L’Oeil Régional – Newspaper of the Richelieu Valley

July 20, 2022

In a modified van for half a 12 months

Dream of freedom on the roads of southern Africa

Creator: Vincent Guilbaud

In 2017, the Galland-Charron household left their residence in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu and traveled to South America for 5 months. After two years of self-sacrifice and preparation, the household of 4 (Jean-Francois Gallant, Eva Charron and their kids Loic and Eliane) boarded their Dodge Caravan, transformed right into a camper, to move to Guatemala. This expertise eternally modified the little household, who determined this time to go on an journey and go to South Africa.

As of this interview with L’ŒIL, July 14, the household has simply moved to Durban, South Africa. Arriving on African soil on June 28 in Johannesburg, the household needed to wait till July 19 for his or her automotive, which was delivered by boat to proceed the journey. Uninterested in miles on numerous journeys, the Dodge Caravan might now not present secure transportation for the household, who this time started modifying the Dodge Ram Promaster, a kind of van utilized by contractors. Outfitted with photo voltaic panels (550W), an induction cooker, beds, a desk, loads of cupboard space, a mini roof terrace and even a mini tub, the automotive permits the household to be utterly unbiased.

“The automotive is a giant a part of the preparation,” explains the daddy of the household. On his YouTube account, Mr. Gallant additionally posted a video during which he explains all of the adjustments made to the automotive.

The second step is to organize the route. The household will depart South Africa after which journey to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe. “These are the most secure international locations,” emphasizes Eva Charron to justify the selection of those international locations. Some international locations in Africa are at conflict, others are out of presidency management, and crime is excessive. “All international locations require completely different visas; You must discover the proper paperwork, it is a whole lot of preparation. »

Change of surroundings
Whereas ready for a automotive, life in Africa is like life in America, explains the household, who at the moment dwell in an Airbnb rental.

The household took half of their first safari in St. Lucia, South Africa, and extra are deliberate. We’re going to do a minimum of one or two safaris per nation,” the daddy explains. To date, the quartet has been in a position to see rhinos, warthogs, antelopes, hippos and even an elephant. “We met him head to head. It is not superb. We acquired scared when it began charging.

Aside from the highway the place the villages present the good poverty that exists in Africa. The household additionally famous the racial hole between whites, who’re extra prosperous, and blacks, who dwell in poverty.

Jean-Francois Gallant additionally says he’s marked by South Africa’s raging vitality disaster, which is forcing the federal government to scale back load and plan for blackouts. “Any type of useful resource could be very helpful (water, electrical energy). In America, we devour it in extra! »
“As quickly because the van pulls up, we depart for Namibia,” Eva explains. We’ll see the oldest desert on the planet, we’ll see deserted villages the place homes are coated with sand. »

“We see a whole lot of monkeys within the wild,” says Loik. They’re African squirrels,” his father provides. “One entered our home; the door to the terrace opens by itself […]and I see slightly face going into the kitchen to steal a cookie and depart. »

Vacationers additionally wish to go to the Maasai neighborhood, a semi-nomadic indigenous folks residing in Tanzania and Kenya. “You’ll be able to’t go there with no information,” provides Ms. Charron. These are individuals who breed goats within the conventional approach and refuse know-how. That is the place the household thinks they’re most inappropriate.

Comply with the experience: Freedom Spark on Fb, YouTube and TikTok.

Way of life
Once they return from Africa subsequent January, if all goes effectively, the household will go to a complete of twenty-two international locations and all provinces in Canada.
The primary journey to South America was a fantastic expertise, with just a few technical hiccups. Learning on the highway additionally went effectively, and the return to the category occurred by itself.

“This primary journey was the impetus for our new lifestyle,” says Ms. Charron. That is how we’ll go now. »
Such a visit is dear and due to this fact requires many sacrifices and compromises, like residing in a van for a lot of months. “So we now have to concentrate on that, put cash apart, deprive ourselves of walks. We elevate our personal pigs and chickens for meals. However it’s a matter of will. Sure, I’ve a very good wage, however I feel that you may journey inside your means,” says the daddy of the household.

In fact, returning to “regular” life after a six-month journey comes with some unhappiness. This is likely one of the causes the couple hopes to dwell like this as soon as the youngsters depart the home. “In just a few years, we plan to retire early in a van to get out of the home. The journeys have confirmed that we love this way of life, ”concludes my mom.

To comply with the journey: Spark of Freedoms on Fb, YouTube and Tik Tok.

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