Once just a dream… I would see only in those bleary moments just before sleep, I felt ready to try this new reality. I’ve known for as long as I could remember that I wanted to travel and see the world, have my own VW – Van. My parents even gave me one for my birthday long ago .. a so called “piggy bank” tho. My surfbus… where I would save all the tips I got working my side jobs. We made jokes about the Van and my life , my Van, the future, vanlife…the bus, surfing. At the same time everyone did now far deep from the inside it wasn`t a joke deep down it is true. That it only needed some time to accomplish this dream.
“Every family needs that kid that always goes somewhere, somehow”
At the moment of this dream, the surfboards and waves, the beach already appeared and I wasn`t even kitesurfing – yet. I have had always a big passion for extreme sports and traveling, adventure and freedom, making the most out of everything. Competitions have always been and still are the red line in my life. Always in need for a goal, preferable one just too far away, a dream. Like the van, the surfboards….. While we already painted the palm trees on the wall of my room, the bleu sky, the sun and the sand…I started to realize my kitesurfing dream.
….But once I’d moved out of the comfort of my parents’ house (oke a little.. I still have my palmtree bedroom over there), the realities of being able to save enough money on a not-that-well-paid jobs sank in. A normal full time job was simply not doable because of studying and my other passion & life: kitesurfing & snowkiting – competing international and training all over the world. Working an events, hotel, restaurant, distribution, cleaning and transport job in the night, that I enjoyed and still do enjoy (thanks to all the people around who make it fun every night again 🙂 ), but wasn’t passionate about. Please, don`t get me wrong in this. I have a huge respect for all working people, no matter where or what.
I had to take care of myself now. And somehow still manage to compete on the highest level in snowkiting, kitesurfing, kitefoiling & learn the wing foil thing, train, finish my second master and enjoy life.
With most of my income going on rent, college money and bills: the accommodation costs for training, travel expenses, subscription fees (!) and competitions, the newest kites needed (!)(20 000 euro) and transport: I began searching for a way to cut my monthly expenses (especially when training, traveling, going to competitions). This was when the idea of living in a van started to creep in – again (I did it before – from frozen to liquid water)- I could live in it, continue working (or at least find a way to continue) and then travel in it to competitions and training locations. Save a lot of time, money, so I could work less. Sleeping close to the places I have to work, I train and drive straight after to the beach or mountain… gym for a shower. Make the world my backyard, train everywhere and compete without too much costs. With vanlife, I was ticking two boxes at once!
Well, not really. I definitely ticked multiple boxes and it made my life way easier, flexible, adventures and definitely more fun. On the other side it is still hard work to make it happen. And to continue it. But so worth it.
So finally last year I made it happen, I converted my own van. It is not perfect but it is very much mine. This year I already made more than 5 trips in two months, to the snow to the sun, competing, training. And… I loved every moment of it! Vanlife makes you happy…. 😊
Once just a dream, now made reality.
I hope to inspire you to believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. A dream doesn`t become reality through magic it takes sweat determination and hard work.
And although traveling in a campervan won’t always be picture perfect, One day you’ll look back on this journey and think: “That was one hell of a ride”.
Once just a dream, now made reality. Just like my dream to be the best kitesurfer I can be. And my road into the Olympic kitefoiling road as an independent athlete.
Read more about the up and downside of vanlife on my vanlife page.