Why did we choose vanlife? Why did we decide to completely turn our lives around and live a life on the road? Here is an introduction to us. This is our story from the day we met until we started vanlife. And let me tell you, the story isn’t very long!
Railway to vanlife!
It was a rainy day at the end of November 2015, when we happened to be on the same railway platform in southern Holland. In the middle of rush hour, with a lot of people around, our eyes found each other. Both of us thought: “I’m going to sit close to that one!“. We sat down and little did we know that our life on the road had already begun.
Eventually, about 75 minutes later, we still didn’t say a word. My heart was racing when he looked at me. Occasionally, I looked back and felt that I was blushing. What was happening? Quickly and secretly I took a picture of him, after making sure the “photo-sound-effect” was turned off. Finally, the train entered Amsterdam Amstel station and I needed to get out. It was now or never. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING!
After trying to read his name on his railway-card, I decided to take my business card out of my wallet, with the intention of giving it to him. I succeeded. The train stopped. He didn’t look like he was going to get out, so this was my only chance. At the very last moment I bent over some people and handed him my card. Don’t look back. Walk, just walk.
“By the way, my name is Martijn”.
Beyond excited was I, when he send me a message on my phone about an hour later. “I didn’t dare to say something, although I was already looking for a piece of paper with my number on it. I’m happy you gave me your card”. By the way, my name is Martijn“.
Eventually 7 days past, before we met again. A quick drink and a first kiss. After another 7 days I invited him to dinner. And if we weren’t already, that evening we fell in love completely. A bomb could have gone off and we wouldn’t have noticed.
An introduction to the van
Only 4 weeks after we met, Martijn asked me to spend New Year’s Eve ’15/’16 with him. And since I started to know him a little bit better, I could have known this was not an usual proposal. “Would you like to spend NYE with me in my camper?“. I like the unusual and I instantly said yes. Of course! We took this 40 year old van to the woods and we celebrated the coldest days of the year in the most heartwarming way. This is when our vanlife really started!
And then, we were hooked. Only 8 weeks later, we drove to the Italian Dolomites for the best holiday ever. At the time the camper was very badly insulated, but we couldn’t be bothered. We conquered 7 days and nights of snow and even -13 degrees Celsius couldn’t stop us.
Let’s start vanlife!
While we where driving back to Holland, we constantly kept talking about a life on the road. What if?! What if we sell everything, convert our van and move into this 12 m2 house on wheels. Why not, completely turn our lives around? Obviously, there were a lot of things to consider, but shortly after the idea was born we decided to take the step. We are going to live a vanlife!
Only 4 months after we met, we knew that, this was exactly what we wanted. Therefore, we both put our houses up for sale, while at the same time we were selling and giving away our stuff. Far more quickly then we would have ever expected, we were actually living in our camper. We completely converted our van and made it into our perfect little home. Only 10 months after our first encounter at the railway station, we handed over the keys of Martijns’ house and that was that.
October 1st 2016 our vanlife really began. That day we parked our van on a piece of farmers land, where we spent 5 months to finish our jobs and to get used to this lifestyle. We never regretted a single day.
Vanlife: Why we live on the road
In the beginning of 2017 we finally left Holland. It was time to get lost! We wanted to create a lifestyle that included more freedom, more time to be together and to enjoy what we love doing the most. Martijn had been working 80 hours weeks for the past 13 years and I myself, never really enjoyed what I was doing for a living. We felt like we were working to pay the bills. We felt like we were stuck. Stuck in the system of society. We made a choice to completely step out of it and search for other ways to live our lives.
After all, the last year has been the best one of our lives. Some people would go crazy, being together all the time. Not us! We really appreciate our time together and have easily adapted during this first year of vanlife. Like any other life, it hasn’t always been easy. Since we both turned our lives around completely, it’s not strange to encounter situations we have never dealt with before. But we cope! We enjoy and we learn. We laugh and we cry. Every day is different! At the end of the day we are just really happy that we dared to make this decision. All in all, we have spent a little over a year in Scandinavia and decided to start a You Tube channel to share our vanlife journey and to inspire you to loose direction sometimes as well!