We’ve been traveling for almost four months now, and I think it is time to write our first official blog post…about how our departure arrived and went…if I can still remember it!
I had been thinking, searching and planning for this trip probably every free minute of every day for the last four years. I thought when the departure day came, we would open a bottle of champagne to celebrate before we got into our perfectly packed truck/camper, and reflect on our time spent in Vancouver driving down south. I was utterly wrong.
I quit my job on September 2nd to prepare us for a September 20th departure. Donna kept working for another couple of weeks, so I was in charge of getting us ready. As Donna can attest, I’m not that excited about packing, usually wait too long, and then just toss whatever I see in a big box without thought to organization. Donna had been selling/donating a lot of our possessions for several weeks already so I thought we were ahead of the game. Since we knew we’d be returning to Vancouver, I thought a 10×10 storage unit to fit the remainder of our belongings should work. Who knew that all the storage units in a 20 mile radius would be sold out and the only available ones, even in the middle of nowhere, would cost a small fortune to rent? After two days of panicked searching I found a huge (I thought!) 10×20 unit, 50 miles away, across the border in Blaine, Washington. To give you an idea of just how off my calculations were, our last trip to the storage unit literally involved me throwing the items over the piles stacked in the front, and pushing things in with my foot so the door would close. How the heck did we fill a 10×20 room? What on earth do we have in there?
To make our stress levels even worse, we encountered several more crises on the way to our departure date. While working in VFX industry, I had countless 80+ hour weeks. One lesson I thought I learned from those years, is that when you are too tired, you make stupid mistakes! After packing and hauling for two weeks and being both mentally and physically exhausted, I backed the truck into the garage of our rental house. I broke both the garage gutters and our Yakima roof box just 3 days before our departure. Not good.
I had to find another well used Yakima box, change the opening direction from right to left without having the appropriate tools for the job, since most of my tools were already packed in storage. Plus, I had to find a contractor to fix the gutters which in itself was difficult task.
Crisis number two was my last minute brake pad replacement, in which I punctured a calliper gasket, landing another repair on my shoulders to fit in before we left. Needless to say my nerves were tattered by this point.
For Donna, the worst part of our departure (besides not knowing exactly what was in every box, and how exactly it was organized in our storage unit) was the oversight of our landlord in the hours before we handed over the keys. Donna was scrubbing baseboards, stoves, and cabinets, while the landlady walked behind her running her finger over every surface. At every turn she threatened to charge us for something that didn’t seem clean enough to her. Donna almost lost her mind and started yelling at her to either charge us or be quiet. We had wanted to get a photo of Indigo by the window, like we snapped when we moved in, but we wanted to get away from the landlady so badly, that being sentimental was swept under the carpet. Perhaps that was the silver lining, because otherwise Donna would have been a sobbing mess. She really loved our neighbourhood, her coworkers, and friends she had met, and was having trouble being as excited as me about departing. Thankfully we both wanted to drive far far away that day.
Our moods dramatically improved when we started driving, as the day was sunny and our first border crossing went off without a hitch. The first time we ever camped in our new truck/camper, was actually that first night we departed. The campground we found in Washington State was a great first experience for all of us. Finally, we were living our new life on the road.