GoRVing Canada invited free spirits and full-time Van Lifers, Eamon and Bec, to visit the Toronto RV Show for the first time. Their major draw from the weekend: RV Shows aren’t just for families and retired couples.
Eamon and Bec met while working corporate jobs. Both searching for more in life, the pair ended up travelling together. Their first experience of van life was in New Zealand. They rented a campervan for two months to explore the land down under. “We loved having our home with us,” said Bec. “We felt comfortable. It felt like home to us.” Without knowing that van life was an entire movement, Eamon and Bec knew that one day they would return to life on four wheels-in what capacity was to be determined.
This couple isn’t just into camping. They are the owners and tea makers of Chaiwala-all-natural chai tea. Almost a year ago, they knew they needed to cover more ground if they wanted their business to grow. Flying across North America to visit coffee shops wasn’t the best option and finding somewhere to rent in their hometown of Toronto is a nightmare. Seeing the potential of van life, they bought their 2008 Mercedes Sprinter on March 29, and set to work making it their home.
Eamon and Bec have travelled coast to Canadian coast. They’ve fallen in love with sunsets and the Rocky Mountains. Charlottetown will always be a favourite, which they first visited by recommendation from the couple’s growing online following. They found a remote camp spot at the tip of a peninsula. “We were all alone with the most beautiful sunset, and we just felt like we were on top of the world,” said Eamon. On the opposite end of the country, Bec fell for the Rocky Mountains. “I think I’m a mountain girl at heart,” she said, despite the snow that surprised them one morning in early fall. “The remote aspect of PEI was amazing, but out west was beautiful.” The combination of freedom in their piece of Canada’s wilderness and the comforts of home they’ve built into their van is one of the reasons why they love van life.
These two are planning their next trip south to meet up with another van life couple based out of Texas. Eamon and Bec have big plans for their two months down south: “We are thinking Belize, Nicaragua, maybe El Salvador,” Eamon said. “But it’s all up in the air because we don’t know what to expect when we get down there. That’s the way we like to travel.” Even when they backpacked together, Eamon and Bec would make plans on the fly from the recommendations of other travellers and locals-the real experts. Western Canada is also on their 2018 bucket list. Vancouver’s coffee shop game is strong, and the couple sees it as a new market to bring their business to.
The biggest takeaway from an event like the Toronto RV Show is that there are countless ways to live the outdoor lifestyle. “It’s not the show that I thought it was, and in a really good way,” Eamon said. “There are so many options out there. Just go in with an open mind.” “It was nice to see that everyone walking around has the same values as we do,” said Bec. “They want more out of life. They want to adventure.” Although, that doesn’t mean everyone attending lives full time in their RV or motorhome. “There were retired couples looking for their next adventure and weekend warriors.”
Eamon was happy to see a range of prices. Some units affordable for millennials: recent graduates looking for a different way of life, or young families wanting to spend more time outside. The RV Show offered turnkey setups for a weekend house on wheels. Tiny teardrops for the quick and easy weekend getaways, and fifth wheels for family vacations. “It was nice because the show had options for everyone,” Bec said.
The overall experience was informative and eye-opening. “I can see that they give value to consumers,” said Eamon. The open-door policy and having plenty of units set up in the same space helps shoppers compare and choose one that fits their needs. “You can see yourself in the space.” The RV Show employees were always nearby to help.
Their biggest piece of advice for others attending an RV Show for the first time: “Go to these shows with an open mind. You will be surprised,” Bec said. They spent a lot of time talking to RVers at the show, sharing stories from the road. “I think it’s powerful what you can learn from someone else’s experience if you just ask.”
Although Eamon and Bec aren’t in the market for a new van, Bec said that she loved the airstreams they saw at the show. “I am drawn to airstreams,” she said. “I think because they look more customized inside.” She loves the quality and uniqueness of each one. They are more similar to tiny homes like their own van. “The airstream to me has a homey, customized, unique build.”
Eamon and Bec are often asked how long they will live van life for, but it’s a lifestyle that will stick with this couple forever. “I think RVing is always going to be in the cards for us,” said Eamon. Either living in their van for a while still, or as a weekend getaway when the time is right. “For right now we are really happy in it,” Bec said. “I can’t see us giving up the freedom that we love.”
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This just in… Looks like Becca and Eamon’s beloved Trinity the Sprinter Van has broken down in Mexico and they need help with repairs and have launched a small fundraising campaign to get them back on the road. Visit their fundraising site.
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