The time had come, it finally arrived we never thought it would happen but it actually did. The time to stop planning and get going.
The 19th of April we arrived in New York, I still had to work for about 3 weeks while Desy could hang around the city with her friend’s in NY. While working I had 3 days off in between. These days I hoped to use to get the van ready.
Because of extensive custom checks the van did not arrive on time so we had these 3 days for ourselves. The not knowing when the van would arrive made us a bit nervous, and also the countless calls and emails to try and get the van insured didn’t do us any good. In the end we did get the van insured for about $600 for six months. This seemed like a lot but there were other prices going up to $1500 for six months.
During the 3 days off suddenly the van arrived, we were not around to see it roll out the container but my co-workers video called us through the whole process. (Thanks Mike and Mark!)
After the breakdown of the fair the 11th of May was there! We went up to Long Island where the warehouse is situated to get to the van. It was unreal to see the van that I left behind in Antwerp standing there in the lot behind the warehouse.
When we overcame the first excitement and hyperness we started unpacking. Everything seemed to be still there including my last used coffee cup that I forgot to remove. We had a lot to do, changing oil and all the filters, installing US propane bottles and connections, getting the roof rack back up including the solar panels and top box. We decided to take it easy and take our time so we thought to sleep a couple of nights in the lot before going on the road.
At this point I still had mad nerves, nervous about driving on US roads, about not exactly knowing what to do, where to go and how to feel about all this. This feeling is restless but very much known to me. With every big change or insecurity I get this feeling. The difference this time is that we expected it to come, and we somewhat saw it coming and were able to deal with it better than ever before. Dealing with it doesn’t mean that the stress was gone, but that we were able to handle it better.
It took us 1.5 days to get ready, and we hit the road to NYC because we agreed to have dinner with friends to celebrate Desy’s birthday the day after. The drive to NYC was scary, nerve wrecking and interesting but our adventure had begun! The van was heavy and just made it to the speed limit. The skyline of Manhattan sparked excitement in us, we drove there before but never in our van, our house and that already gave us a sense of pride and achievement.
Crossing the bridge onto the streets of Manhattan felt like a dream, we found a parking close to the restaurant at the crossing of 2th av and 4th street. Leaving the van behind with everything in it felt bad, and it still does but we can’t take it everywhere and we have to leave it every now and then. Full and happy we returned to the van to sleep on the streets of the big city in the big new continent that we are about to explore.
Bring it on NY, bring it on US and bring it on whole American continent! We can’t wait to get to know you personally.