Finding your place in life can feel long and frustrating. Some people seem to have it all figured out while others seem to take more time, detour and to the outsider, might seem lost. But all that rambling is not necessarily bad because the journey is as important as the destination, a lesson Francois Moore is glad to have figured out. While the young man that discovered adventure growing up in Chelsea Quebec knew he needed it in his life, it took him a while to find his balance.
“My parents are amazing. They supported me however they could. I wasn’t spoiled with new gear but they lovingly signed me up to sports clubs, outdoor summer camps and drove me everywhere. I must have been a handful because I always had something going on. I want to offer that same support when I have kids because it gave me priceless memories and positive outlets that often kept me out of trouble.”
Moving on with the motions of life, Francois went on to study architecture design in Ottawa with the goal of entering McGill University’s architecture program after. When things didn’t go as expected, he found himself lost, uncertain of what to do with his life.
“My best friend had driven through Alberta that year and convinced me that I needed a dose of the Canadian Rockies to find myself. I took his advice and left three days later. I bought a one way Trans Canada Greyhound bus ticket and left with $300 to my name. The struggle was real but the experience was priceless. I reconnected with my love of adventure that I had lost during my studies.”
Setting camp in Banff, Francois spent the following two years living the ski bum life, enjoying the mountains every way he could. The novelty faded away though, and his old dreams caught up to him.
“Banff is like Neverland, you don’t grow up there. There aren’t many places like that. At one point it was time for me to go. I felt I needed to grow up. I needed to find a balance between work and play. I felt like I was playing too much. I wanted to invest in my career. It was time for the next step. The reason I got there was to get out of my comfort zone, but I got too comfortable there and wasn’t learning anything anymore. Everything was repeating and I could see myself being like a broken record. I went back to Ottawa to get my career going.”
For four years, Francois worked away at making a name for himself in the construction industry and enjoyed the opportunity to be with family and friends again.
“It was bittersweet coming back to Ottawa. The reason I came was to get a balance between work and play and I felt like I went one extreme to another. I invested too much into work. It’s hard to find balance.”
Too much work, a growing lack of interest and a relationship that ended pushed Francois to the bottom and forced him to reconciler his choices. Maybe it was time for another soul search.
“My saving grace was when my old hiking partner from Banff visited me one weekend. I was on the verge of a depression that summer and he explained how amazing living in Vancouver was. I agreed to drive down to the West Coast together.”
He had missed the West Coast, it’s fresh air and all the adventures to be had, with endless hiking and skiing nearby. He even found a way to add surfing to his list of favourite sports. There, he found a better life for himself. He found himself a step closer to said balance, but the search is not over.
“What I realized is that for me, my balance is definitely work, play, love. I found the work and play, but I haven’t found my partner and that’s definitely the last piece of the puzzle. I feel like Vancouver itself is a good basecamp and has lots of opportunities to offer, but I’m more of a country guy. I want to find my roots in a smaller town. Hopefully by then, I’ll find a partner.”
He might not have found a life partner, but he found a road partner. A few months ago, Francois acquired a van hoping to retrofit it to live in it, save rent money and have a few bucks in the bank for his next adventure. The project, however, has taken another turn.
“That van project helped me connect the dots. I think there was more behind my motivation to get a van. One of my dream is to get a tiny home and I felt that this van was sort of the first step to building one. It makes sense. I don’t know where I want to settle down so why not learn on the building practices I want to apply on my home and build it on wheels. When I realized that, it was definitely a game changer. I put my passion for architecture and adventuring together. That’s why I called her Rambling Lucille. I am definitely rambling, searching for something.”
That search, that quest is part of everyone’s life. Some seem to find their purpose easily while others take a winding road. Francois wants to take many winding roads to Mexico and maybe even in South America with Rambling Lucille and immerse himself in culture, cuisine, Spanish and surf.
“I think it’s the essence of the project, trying to find balance, trying to find home. Nothing is ever going to be perfect but in the end, it’s worth not trying to settle. And if you do have to settle, don’t settle for less, settle for more. Settle for what makes you happy.”
We wish you that happiness Francois, wherever you may find it; in the waves, in love and in your heart. And even if you don’t feel like you have yet completely found your way, I’m sure your late grandmother Lucille is proud of you from where she watches over.