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Who: Erika Hodson, 30, photographer; Shawn Broom, 31, massage therapist
Relationship status: Together since 2016
A promising pairing
Erika: We met on OkCupid with a 99-per-cent match –
Shawn: You’re giving it all away! This was a little over two years ago. We had both come out of pretty bad relationships and we were both online dating. When you get a match on OkCupid, you get a percentage that says how compatible you are.
Erika: 99 per cent is crazy! I think the highest I’d seen before was 80.
Shawn: So of course I messaged her. We talked for a few hours online and then that night at 1 a.m., she messaged me saying, “Do you want to go on a date?”
Erika: We went to Wascana Park. We had planned to go on a walk, but it was so hot, so instead we sat on a bench eating ice cream.
Shawn: I think we sat there for five hours. We had a lot in common. Obviously.
Love on four wheels
Erika: About a month in, we were sitting around talking about our dreams. I said, I’m thinking about giving up my apartment, selling all of my stuff and travelling around Canada in an RV.
Shawn: And I was like, what? I’ve been wanting to do the same thing. And she doesn’t want kids. And she loves cats!
Erika: We didn’t have a mortgage and neither of us found the whole white-picket-fence ideal very appealing. That opens up a lot of possibilities. Initially, we looked into buying an RV and turns out they are super, super expensive.
Shawn: And also not really meant to be lived in long term. After our research, we decided to buy an old school bus instead. We spent the first summer gutting it and raising the roof. We’re now in the middle of the insulation process. It’s a little more involved than we thought.
Crazy cat couple
Erika: I think it’s probably for the best that the bus has taken longer than we expected. We moved in together about a year ago, and we’ve worked out our routines in a slightly larger space.
Shawn: Our goal for the bus is 2020. That’s when we’re getting married, so we figure it will be a perfect honeymoon.
Erika: We started an Instagram account for our bus life, so you can see the progress we’ve made every summer. During the winter it’s mostly photos of our cats. We have three – Storm, Aldous and Ember.
Shawn: I would say I’m the only thing standing between Erika and [her] being a crazy cat lady.
Erika: It’s true. I would have 10 if it weren’t for Shawn. We’re already figuring out ways to deal with kitty litter on the bus. We have some ideas.
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