“Faith Greater than Fear”
We have a van.
We did it. We actually did it. Sure, we had talked about the idea in passing (usually over a few beers) but last week, we thought – what would happen if we really bought a Sprinter Van and converted it to travel? But for reals. Like, for absolute real. What would happen?
Within 7 short days, we not only found a Sprinter Van, but purchased it, drove it home, and Todd is off registering it now, to legalize the deal, and in the process – making an honest Van out of her. Isn’t it funny how sometimes you look back on life and think……last week (last month, last year….) I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today. And yet, here we are. We have a van.
It stemmed from the desire to travel, to go, to stretch, to discover, to adventure, to let go of fear, and have faith that we could enjoy life BEFORE we retire. Although I have traveled Europe, I have never truly traveled the States as much as I wanted. A child, a job, all of that lent itself to domestication, and well, life tends to get in the way of travel, unless you prioritize it, which (let’s face it) most of us don’t. You have to have a Faith greater than your Fear. You have to REALLY want something in order for it to happen. Isn’t that true of almost anything in life? (Well, except for weeds, and bills, and wrinkles. But, no one REALLY wants any those things, so I suppose the statement still stands.)
First Things First
Of course, I’m so excited I could pee my pants (which I won’t have to apparently because we are going to be putting in a bathroom). But the point is that I’m already ready with van themes, and fabrics, and colors. But, life doesn’t work that way. You can’t jump to the end of the story. First things first. Our sprinter van is rough. Like … gritty, bad part of the neighborhood, other side of the tracks, you find yourself squinting your eyes to blur it a bit so is easier to look at… because yes, its that rough. The van is a 2003 (not a typo) 2500 Sprinter Van that is essentially a Mercedes Sprinter Van that used to be used for a plumbing business. You can tell that because the stickers are still half there on the side telling you that it was used for …. a plumbing business. Bright blue bold letters declare it. Shout it to the world. They did not let their advertising vinyl dollars go to waste. It is most definitely a plumbing van. There’s no squinting that away, that’s for sure. But don’t worry, we tell you exactly how we got that vinyl lettering off, so you can too!
The rest of the sprinter van? Rusted bits in places that you think – how did rust even get THERE? An engine that is so loud it would wake the dead. A cargo area that is big, but then again, maybe not quite as big as we thought it would be now that we are actually standing in it, and while we are on the subject, boy those Pinterest pictures make these vans look massive, and this doesn’t look quite that massive, and what have we gotten ourselves into anyway? Without the filters and wide angle lenses, this Sprinter Van is just…..a van. But its OUR van. I can’t believe it.
Did I tell you?
We have a van!
But We Don’t Want To Escape Our Lives – We Want Adventures
I looked online everywhere to see one resource for Sprinter Van conversions, and travel in the United States that would help me. What I found were twenty something, vegan, ultra-adventurers selling everything to go live in a van and escape life. Instead of a family, I saw single women, paying others to covert a van and also escape life. And then there were the guys who did extreme sports, and knew everything about mechanics convert vans to chase their adrenalin rush, and (you guessed it) escape life.
But I didn’t want to escape life. Maybe you don’t want to escape life either, but instead run towards adventure! I wanted to take my life with me, and to take my husband and my daughter on adventures. Extreme sports will never be a part of my life and I’ll never fling myself off a 50 foot cliff in a kayak or base jump off of Pikes Peak. I’m also not selling everything I own to live in a van; I like my home and bathtub and screened in porch, thank you very much. And on top of all of that, I bet you wouldn’t guess that I’m not an expert on ANYTHING when it comes to a van conversion or traveling through the United States a bit at a time. And not only am I not single, I am certainly not young.
Searching for Answers
I searched for resources for someone like me to convert a custom sprinter van, or find resources for sprinter van conversions. Resources to help me navigate a van build for someone with NO EXPERIENCE. I MEAN, SERIOUSLY NO EXPERIENCE. I’m legitimately saying that wherever the line for “No Experience” starts, just back up a few miles from that, and I was hanging out about there. Like, I don’t even know how to tell you how little I knew. I could try to make a joke here about how I don’t know the names of tools – but I literally don’t know the names of any of them to even make the joke. And if that weren’t enough, I also had NO EXPERIENCE traveling to visit the beauty of our country as much as I wanted. To see the National Parks, not just in passing, or through the window of a plane, but to REALLY see them. See what God created here, and feel the majesty and beauty – but holy cow, I don’t even know where to go, or how to get there, or where to stay once I’m there, or what to do after I arrive.
No Resources? I’ll Become My Own Expert!
I needed a resource to help me not only create the vehicle, but where I was going, and how I was going to get there, and what I should do once I arrive. I didn’t find it all in one place. Not for someone like me. So, I decided, if I can’t find an expert, then I’ll just have to become one. So with a deep breath and a determined look….here we go.
Remember how I said, first things first? It all starts with the fact that …. We have a van. And, our van is named Van Adieu. The definition of Adieu is actually from the French, and other than meaning farewell, (which fits rather nicely, I think), it also means “To God.” We want our journey, and all of our adventures in life to be focused towards God.
Plus, let’s be honest.
Van Adieu (Vanadoo) just sounds cool. Like Xanadu. But instead of roller skates, we have a van.
Join Our Journey! Farewell Cubicle, Hello Adventure!
So, please join us on our journey, as Todd and Miss Lydia (MLC) and I all figure out how to convert this van, find adventures, and enjoy our Creator’s beauty as we journey “To God” in Van Adieu.
One day we will get to the cabinet construction, and kitchen and bathroom builds. One day we will get to the cute fabrics and throw pillows. One day we will finally pick our destinations out on the map. One day we will actually go on those adventures.
But that day is not today.
Today is the day that we look outside and laugh and say….
We did it. Faith greater than fear. We have a van.
We would LOVE for you to get to know us, but more than that, we would LOVE to get to know YOU!!!
Tell us if you’ve ever jumped outside your comfort zone!
What have you done that you knew you had faith greater than fear?
Are you in a conversion van now? Are you traveling now? Tell us your stories, your adventures! And join us on ours!
We can’t wait to meet you!
Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or leave comments for us!
Well done . I was in the market for a Sprinter as well However in Australia it has become TOO much of a fad ( Sprinters if you can get one.) So my second choice was (is) now a Fiat Ducato 2013 model ( bought it on Tuesday ) SOOOO saying I am now in the same boat OOPS van place as your site states. found your site on Pinest. so am looking forward to your journey and our conversion // travels.
Van Adieu says
Thank you!!!! I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!!!