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Swapping 4 Walls for 4 Wheels

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

As 2022 began, it was the first year ahead of me in many years that I could not predict how it would unfold. After years of planning, it appeared as though a dream my best friend and I have been holding dear to our hearts, might actually come true.

Toyota 4Runner with a canoe on top.

We had been waiting to make the change, as we cared for our beloved old dog and best friend, Lucy. With her passing in December 2021, we knew 2022 would not be a normal year, as every day had been for her and her wellbeing, and now she was gone. She was a sweetheart who was well loved and will always be missed.

Dog and owner

We now looked towards each other and knew that our time and energy could go into our dream of Canadian journeys and adventures. Many things were already in motion. I had been selling our possessions for years, with the intention of finding a new home for everything except for what we would be taking on our trip. Some things were easier than others to part with. It is strange how one can grow attacked to things and feel you need them. It took years to separate myself from some things, like items from my childhood or gifts I had received at one time or another. Eventually I had either sold or given away almost everything, with lots of donations to the local thrift stores. The house was becoming empty, but not one item was missed or did we have the desire to replace it. Instead everything we purchased from now on was for the journey. The swapping of 4 walls for 4 wheels had begun.

Now I did say I had sold almost everything, there was still our home to sell. Without this, the journey was not possible.

Small home on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia

This was something we were not really looking forward too. We had tried once before and were aware of how much we had to open up our lives to others and the stresses that came with the whole process. Regardless, it needed to be done. We thought, let's list in April for the early Spring market. So we created a ruff time line for wrapping up our lives on the Sunshine Coast.

Then one day, I was selling some stuff on the local Facebook Buy & Sell pages I had an inquiry for an item. I set up a time that afternoon for a routine sale of a portable closet thingy to local fella.

He arrived as planned and as he was loading the closet thingy into his little car he asked me, "why are you selling your portable closet thingy?" I thought to myself, I had been asked this question, why are you selling this, many times before, for vehicles or electronics, etc..., but never for a piece of simple furniture. Regardless, always happy to chat, I explained our plans and that we were selling everything, and heading out on a grand adventure around Canada. He asked, "are you also selling the house?" "Yes", I replied and his face seemed to light up at hearing this. "I am actually new to the Coast" he said, "and I am looking to buy a home. Would it be ok to have a look around your property?"

A forest in the sun

It was a sunny day and he had brought his cute little dog along. So I was more than happy to go for a walk, especially to be able to see a dog running around the yard again.

The visit was nice and the property seemed to look extra lovely for a sunny day in January. The fella said he would be in touch and that he really liked the place. Even his sweet dog seem to enjoy the property and needed some convincing before she would leave. It was nice to have some early interest in our home and property, but I honestly didn't think anything would come of it.

Well, it wasn't long before I did hear back from him and his interest in our home was still strong. Before we knew it we were meeting his family, showing the place, having inspections and talking purchase agreements. What the heck was happening? This was still February, months before we had even intended on listing the place. To sell the home privately was always our wish, as we bought it that way, as did the family before us. It was the way the home wanted it, so it seemed.

By the end of February everything was done and we had sold our home. We now had two months to wrap up over 20 years of living on the Sunshine Coast. Sitting rather shocked at how quickly things had unfolded, we realized the next big stage had to begin. So on March 1st, 2022, I informed my clients, some of many years, that I would be retiring early from bookkeeping in order to follow a dream. To travel around Canada and do what I love the most, taking photographs and exploring in the outdoors.

Photographer at the lake during sunrise

My clients all took the news well and were very happy for me. Over the month of March I slowly found new bookkeepers for everyone and closed up my office, after over 30 years. I won't lie, I was happy to see the last filing cabinet to go, along with all the paperwork.

Now the fun can start. As April began the travelling gear got packed and repacked....and packed again. We took stuff out, put stuff back and tested everything a few times.

Toyota 4Runner with grasshopper

Our Toyota 4Runner, Gazoo, was looking more ready for the journey every day. The excitement was building and time seemed to go too slow and too fast, all at the same time.

This is really happening,! There was not much more to do than say our goodbyes to some family and friends and wait for the departure day.

As I write this I am days away from swapping my four walls for four wheels. The range of emotions are wide and varied. I have tried to look at everything around me with fresh eyes one last time. To appreciate what has become so common to me over the years. I leave the Sunshine Coast with pockets full of memories and in turn leave a piece of my heart to the place I have called home since 1999.

Our journey will first take us North to Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories. Easy enough to write in one sentence, a whole other task to get there. Beyond that, we will let our imagination and our cameras lead the way. There is a lot of Canada to see and many things to learn along the way and I am looking forward to sharing our adventures with you.

Safe Travels Everyone!

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