Ontario, Canada: It is a sunny morning in the Bruce Peninsula National Park north of Toronto. Eamon and Bec have been woken up by the pervasive sound of the alarm clock. Grudgingly, they crawl out of bed, put a tea kettle on the fire that is filled to the brim with water and open their laptops – this is more or less how many couples would start their day. The view from their window and the windscreen wipers, however, reveal that a crucial detail is quite extraordinary: All of this is taking place in a van – the place where Eamon and Bec live and work.
In the spring of 2017, the couple was on the point of signing a rental agreement for a completely overpriced apartment in their hometown of Toronto when they came across an advertisement for a second-hand Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. “Why not?”, they thought and decided without further ado to take the risk of buying the Sprinter in order to turn it into their mobile home. And the Sprinter even has a name: Inspired by Trinity Bellwoods, a popular park in Toronto, they called it “Trinity”. For it was in this very park that they almost signed the contract for their apartment. The name is representative of this crucial moment.
We live according to the motto: Everything happens for a reason.
After a mere 30 days of tinkering, screwing and painting, their DIY project was completed and they were able to move into “Trinity”. “We couldn’t be happier,” is how they describe their decision in favour of Vanlife and an unpretentious lifestyle. What do they appreciate about it in particular? “Above all, there is the feeling of freedom and the conscious decision to live on less,” the couple concludes. Let alone the constant changes: their vistas vary widely – from the snow-covered mountains of Squamish in British Columbia to the enchanting beaches of Prince Edward County.
On their YouTube channel, they share their experiences and offer useful advice about life in their self-converted Sprinter. With vegan recipes and “behind-the-scenes videos” they intend to inspire their community to follow their own dreams.
Besides travelling and their vlog, the “full-time nomads” have yet another passion: Masala Chai. They discovered their love for this hot drink while living in Australia. This was where the couple was running an independent café together. Over many years, the owner had developed a special Chai recipe and taught them a lot about this special tea. After that, they travelled across India and Nepal with their backpacks. Their daily ritual consisted in getting fresh Masala Chai from one of the numerous street stalls.
They were quite disappointed when, upon returning to Canada, they were unable to find a similar Chai anywhere. As a consequence, they developed their own recipe and founded their company “Chaiwalachai”. “Our Chai mixture is absolutely unique in that we combine freshly ground spices with ginger root and organic honey. The result is a sticky Chai not otherwise available on the market,” they explain.
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan, simmer on a small to medium flame and stir from time to time. When the mixture is hot enough, sieve off, fill into a cup and enjoy!
They say that their mobile home is ideal for promoting their start-up company and selling their tea to independent cafés all over Canada. Apart from visiting different trade fairs, they also tour around the country to meet potential new wholesale customers. A privilege that enables them to get cheaply from A to B in their Sprinter: If they had to pay their flight tickets and a hotel room for every business meeting, this would not be possible. A positive side effect: That way they quite incidentally get to know all corners of their country.
The roles of the two entrepreneurs are clearly defined: Eamon takes care of the sales activities and Bec handles all the jobs in the background, such as website maintenance and the online shop associated with it. She can do this from anywhere in the world, everything she needs is a working internet connection. “Nowadays it is hard to imagine for us to live differently.”
Bevor founding Chaiwala, the fully trained marketing experts led a nomadic life for almost three years. “When founding our business, it was clear to us that we had to leave again as soon as possible in order to satisfy our longing for adventure and our wanderlust,” the globetrotters report. Even though they have their own shop in Toronto now, they use it for accommodation only sporadically when they are in town. “We much prefer travelling.” They spent their last winter in Mexico and the next destination on their agenda is the western United States.
The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.