When we talked about starting a blog, we knew we needed to come up with some kind of theme. We wanted to share our trips and research, but also wanted the chance to document our plans and projects. To bring these topics together, we realized we needed a mascot. It had to be something that was front and centre during our research, planning and projects this past year, and who would be a main feature of the adventures to come… That mascot had to be Sue, our Subaru Outback!
We purchased Sue this past August, and have already travelled over 18,000km in just 9 months. Those kms are not the result of any big road trips, nor from a daily commute to work as we carpool (thanks Manny!!) There are many more kms to come in 2018, with a convoy roadtrip to South Carolina this April, a wedding in May out East and our epic adventure to the Yukon in August. So what led us to Sue, and why does our car make us so excited for these upcoming adventures?
My family are loyal Toyota owners, with a Rav, Sienna and Tacoma lining the driveway back home. I followed suit and purchased a Toyota Corolla, truly thinking we would own her for many years to come. Cora the Corolla was incredibly reliable and fun to drive, and she never let me down in the two years I owned her. But we learned a few things about ourselves during those two years. Our biggest realization is that we are happiest when we are outside. Cora tried her best to be the car we needed her to be – we even bought our canoe to match her! But we also experienced the drawbacks of a car when camping, like that time we were stuck in a monsoon in Tofino, British Columbia.
I remember looking enviously at the families driving by our waterlogged tent, staying warm and dry evening in their RVs, camper vans and trucks. If only we could hop in the back of our car and sleep in the comfort of our vehicle! We learn a lesson every trip, and after B.C. we began to seriously think we needed to buy a camper van. It didn’t help that we were regularly watching YouTube series on van life (shoutout to our favourite former van dweller – Finding Simon!), fantasizing about how fun it might be to sell it all and live life on the road.
But then we realized we couldn’t fit two vehicles in our tiny townhome driveway. How might we combine the luxuries of camping in a van, with the reality of getting around Ottawa in a car? Our next best option was a truck with a camper! Our Uncle arrived at our family camp in summer 2017 with a very nice setup, and we thought a Toyota Tacoma and a light truck bed camper might just be the compromise we needed. We visited a local Toyota dealer in Ottawa, and were getting really excited about the prospect of truck life!
But then my Dad had to go and plant the Subaru seed in our minds… He’d done his usual research, looking up consumer reports and reviews, and wanted to let us know that the Subaru Forrester and Outback were top of their class. Might we consider a change of course? One visit to the Subaru dealership in London, and we were convinced. It’s not everyday you can visit a car dealership and ask to lay down in the back of the vehicle. We comfortably stretched our legs, looked up at the sunroof, and we knew it was the perfect compromise. It would get us where we wanted to go off road, and it would make our highway driving safe and smooth.
After buying Sue in August, we could not be happier with our purchase. We’re pleased with the gas mileage of the 2.5 CVT engine, and absolutely adore the all-wheel drive. We wonder how we ever managed winter without her! I was a little nervous to move to a larger vehicle after my Corolla, but found there was no adjustment period as she handles just like a car. Overall, we give her 5 stars out of 5, and are really looking forward to putting her to the test this summer on the backroads. Coming up soon, we’ll start sharing our planning and projects involving Sue as we get ready for summer 2018! Next up, we’ll share research from a past adventure in the Florida Keys and document our road trip to South Carolina with the gang.
Thanks for joining us on this adventure 😃
Liz & Antoine