Woman realizes 20-year dream of moving west in pink trailer
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2019 12:18PM PDT
You can hear the song "Pink Cadillac" when you look at the trailer that's parked along the road with a view of the ocean.
It's hand-painted with huge pink flowers and hitched up to a black vehicle covered in a bright flower. The driver, Zoe, says she named it Ferdinand.
"You know," she explains, referencing the classic kids' book and movie character. "The black bull that loved flowers!
Like Ferdinand, Zoe loves flowers too. Her sandals, pants and headband all feature a petal pattern.
She shows me a photo of her snow-covered home in Northern Ontario, and says she'd been dreaming of growing a garden and moving to Victoria for decades.
"[But] something happens and I'll put it off," Zoe says.
Now, after more than 20 years of hoping for a change, she's making one. Zoe packed up her two cats, formerly feral Finn and 15-year-old Millie.
The only speed bump along the way has been Millie's need – like clock-work – to use the litter box whenever they go to leave. "Every single time you get down the road," Zoe laughs. "You have to open all the windows, pull over."
Zoe shows me photographs from their cross-country road trip. They show the cats peering from the backseat into the rear view mirror during the day, and "being helpful" by laying on top of jigsaw puzzles during the night.
Now, after a couple weeks, they've arrived on Vancouver Island. The inside of the trailer is decorated with an abundance of floral patterns.
"As I go along the way, I collect things that are crazy, different, and full of colour," Zoe says. "It makes me happy."
Zoe says she's not always made her own happiness a priority. "As a single mom, I always worked where I could the money," she explains. "I became an electrician which I absolutely hated. But it put food on the table."
Now that her daughter's grown up, Zoe's focused on putting flowers on the trailer. While she hangs the moss baskets from hooks on the pink exterior, she starts singing her own version of the "Pink Cadillac" song. "I live in my pink caravan with my two kitty cats!"
The 50-something says that now that there's more years behind her on life's journey than ahead, she's focusing on spending her remaining decades out west.
"This is me," Zoe says with pride. "Pink trailer and all, it's me."
She sits on the step of the trailer and writes in her journal about this momentous day. She occasionally looks up to take it the view of the Pacific Ocean.
"This is awesome," she says after a contented sigh. The cats, Finn and Millie, are peering through the screen door beside her. "If there's something deep within yourself that you want to fulfill, do it!"