Editor’s Note: Alexandra and David are members of LTV’s sponsored content team, The Leisure Explorers. Do you own a Leisure Travel Van and enjoy writing? Learn more about joining the team.
It was a sunny yet crisp fall day back in 2015 that found us driving along, somewhere between our home province of Nova Scotia and where we were headed to visit family in Québec, when suddenly, we saw it – something tall and sleek, painted several shades of grey, zoomed ahead of us.
I think we both got a case of whiplash as we craned our necks to see just what “it” was.
It wasn’t a utility truck or delivery truck. It didn’t look to be a bus. It was tall, yet not cumbersomely wide. It sure looked sporty as it sped by, disappearing into the horizon ahead of us, and we remarked on its aerodynamic lines and minimal exterior accessories. The only signage we glimpsed spelled out “Leisure Travel”.
“It’s pretty sleek-looking,” said Dave, husband, fellow adventurer, and car buff. “Probably some sort of RV?”
“Doesn’t look like any RV I’ve ever seen,” I replied.
Not that either one of us were in the RV market, or had owned one in our lives up to this point.
Flashback: Who Are We?
My name is Alexandra, and if I’m not exploring with camera in hand, I’m sitting down writing words about our most recent adventures. Whether he likes it or not, my husband, Dave, is the prime feature in all of them! Who is Dave? He’s a retired Navy man, avid sailor, weatherman hobbyist, sometimes called “The Chief”, and often quite an Eeyore. Mostly, he dances with me as we travel this path called life together. Our travels have broadened our horizons and enriched our souls, creating memories that leave us breathless as we smile our way across provinces, states, and countries, proving to us that the world is much smaller that we thought and much more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. Around every river bend or street corner is a new place to discover, something incredible just waiting to be photographed and a new story in the making.
When we first met, we both had a desire to travel. I didn’t have the “how” part of it figured out, but Dave did, and on one of our dates he introduced me to his boat. I knew nothing about sailing but I was intrigued enough to learn and eventually fell in love, with the man and the boat. We sold his boat, bought a new-to-us boat, named her Banyan, and then we got married… on the boat.
For the next few years our days were consumed by work, all while dreaming up a plan: to visit distant shores on our sailboat when we retired. We researched, we saved, we planned, and we budgeted.
“The Cap’n (aka Dave) likes to tell everyone who crosses his path that hope is not a plan! Create your own personal dream: research it, plan it, photo-board it, and change it up if and when necessary and as personal circumstances dictate. But the most important step towards any goal you might choose to embark on always remains to execute!”*
We executed in 2012 when we sailed away from Halifax, taking Banyan all the way down the eastern seaboard to the Florida Keys, where we crossed to the Bahamas. From there, we continued to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, then ventured ever southward into the Leeward and Windward Islands. Grenada became Banyan’s snowbird home, where we would store her for hurricane season and fly home.
*Excerpt taken from my e-book, “18 days”, that chronicles our latest adventure: a mission to rescue Banyan, moving her from one country to another during hurricane season while borders are closed during a global pandemic. What could possibly go wrong? Purchase the e-book here.
Flash-Forward: Learning All About “It”
Later that day, when we arrived at my sister’s in Quebec City and after we had gotten settled with arrival beers, the conversation turned to “it”. Obviously, just that one glance had us impressed enough to bring “it” up. The first two words that emerged were “elegant” and “classy”. Dave then added three more: sleek, sporty, and sexy.
Over dinner that night, we did a communal group search on Google.
“I was right! It is an RV!” Dave said. “It’s got a much smaller footprint than many others out there. It has everything you need though, bed, bath, and galley. It’s a really cool setup, you should come see how ingenious the storage compartments are, both inside and out. The workmanship of the wood cabinets is bar none. Come see the photos!”
I reached for my glass of wine, sitting down on the couch beside him to peruse the various floor designs of the models. Being minimalists by nature and used to living with a small footprint, we were especially impressed with the creative use of space.
“It’s gorgeous! So modern and compact inside,” I replied.
We were both interested enough to do another online search, this time looking for a local dealer. Turns out there was one about an hour’s drive away from us. When we called, they confirmed that they did indeed have one on the lot that we could go look at, but it was the end of the workday and they were closing shop in 20 minutes and would remain closed for the holiday long weekend. So much for that!
Hungry for family Thanksgiving festivities, we quickly forgot about “it”. Besides, we were also focusing on all the last-minute arrangements that are necessary for snowbirds escaping the Great White North. We were flying to Grenada, an island country in the Southern Caribbean Sea, and were eagerly anticipating being reunited with Banyan, patiently berthed in the marina, waiting out hurricane season and our return.
But “it” was impossible to forget.
As we settled into life on our boat in the Caribbean, we just couldn’t forget the the sleek, sporty, and sexy RV we’d seen earlier that fall. We binge-watched the LTV videos, listening to every word Dean spoke, inspecting every nook and cranny of every model along with him. The more we researched, the more we knew we liked it – the answers, the product, and the company and everything it stood for.
And then we did what financial prudence highly cautions you not do – we placed a hefty downpayment on a LTV without ever having driven or even set foot in one.
Eventually we received an e-mail with a date, notifying us that “it” would be ready and waiting for us in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, many months from now.
Nothing spurs you to action quite like a date. We now had a mission and a goal and only 8 months to sail Banyan from Grenada to Florida, store her for hurricane season, buy some airline tickets to fly from Florida to Winkler, and see “it” for the first time!
Time Flies: Meeting “It”
Time flies when you’re having fun on new adventures, and before we knew it, we were sitting in a hotel in Winkler, impatiently waiting for the next day’s scheduled appointment time. The hours took forever to count down their minutes until finally, there we were and there she was. And she was absolutely gorgeous.
She was taller than we had envisioned, much roomier than we’d anticipated. She was totally elegant and classy, but most of all, she was sleek, sporty, and sexy! We named her MoHo (short for Motor Home), and drove her off the lot in absolute awe and comfortable excitement.
The rest, as they say, is history; our history comes complete with photographs that speak to stories of a thousand words.
Favorite RVing Destinations
Alexandra: Ugh, I hate that question ‘cause I can never pick just one! We’ve criss-crossed North America a couple of times now and have absolutely loved every single place we’ve purposely gone to, or inadvertently ended up in.
Dave: For me, the landscapes that I’m not accustomed to on our maritime coast are the ones that have wowed me the most: Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone.