Can it really be this easy?

 In this blog post, we’ll continue where we left off in our previous post: How It All Started. If you haven’t read it yet, now is a great time to check it out.

We set our sights on the future and Spain.

Around a year ago back in October of 2021, months before the thought of travelling even crossed into the realm of possibilities. Jake was just starting his new job and career as a software designer at Solita. Part of the onboarding processes had a small segment that stuck with him and has been the driving force for this adventure.

The presenter of the segment spoke about always wanting to travel with his family, but there were always a dozen reasons, problems, and excuses stopping this dream from coming true. The presenter decided to make a list of everything that was holding them back, and this list became his to-do list. He changed his view from seeing them as problems to seeing them as tasks.

This is precisely what we did, everything that was stopping us from leaving became a post-it note on our fridge. With the house sold and the to-do list obnoxiously holding our fridge as a hostage, it was all hands on deck! We set ourselves a deadline for leaving by the end of September 2022 and got to work.

Passports, Insurances, Vaccinations. We made quick progress with the easy stuff.

Time to pack.

Even before we had confirmation that our house had been sold, we had already started organizing items into categories and packing them away. We knew this is what we wanted to do with our lives, so why wait (and let’s be honest we were like children that couldn’t wait for Christmas)! 

We bought a bunch of moving boxes and started saying goodbye to all none essential items and luxuries, and before we knew it there were 20+ boxes stacked right up to our quite low ceiling. 

One of the post-it notes on the fridge read: "Find storage space".

Jake spent some time googling and phoning around and it was quickly beginning to look like there was a real lack of available storage spaces in our area. He came across a rather hidden (it wasn’t in the top 3 google results) business that had storage spaces just across the road from our house! Jake phoned them up and to no surprise, they also were fully booked with the exception of one smaller 2m2 unit. This wasn’t going to be enough space, but we came to an agreement that we would rent the smaller space with the view to upgrading to a bigger size when one becomes available hopefully before September and to meet the following week and sign the rental agreement contract. During that week we got the great news that our counter offer to the buyer had been accepted and the house was officially sold! Now we had another deadline, one month to be out of the house!  The pile of boxes continued to grow and the following week Jake walked across the road to meet the owner and signed the rental agreement. After being shown our small storage unit and on the way to signing the contract, small talk was made and casually talked of our plans to travel and the need to upgrade to a bigger storage unit before September.
Picture of our storage space

It just so happened that one of the bigger 4m2 units had become available that morning, only a few hours ago and the owner hadn’t gotten around to calling anyone on the waiting list yet. Since I was already there and willing to take it, the owner said we could have it. Talk about being in the right place and at the right time! That was a real weight off our shoulders and another post-it bites the dust!

Somewhere Temporary.

With the deadline now in black and white, the clock was really ticking. We had made good progress with the packing and the house slowly started to feel empty. We had come up with a strategy to pack as much stuff as we could but still continue to live comfortably, anything still left unpacked was going to be what we take with us.

The yellow "Find rental apartment" post-it was still on the fridge, we didn't have anywhere to go.

Minna took this task and absolutely knocked it out of the park! Not only did she find us an apartment but an apartment that is within walking distance of our current house, available immediately, short-term rental with a one-month termination period! It could not have been more perfect!

We needed a caravan.

We planned to purchase a van with the money we had just gotten from the house and a small loan from the bank. Our thought was that if we can keep the van payments in the same price range as our mortgage/rent, then there is no reason why we couldn’t afford it. Then we would re-sell the van next year when we arrive back in Finland and use that money for a down payment on a house. 

With a budget in mind, we put on our buying pants and headed to our local caravan dealership Best Caravan, where we met Joona and explained our plans to buy a caravan and travel to Spain for the winter. Thank God Joona had done his homework! He steered us away from the idea of buying a van and introduced us to Best Caravan’s limited-time 1-year leasing plan. (From what I can find online this plan is unfortunately no longer available but here is a link to their leasing page if you want to check it out).

For 799€/month we could get a 2022 Challenger Caravan. We were instantly sold on the idea, the only downside was that the deal was scheduled to end in a few weeks. That meant we needed to decide on what model we wanted to lease and sign the contract ASAP.  Guess what? More post-it notes to the fridge door.

We left the dealership and Jake began browsing Challenger’s website getting familiar with their selection and what the different models offer. The 396 model caught his eye, with fully retractable beds it was a unique design and would serve our needs as not only sleeping quarters but also spacious enough where we could spend rainy days.

We were in luck! It just so happened that Best Caravan had just one Challenger 396 Premium Graphite Edition available in the whole of Finland, with no more scheduled to come.

The best part was: It was soon to be ours!

We really felt like the stars had aligned. For all the hard work we put in, we were being repaid with good fortune and we often found ourselves asking…

"Can it really be this easy?".

One Comment

  1. Patrick Grof-Tisza

    Inspirational story. Adventurous indeed considering you have a kid in tow!

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