The last few months have been quite a rollercoaster for us.
We have been living in our student apartment together for 5 and a half years now. During this time we always had in mind that we want to take a year off after earning our masters to go travel for a bit and see more of the world.
As the years passed, our desire to travel only grew bigger and bigger as we lived in a city environment. When Marijke earned her Master’s degree, I still had one year to go.
This of course raised the question: Now what?
Marijke got a simple part-time job and started looking and thinking about which new challenge to embark upon next.
As the year passed, the opportunity to find work related to her study only seemed to diminish more and more. It was obvious that in order for Marijke to find work we’d have to move abroad.
During the final months of my own Master, I did an internship at the Max Planck Institute in Jena. I lived in Germany for about 3 and a half months during which I had gotten the chance to conduct my own small research project regarding optimization theories and root growth.
During my time there, I had a lot of time to reflect upon my past. More importantly, I would often think about what I’d like my future to look like.
I truly enjoyed my time at the research institute. But as much as I enjoyed the work I did, I kept feeling the urge in the back of my mind to go outdoors and enjoy what nature has to offer.
The work was very interesting, but the line of work I embarked upon did mean having to spend the largest part of my life in an office staring at a screen.
Although I certainly do not mind working on a PC, working from 8am til 7pm five days a week does take it’s toll.
As Marijke struggled to find work, I increasingly felt trapped in an office.
This feeling did of course not just come forth from my internship, as I truly had a dream internship I must say. Long days studying behind a pc is not unfamiliar to most students, and at the time I had been studying for nearly 7 years working my way up the chain.
As the end of my internship neared, and I moved back to Wageningen to present my work, the big question grew. What now?
We started discussing our wishes for the future. I had always said that I would like to continue with a PhD after finishing my master. Although my mind is still set on doing so, my body tells me that it is time for a change.
We asked each other what type of life we wanted to look back on at a later stage in life.
Do we want a successful career? Do we see ourselves being happy in the modern standard way of life?
Do we want to get a job in a fixed place, settle down, have kids, and grow old there?
Or do we want to put our focus on enjoying life to the fullest?
As obvious through the rest of our blog, we have settled on the latter and have never looked back.
The simple idea of enjoying life to the fullest has been at the center of all our decisions ever since.
Instead of valuing our happiness by the stuff we own, we realized that you don’t need much to be happy and to enjoy life. As a result, we slowly progressed to a more minimalistic lifestyle.
Through our time together, we always wanted to travel but hardly had the time or money to fulfill that dream. Mainly due to the share amount of time we had to spend on our studies.
The combination of our new minimalistic lifestyle with our desire to travel resulted in our choice for a nomadic lifestyle. But how would we like to travel?
Up until we got our first dog Mojo, we always went hiking during our holidays. Carrying a big backpack with a tent, we’d spend our walking through forests. For a few weeks at a time, this worked out perfectly. But it does put quite a strain on your body.
We were already familiar with how many people go about their world journey on foot, the term backpackers is often heard of. A difference though, is that backpackers are usually located in the habited world and hence carry light backpacks.
Our backpacks always contained everything we needed to survive in wilderness for up to two weeks at a time. So we had to carry our tent, sleeping gear, clothing, food, and etc.
We much prefer to spend our time walking through nature rather than going from city to city. But our experiences showed us that traveling with backpacks through nature carrying everything we need with us would be way too tiring when done for long periods on end.
So, how do we want to travel the world then?
We started looking online, and came across a trend that has increased over the past few years. Building your own camper van! And we immediately fell in love with the idea.
Living in a camper van just fits our wishes perfectly. Living in a camper van allows us to live a more minimalistic lifestyle, whilst being able to take our home along with us just wherever we want to go.
Our mind was set. We want to live in a camper van and set off to travel the world!
Our research period began. Scrolling through camper van conversion videos on Youtube on a daily basis. Reading all the blog posts we could find. It doesn’t seem all that hard to do?
But is this truly the case?
We will share our experience of building our camper van in the blog post of Sunday next week.
If you’d like to follow our van conversion progress on a daily basis, be sure to check out our vlogs!