too much hassle? At this point in life we don’t have children, we don’t have pets or own a house so there’s nothing really holding us back. In the past few years Josh and I have been talking and dreaming about travelling down to South America. We kept pushing it off as we didn’t think we had the time or money to be able to take a big trip like this. However, after my mom passed we felt a nudge to go ahead and chase our dream. Life is beautiful, unpredictable and it is more often than not way too short. We can keep telling ourselves that we will one day drive the Pan American Highway or we can choose to make it happen.
Josh’s parents started a tradition many years ago that I think is genius. They decided to instead of waiting until they’re retired to travel they would take a month of each year to retire for that month. During this month they would not look at work emails, work on their business or take phone calls. Instead they would focus on their time together and be in the moment. I think we need to shift our mindset from “I need to work hard for 40 years and then I’ll enjoy life” to “I will work hard, take time off and enjoy life at the same time.”
So to sum it up, the main reason why you should travel now is because we don’t know what life will look like when we’re 65, we don’t even know what next week, month or year will look like so let’s take the time now to travel and enjoy life.
We firmly believe that life is too short so we must take hold of all it has to offer. Our goal is to fearlessly chase our dreams while inspiring you to chase yours. Along the way we aspire to create a supportive and loving community that encourages people to grow and live their most authentic lives.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is there anything in my life that is keeping me from being able to travel? This could be a home mortgage, children to take care of – but could they come with you?, pets to keep alive, a job position you are working for.
- What can I do now to prepare for a trip? Could you start saving up for it? Is there a timeframe that works for you to go travel? This doesn’t have to be 6 months long, it could be any time as long as it allows you to “retire” for that amount of time.
- If I can’t travel far what are some places locally that I could travel to? Take this as an opportunity to see your own country, check out the cool places you’ve never seen! You don’t have to leave the country to take the opportunity to retire for a period of time.
I hope this inspires you to make the time for rest and self care. No matter what your circumstances are I hope you invest the time you have now to travel!
How to follow our adventure:
You’re in the right place already by reading this post kudos to you friend! Aside from the blog you can find us on Instagram too. Also we started a YouTube page to document this trip so head over there and check out our channel! We try to post twice a month at the moment with videos of our progress in our Land Cruiser build and eventually where we are on our road trip! See you on the journey, I’m glad you’re here.