I grew up in British Columbia on a small island called Salt Spring and was raised by the community. This island was home to about 8,000 people and it felt like we all knew each other intimately. When I would go “downtown” I would constantly be stopping to catch up with old and new friends. It was common knowledge that an errand which would normally take you 15 minutes to complete, would end up taking at least 3 hours because of all the friends and acquaintances that you would run into. Growing up in this unique context helped shape me into the person I am today.
Before I pursued my education I took a year off and travelled to Asia, starting in Nepal and ending in Vietnam. This showed me different ways of living, I learned on an intimate level that there is more to life than working a 9 to 5. While I had a deep desire to pursue education I also longed to live a life full of magic. Whilst I was in Bali, I witnessed people living abundantly with little to no suffering, and realized that is what success looks like to me. After this I made a commitment- I would do my absolute best to live the most magical life I possibly could.
My journey into the vanlife started around the time I was studying to become a nurse. Nursing always held an intimate spot in my heart, growing up, my father's body was riddled with cancer. Several operations helped keep him alive, however, death was always on the forefront of my mind. This delicate perspective of life and death quickly transformed my philosophy on living, and stirred up my desire for health and healing. I dedicated myself to the art and science of Nursing, in which being with people during their most vulnerable times- a true gift and privilege to me- is at the essence of what this career would offer.
Whilst I was studying, my roommate and I found ourselves living out of a motorhome on the side of a highway. I was evicted due to increasing costs of housing and could not afford to rent anymore. Being evicted presented me with many challenges, the first being, sleeping in a vehicle is illegal in the city that I was in. Besides the law enforcement issues, living in a vehicle with another person was extremely challenging as there were no walls to provide any sort of privacy, no wifi to do homework, no running water and much more. On top of our studies, our daily life turned into a full-time job.
By the time I had finished school I was already feeling burnt out. As a nurse I tried so hard not to become a patient myself and realized that I needed time to foster the parts of me which I had sacrificed while trying to thrive in an academic world. Hitting the road was not an option for me, it was my responsibility. A few years earlier I had joined my friend on a road trip in her 1982 VW Westfalia and fell in love with the community of people I met along the way. Luckily the perfect van appeared in my life and I purchased it- my very first home- a 1983 Volkswagen Westfalia. I immediately got in my van and hit the road. It became clear that my soul longed for freedom. It craves the open road. I am ecstatic when connecting with others, and the people that I had met on the road were eager to embrace and meet me in a space.
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