On The Road with Josh and Cass

December 13, 2019


Alexandra Welsh

From Pine Magazine
This article was originally published in Pine Magazine. Pine is a Yama publication featuring people, places and products that will ignite your inner adventurer.

Josh and Cass (@wish.to.wander) are a Canadian couple who chose to take a risk and plunge full-time into #vanlife. They traveled for 15 months and covered 85,000 km before deciding to settle down in Toronto. We were so excited to feature them in this issue, because who better understands how to tackle winter in a van than a couple of Canadians?

Who are you and why did you choose to live and work on the road?

We're a couple of Canadians who had been living and working in San Francisco for 7 years before we decided to quit our jobs, sell all our stuff, fly back to Canada and pick up our van to hit the road. The idea of our #vanlife started about 5 years ago, after we travelled around New Zealand in a converted Sprinter van. After that, we were obsessed with all things van life. Unfortunately, our jobs tied us to SF and we weren't quite ready to pick and go at that time... However, the mountains always called us.

We would work our butts off Monday to Friday and head out on the weekend. We would hop in our car and start driving, often several hours, in search of epic adventures. Come Sunday night, we would drive back to SF and do it all again the next week - all the while dreaming about our future van and when we could do it full-time. Eventually the stress of working non-stop got to us and we thought, why not!? Why not get that van and do it full-time!? There's no better time like the present... and here we are!

What is it like to live in a van in the winter?

It's chilly! We have a Webasto diesel heater in our van which is the BEST thing ever! Warm blankets, puffers, wool socks, soups and hot beverages all help... Oh and hot spring hopping whenever possible makes it SO much better! We saw our first snowfall October 25th and by November, the temps were dropping down to -10°C (14°F)... not to mention, once daylight savings hit, the sun was setting at 3:30PM! We're Canadian, so we're pretty used to the cold, but eventually it did get to us.... Come February 1st, we decided to flee South and were swimming in the Rio Grande in Big Bend, Texas by February 5th!

During the holidays, we were able to visit with our friends and family and stay with them. We decorated our van because Cass is obsessed with ALL THINGS Christmas (who isn't!?) Our stockings were hung and our little 2 foot Christmas tree was adorned with "camp/vanthemed" ornaments!

Nomad Tip:

Just go with the flow and be open to change! We always have a "rough route" planned, which generally means "we'll probably be in x province/state during x time" but beyond that, we just wing it. We talk to other nomads and locals, get their tips of where to go and what to see and plan our adventures from there. The beautiful thing about van life is that if you don't like a place, you can just get up and leave!

Alexandra Welsh

Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer at Yama Vans