The Next Adventure

So things moved pretty fast once I got home. I arrived in Choiceland on Wednesday and barely had enough time to recover from my last adventures when my next was set into motion.

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Photo Credit: Tour Guide Canada
I have been trying to sell my car for over a year now, I had felt it was time to move on from it, and right now I am in the process of setting up a new endeavour that will require greater cargo space.  So I threw it up on Kijiji knowing I’d be back soon and before I even arrived in Choiceland I had a guy wanting to come see it. Friday he showed up cash in hand and within a few minutes I was officially without a car. So long little Focus. You were a great ride!

Not long after an alarming fact hit me. I have no car. Uh oh. In Choiceland, no car, limited budget. This could be interesting. Luckily I had already been perusing Kijiji in search of an appropriate vehicle to create VanLife 2.0. Last summer I spent 6 weeks touring Western Canada living out of this beauty and with some of the adventures I have in development for this summer I was anxious to find a vehicle which I could customize to take the Van Life experience to the next level. 2016-05-12 14.45.02

Last years model was comfortable, great for driving but not really set up as a camper and too nice to destroy by camperizing so I decided to sell it at the end of the season and start from scratch this year.

So, As I said, I had already been looking and had found a few contenders, one of which I had messaged about the previous week and hadn’t heard back from. That is until that Thursday before I sold my car, no wanting to get ahead of myself and not wanting to look to eager I waited to call the guy back but now with the sale of my car complete I needed to get things moving.

But was I really going to buy another van? I live an unusual life, I accept that. Most days anyway. Some days I question my own sanity and really facing another summer living in a van is not exactly conducive to being a grown up and there is a part of me that after 2 years of school and 2 months of vagabonding my way around the world is craving stability. However, let’s be real I am pretty good at quieting that part of my soul. In reality, I just said a prayer, the same one I often say “Lord if you want this to happen make it straight and clear” So I set up a meeting for the next day, convinced my fabulous parents to go for a drive, and early the next afternoon we were on our way. Going in I had preconcieved deal breakers all set in my head. I had a price in my head that I wouldn’t budge above and told myself if I had any reservations I would bail immediately and try to forget about this idea. We got there, checked it top to bottom, needs a windshield, pretty dirty, but the right size for what I want to accomplish and really not in bad shape over all. Turn the key and fires right up, take it for a test drive, shifts nice and has V8 power, not bad at all. OK it passed the reservations test. Let’s talk price – “So what are you looking to get out of it?” “Well, I’d take $2500 for it” CRAP THAT’S EXACTLY THE NUMBER I WANTED. Now I debate pushing him further but really that was the price I felt I was going to pay ahead of time and so my response… “Write it up!”

Well looks like I am doing this! The guy selling turned out to be a pretty good dude too. Runs an importing business bringing in tires and batteries from China, gave me a few tips about the process after I mentioned that my new endeavour involves importing. Pretty cool experience all around.

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So now I have a van! My hours of Pinteresting ideas are about to pay off, but where to start? We stopped at Canadian tire on the way home and I picked up some supplies to start with. They had touch up paint and also a power inverter on sale so I picked those up.

The next morning I went at it making a trip into town to get the necessary supplies to add a bed to my new project. Once home, I started ripping the seats out but what a gong show that became, I ended up ripping all of the trim off of the sides to get to the seat belt bolts. Was missing the right tools to take some of the support plates out. By the time it was getting dark I was sitting semi defeated amidst a pile of rubble. (Displayed in the video below lol) SO I decided to give up for the night and run into town the next day for the right tools.

The next morning I went and got the tool I needed got most of the pieces out and then put the trim back on. I haven’t decided yet if I am going to take it right down to steel or if I should work around what is there for now. Working with what is there is more budget friendly, but stripping it will give a way cooler finished product. So will see, I flip flop on the subject daily ha.

But also that morning I got a call from my old accounting firm and they needed some emergency coverage for tax season and knew I was available, so out of that conversation I ended up with a contract doing tax for a couple weeks. Which on my end is a huge blessing. I live pretty low key financially but its been a while since I have had steady work so this will be a great little boost financially. So since then I have just been in Regina, working my buns off trying to raise the start up capital I need for my next venture.

I have also had a few “interesting” opportunities pop up so stay tuned in the next few days who knows where my next post will be from! haha

Cheers for now

Dave

 

 

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Canada – Around the world in 65 Days

65 days ago I took off from Edmonton International Airport on a journey that would see 18 flights through 16 different airports (Edmonton, Toronto, London, Athens, Mytilene, Athens, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Krabi, Bangkok – BKK, Bangkok – DMK, Phuket, Bangkok – DMK, Bangkok – BKK, Shanghai, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Edmonton, Saskatoon) Yesterday when I touched down in Edmonton on my way to Saskatoon I had successfully circumnavigated the world by air! Bucket list – CHECK, haha.

Now as I sit here on my parents couch and reflect on the journey I am absolutely overwhelmed at the entire experience, my heart is full with amazing memories and incredible friends old and new that have journeyed with me along the way. Thank you to each and every one of you, this adventure has been one for the record books. Thank you, Jesus, it is exactly what my Spirit needed after 16 months of beating my brain with academia.

I left Thailand early in the morning on March 31, en route to Vancouver. Along the way though I had a stop over in Shanghai, China. This was the first time I had ever been in China and it was interesting to say the least. First off, because I was only there for about 10 hours I decided not to get a local SIM, this… was a mistake, haha, as the availability of public WiFi was pretty tough to find without one and so Google Maps ended up no use to me. I must admit, it’s a bit alarming at what a crutch Google maps is for me when I travel as without it I was more than a little lost at times, haha. Thankfully, some screen caps and research I had done earlier combined with the help of a friendly concierge at a random hotel I was able to maneuver my way through this adventure unscathed.

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My Shanghai adventure begins with a trip on the MagLev train, a high speed train that got up to 431 KM/h how crazy is that! We were zipping by! And most importantly it turns a long trip downtown into a manageable hour as it took me a good 1/2 to 3/4 of the way down the regular transit path. Arriving downtown I attempted to find a dumping house that a friend had recommended, I wandered for a bit using my screen caps on Maps but in the end this is where I discovered that WiFi for tourists without a local SIM is pretty much not gonna happen, oh well. I wandered some more finally consulting the concierge at the Park Hotel on how to get to the Oriental Pearl which as was only a train stop away thankfully. It definitely was a cool sight, but I didn’t go up as I was being cheap and it was foggy/smoggy anyways so I was not confident on the view I would get from it, that and I was already hungry and should be heading back to the airport soon. So instead I went to a little Ramen place and got some food, which was ok but I got the feeling this was like the McDonald’s of ramen and dumplings so I won’t judge China’s cuisine by it haha. From there I got back on the train and headed back to the airport. I did go the wrong direction for 2 stops first (a pretty typical DaveLife move) but eventually I did make it back to the Maglev and Airport. Onward home!

Arriving home in Canada did not stop my adventures. I got in Friday night and had set myself up at the Holiday Inn Express at the Vancouver Airport, nothing beats a comfy bed after a long flight and to my joy they upgraded me to a King bed, ahhhhh. I instantly crashed, only to be woken at 1am with the jet lag hunger pangs, oi, so there I am searching the hotel for food at 1:30 in the morning, but it is a new hotel so none of that has been set up yet, no room service and not even a vending machine. So there I am ordering and subsequently gorging myself on pizza at like 2:30 in the morning.

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The next day I laid around in my comfy accommodation till check out, hoped back on the airport shuttle to the car rental place and after some minor confusion (FYI Alamo YAY, National Nay), hit the road to North Van to meet up with my buddy Kevin where I would be staying for the night. Looking for a mini adventure Kev had tickets to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and I had never been so off we went! Great little park there, I love BC, it is so green and air so crisp it really is a fabulous place to spend time. (TRAVEL TIP: There is another suspension bridge not to far from here called Lynn Canyon and I believe it is FREE, so if you are not lucky enough to know someone who has tickets to Capilano and are looking for a little more budget friendly experience I would recommend it because as cool as Capilano was I don’t quite see the value of $40 per person)

After, I met up with my friend Alana for a coffee (ALWAYS a delight) before returning to Kev’s for an evening watching sports. You have no idea how much I missed hockey while overseas. Super pumped to come home to my Flames in the playoffs! Haha, way to go boys!!! We did do a little tour of North Van though, man this town is gorgeous! Definitely not opposed to the Lord moving me out here.

The next morning I headed off to Langley, to check out Sunday morning service at Sonrise Church where my buddy Chris is the lead pastor. GREAT SERVICE! Holy Spirit was kicking some butt this morning. Was so grateful to be able to worship with this crew, definitely felt the love.

The next few days, I were spent fighting jet lag, contemplating life and moving my existing blog posts over to this new venue. If you haven’t noticed yet, I was pretty unhappy with Bloggers user interface so have shifted to a WordPress site. Please let me know what you think of the changes. Hopefully this one will work better for all involved. I have really enjoyed blogging and intend to continue, so please click follow down below and make sure you never miss a post 🙂

Anyways that takes us to yesterday where my touch down in Edmonton completed my circle of the world, and my touch down in Saskatoon ended my journey. Props to my pops for driving the 2.5 hours to Toon town to pick me up.

Thanks everyone for following along and stay tuned for posts sharing all the things I have learned along the way.

Cheers!

Dave

Greece – The Aqueduct Adventure

Originally posted – March 20, 2017

This was a great day. Most of my posts so far have been about the camp and the people that have been a part of my journey and how they affected me. Along the way, in amongst all the hard work and relationships being built I have also had a few fantastic opportunities to be a part of some incredible experiences. As most of you are aware I am an avowed lover of random adventure, I tend to not know what I am doing until I am doing it haha. This day would prove to be no exception…

Our adventure begins the day before as I picked up the rest of the Panagiouda Crew from working the night shift an experience I not so unfortunately missed out on during my time in Moria. (not sure who to thank, Marianna for her scheduling I guess, but anyways I am definitely grateful haha — David is too old for all nighters) During our drive home it was discussed that we all had the following day off and as such an adventure was in order.

The next day I followed up with them to see what was up and within 30 minutes we had a hike planned. Steph and Dusting had driven by random sign along the highway on their previous days adventures that looked like it was a map of hiking trails so they pinned it and we had just been recruited to see where it lead. LOVE IT.

Loaded in the van shortly after we were on our way. Armed only with google maps and an appetite for adventure we toured our way down the winding Lesvos highway towards the pin. As we got closer we noticed a sign that read something about an aqueduct… INTRIGUING but we carried on towards where they had set the pin and finally found the sign they had previously passed.

The sign itself outlined several trails which undoubtedly were beautiful adventures of their own. This entire island is full of the most beautiful landscapes, hilly and filled with lush olive groves, it is truly a sight to be seen. But our eyes all gravitated to one path in particular… the Roman Aqueduct.

Now if I am honest, I had ZERO idea what a Roman Aqueduct looked like or would be but I had a suspicion that it was old, stone, big and most likely VERY COOL, making it easy to sell me on the idea. We circled back to where we had seen the original sign and began our trek into the unknown.

Like everything else in this country, hike towards the Aqueduct was stunning, winding around a small river valley the journey itself was amazing to behold. The quiet of nature, the crispness in the the air and, of course, fantastic company holding great conversation. Though not without any trials, it was super muddy and Sam ended up doing the hike barefoot (2 hours through mud sans shoes thats more than I could have done) but I am sure glad he did because I would have hated for him to miss what we came upon.

As we  travelled further down the path we would get our first glimpses of this marvellous site. Standing for legitimately hundreds of years this astonishing feat of ancient architecture was completely awe inspiring.

As we got closer I felt a little like we were characters in the Lord of the Rings or something, heroes in the midst of an ancient epic quest.

I also learned, for the record, the Romans used aqueducts to move water from the island’s hills into the city’s below. Often they would have to cross a valley to do so and in that these epic aqueducts were built to span the gorge.

I don’t actually know what else to say about this experience. It was humbling and strangely satisfying to be that close to such an enduring piece of history. I was visiting with friends last night discussing our various travels and they were talking about visiting the Coliseum in Rome and the feelings they felt walking in such historically rich setting and I feel like thats a good explanation of how I felt here. I think as humans we have a deeply entrenched desire for legacy that we can too often overlook in our concerns for the here and now and so when we experience this level of physical endurement we cannot help but be somewhat awed by it.

Lol anyways consider that David’s deep thought for the day.

I am also still trying to get some of the footage that Dustin took with his drone. I have a feeling that it would give an even deeper understanding of how incredible this structure is, that photos cant even accurately capture. I’ll post it up, if and when I do.

Until Next time

D