For those of you that have followed our story, you know that we came back to Canada in Spring 2020 due to the uncertainty of covid. We had purchased a van thinking it would be a great time to get started on building our van life plan. Unfortunately it wasn’t, life happened, and we needed to make a change. With not having a home base, we had been dependent on family for places to stay, parking the van and storing boxes of our stuff. John, Bill and Tracy had already done so much to help us, we can never repay them other than offering our continued thanks, but this wasn’t a long term solution. We debated settling down somewhere so we would have our own place to stay when in Canada. Various locations were on the table and we even looked at some properties. The van, while awesome, added to the need to have something sorted out.
When we left for Thailand in Fall 2021 we knew that this would be a hard choice. We also knew that we needed to have a plan in place for when we returned in Spring 2022. We were lucky to have the luxury of time to figure it out as it did take us months to decide. We started with figuring out what we wanted. Did we want a property in Canada? Real estate had gone through the roof and costs were rising, so not ideal. Rentals were also becoming harder to find and more expensive. Where would we choose if we did settle? What would we do with a property when we weren’t there? Did we even want to continue to return to Canada every summer? Prior to covid, other than the occasional visit, it wasn’t really in the plans. Should we get back to full time travel? If so, what would we do with the van? Tracy and Bill, also our friends Pati and John, had generously offered storage options but this would have impacted them which we didn’t want to do. The van would also just be sitting there, subject to the weather and the usual depreciation, financially not the best use of funds.
It was difficult to get started, there were so many moving parts involved and not all within our control. We had many discussions, sought input from others, did lots of soul searching and researched options. We focused on what we could control and what was best for us, didn’t rush or pressure ourselves as we didn’t want to regret this decision. I won’t bore you with the details… oh wait, I already did! :-) In the end we came to the conclusion that we wanted to continue to travel without having additional constraints. The freedom to come and go without having to impose on others, deal with locating storage or being concerned about the van was appealing.
I think we knew what the right choice was but it was hard to get our hearts on board with the idea of giving up on the “van life” dream. You know it seems simple, we could always get another van when timing was better, when we had settled and covid wasn’t a factor. It’s so hard to see clearly when your emotions get in the way. After months of back and forth, we’ve made the decision to sell our van.
The timing was good because vans are even harder to find and resale values are at an all time high. With covid and broken bones delaying the build we weren’t far enough along in the process to have added any of the personal design choices that could have limited the market we could sell to. So how to do this… return to Canada and sell stuff. Where to do this… it made the most sense to chose where it was easy to get an apartment rental, where the market is strongest and where was the van registered.
We made the choice to settle in Calgary for the summer. This meant we would spend time with my Mom as we really hadn’t seen her much over the past few years. A definite added bonus!! Hopefully we would also get to see our friends and we planned to head out to Creston to see Paul’s Dad along with Pati and John. Calgary also made sense as it was a larger market to sell the van and accessories. Next step was making plans to head back to Manitoba, have a visit, load up the van and head west.
I’d like to say that once we made the decision it was easy, but that would be a lie. We continued to question ourselves, pretty much up to the minute we handed over the keys. As I type this, it’s been a over a month since we actually sold the van. We are glad that we were able to adapt to the changing circumstances and both feel like we made the right choice.