The Van Goodbye Story
1,796 miles away from what we currently refer to as Home Base, without any means of alternate transportation, and no idea where we would store all of our gear, we sold the Van. Once again, we threw ourselves into transition mode, without much of a plan. A mix of excitement, uncertainty, and slight disbelief flooded my mind during the Van Goodbye.
Sponaneously, I listed the Van for sale, and then took a weekend trip to the other end of the state. We assumed the Van would be a difficult sell, with such a small percentage of the population having interest in a nomad lifestyle. We were wrong. The number of calls and emails we received surprised us. I began to schedule showings for when we would return to the area.
The first call, was also the first person to view the van, and the first to make an offer. He had similar interests in surfing and snowboarding as we did, and would be able to utilize the custom storage we built to store that type of gear. We liked him. We could see the wonder in his eyes, and remembered that same wonder we had felt just dreaming of this adventure lifestyle.
Scenes from our final Van Goodbye
I stripped the bed of sheets, my Mom had gifted us two Christmas’s ago, and stuffed them into a re-usable grocery bag. Re-usable grocery bags have served well for rearranging the Van.
Opening the secret storage hatch beneath our mattress, I came across the Birthday candles from Baby’s first birthday. I packed up the coffee maker from the shelf, that we originally built as little Fyn’s bed, and unscrewed the whale printed material that made up the walls to her new bottom bunk bedroom. I unstuck tiny glow-in-the-dark stars that we had put on the ceiling together.
With the kitchen cabinets open, I pulled out the one pot, one pan, and one bowl that we always travel with. Reaching further into the cabinet, I grabbed little magnetic spice jars. Sorry they never made it to a more permanent home on the wall. To avoid wasted space (a skill we had all learned well from vanlife) , I meticulously stacked the bags with canned goods, olive oils, cups, silverware, baby toys, and all our travel world necessities.
I swept out sand from various beaches, that we unintentionally had collected along the Oregon and California costs, and gathered surf wax nubs from random corners of the van.
I opened and emptied each jar of dry goods from our floating pantry shelf. When I reached the end of the pantry shelf, where my little spider plant had recently found a home, I froze, uncertain of what to do with the plant.
Staring off into the destruction of Van abyss, emotion filled my body.
Doubt started to taunt me.
Are we really doing this? Selling the vessel that has kept our little family on exploration mode for the last two and a half years?
This whole idea was a bit impulsive. We do things like that. I know this. In all honesty though, I wasn’t fully committed to selling the Van when I posted it for sale. It was our first van build, and the place our little one knew as ‘home’ more than anywhere else. We had more than a slight sentimental attachment to the Van.
However, the main purpose of the Van has always been to enable us to obtain the next adventure.
In the beginning that simply meant, to always have a comfortable cozy place for Baby, while we moved from snow to surf, and everywhere in between. The Van also allowed us to travel for extended periods of time. We rented our home to offset the costs, and in the end we were able to travel by Van for the same cost as staying at home.
My focus returned to the little spider plant.
I started to feel that all too familiar excitement. The same excitement that seems to become ever so present when we encounter a life transition. Selling the van will make way for new adventures. That is where our souls are the happiest. And this here, this is all just stuff, and stuff is a silly thing to be sad for.
I left the plant on the shelf, and decided it would go with the Van.
Four hours later, I had a large pile of belongings next to an empty Van. The inside no longer held the ambience of the lived-in tiny home on wheels it had been for us. The Van Goodbye was done, and she was ready for new adventures.
This little log cabin on wheels will always have a special place in our heart (as I’m sure all first builds do). And if this lifestyle has shown us anything, it is that;
adventure is your accomplice, and change is good.
This is the perspective that fuels our inspiration to seek that next new paradise.
In the end, we feel good about this decision to sell the van, and we are happy to have had a part in paying the Vanlife forward.
There will definitely be another beginning, and we can’t wait to find a new adventure vessel! What that may be, we don’t know yet. This may be the Van Goodbye, but I wouldn’t say it’s the Vanlife Goodbye.