An Australian couple and their three-year-old son prepare for life on the road in Canada.
When Grace and Eric Koelma sold their home in Australia in 2017, they acted upon a ruminating idea of exploring the world and embracing an adventurous, nomadic lifestyle with their young son, Leo. Craving a change from the suburban norm, the couple took their work on the road and traveled in Europe and Asia, living without a permanent address for an entire year.
While they were thinking about their next destination, they mulled over the appeal of giving Leo a place to call home, instead of shuffling around to various short-term accommodations each month. Taking advantage of Canada’s IEC Visa—a two-year working holiday visa available to those under 30; Grace and Eric were 29), the family relocated to Vancouver.
With an ignited wanderlust and itch to live family-life on the road, Grace and Eric began searching for a van that would allow the three of them to comfortably explore Canada and North America. After first looking at a VW Westfalia, they knew it was simply too small.
“Looking at a van that size was helpful because we realized we wanted more of a tiny home on wheels than a weekend-style camper,” notes Grace. Shortly thereafter, they came across a 1991 Ford Econoline RV, which they then purchased for $8,500.
Though the van was in great condition for its age and mechanically sound, the drab interior left little to be desired. Neither Grace nor Eric had building experience, so they figured things out as they went, enlisting the help of generous friends and fellow van-goers, while also faithfully consulting YouTube.
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