Home Lifestyle GOALS: dit koppel doorkruist heel Europa in een omgebouwde camionette

GOALS: dit koppel doorkruist heel Europa in een omgebouwde camionette

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Als je ons als kind vroeg wat we later wilden worden, was het antwoord snel gegeven: een prinses. Niet veel later werd dat ‘een carrièrevrouw’ en nu zouden we het liefst van al ‘globetrotter’ antwoorden, en al zeker nadat we ontdekten dat dat ook écht kan. Dat bewijzen Lucy en Ben, een verliefd koppel dat met hun omgebouwde camionette al 25 Europese landen doorkruiste.

Wie afgelopen zomer een nachtje in onze coole Flaircaravan verbleef, kon al even van het echte van life proeven. Eenmaal je die kriebel te pakken hebt, laat hij je nooit meer los en dat is ook wat er gebeurde met het koppel Lucy en Ben. De twee vielen niet alleen als een blok voor elkaar, maar ook voor het kampeerleven. Daarom besloten ze om een oude bestelbus op de kop te tikken en die helemaal om te bouwen tot hun droomcamper.

Hun avontuur begon nadat ze beiden hun diploma op zak hadden. Lucy en Ben zochten, in tegenstelling tot hun leeftijdsgenoten, niet naar werk, maar wel naar een camionette waarmee ze de wereld wilden rondreizen. Ze stootten op een verroeste bestelbus die met verschillende kleuren verf besmeurd was en betaalden 1.200 euro voor het busje waar ze op slag verliefd op werden.

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The French Alps are a place we never thought we’d have the privilege of visiting. It’s always been the wrong time of year, too cold, too far… Too many reasons not to go.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ This time we finally made it here, and we found ourselves completely blown away. ⁣⠀ Those pale Alpine peaks in the distance, enough to make our hearts soar out of our chests. Enough beautiful views to fill our souls with joy. Those jagged, inhospitable peaks clasping at passing clouds, holding them in their rocky clutches.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ We drove a series of winding roads, climbing higher with ever more exciting views, in total awe of these ridges and valleys hiding within them their secrets, offering only the glimpse of blue lake waters or evermore distant rocky peaks. We marvelled at the little pockets of life woven into the nooks and crevices of these mountains, running through their valleys, perched upon their slopes.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ It was here we learned that it’s not enough to to merely see a place; you must touch it, feel it, breathe it, become a part of it. Then, only then, can you form a connection, through personal experience and insight.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ So we swam in those crystal Alpine lakes, we hiked across those rocky peaks, over plains and plateaus and drove through tiny quaint villages with flowers spilling from their carved wooden balconies. We embraced everything the Alps had to throw at us, the frosty air, the occasional snow, the herds of animals and the remote mountain villages, and we revelled in it.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Now The French Alps joins the collection of places we hold dear in our hearts, a place we will long to return to again one day.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⠀

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Hoewel het koppel krap bij kas zat, duurde het amper 10 maanden om de camionette om te toveren tot een knus huisje op wielen. Ze gebruikten gerecycleerde materialen om geld te besparen en er een uniek stekje van te maken. ‘Dat was helemaal niet eenvoudig. Wij waren echt geen handige harry’s, dus het opknappen van ons huisje is voor ons ook een leerproces geweest’, vertelde het koppel tijdens een interview met Lonely Planet. ‘De meeste spulletjes zijn tweedehands en hebben we voor een appel en een ei kunnen kopen.’

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When we returned from our second roadtrip we decided we needed to make some changes to our van. Some repairs, and some improvements.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ We wanted a separate bed area, something to divide the bed from the kitchen, make our van feel more like two rooms than one, so we took a trip down to our local timber yard to find a piece of waney edge timber for this very job. We wandered around their barn in awe of their beautiful collection of wood, running our fingers over the curved edges and sinking our fingertips into rough bark.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Finally we settled on a piece of yew, reddish in colour, which the timber merchant lovingly cut and sanded down for us.This is where the love stopped sadly, because we then left this piece of yew to sit for a whole year, unused and neglected. Until this week, when we finally got around to fitting it in our van. The colour had darkened by this point to a beautiful mahogany, and we cut it down to fit our awkwardly sloping roof and fit our solar controller and two USB chargers into it, so they look like they could've grown from the very wood itself.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ This also meant a bit of rearranging in the van, of storage hammocks and curtain, but the overall effect is beautifully rustic and homely, especially with our antique barometer hanging on our new bed divider.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ We're in the final stages of preparation of our van for the next trip, which involves a lick of paint, a new clutch and a kitchen tap to replace the old one which froze, and we’re finally starting to feel little bubbles of excitement rising up in our chests. Soon we will be home again, our home back on the road.⁣⠀ ⠀ Where are you heading on your next trip? Give us some inspiration! ?

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Lucy en Ben hebben intussen al 25 Europese landen doorkruist en zijn momenteel voor de derde keer bezig aan een zeven maanden lange rondreis door Europa. ‘We hebben door heel Europa gereisd om nieuwe mensen te ontmoeten en mooie verhalen vast te leggen. We reizen maximaal en leven minimaal en brengen in elk land gemiddeld zo’n vijf weken door om de inwoners, cultuur én keuken van elk land te leren kennen en appreciëren’, aldus het koppel.

‘Laat je daarom ook niet tegenhouden en vertrek als je daar nood aan hebt’, vertelde Lucy. ‘Stel niet langer uit en volg je hart. We hebben een roestig blikje gekocht met een enorm gat in het dak en waterlekken in elke hoek, maar het is ons toch gelukt om het aan het draaien te krijgen. Als je voor de volle 100% voor iets wil gaan, komt alles vroeg of laat wel op zijn pootjes terecht.’ Wel, wij weten wat ons nu te doen staat: een oude bus opknappen!

Hun avonturen kan je volgens op het Instagramaccount @fromrusttoroadtrip.

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Each time we’re away from the road, our hearts cry out to wander.⁣ ⁣ We are here, working hard but static, stuck in the regime but with dreams as light as air and goals as concrete as tree roots.⁣ ⁣ Routine is a slow killing machine, and this is what we have chosen to escape. We search for any small break in it, anything out of the norm, snatching at snippets of our freedom caught on the breeze.⁣ ⁣ Our heels are pressed firmly into the ground at the starting line, waiting for the gunshot, ready to run. Ready to run far far away, to throw ourselves back into life in perpetual motion. We thrive off it, relish the unpredictability, pushing boundaries into the unknown, experiencing cultures in ever more in-depth ways with a renewed vigour and sense of purpose.⁣ ⁣ Our van is so much more than a van to us; it’s a vessel for our true passions in life, and it feeds our addiction to explore. It presents us with challenges that we must overcome in order to grow as people. It affords us the luxury of independence, and gives us a space in which we can create.⁣ ⁣ In a way, our lack of routine on the road becomes routine in itself. This nomadic existence compels us to adapt to new surroundings, adjust to different climates and embrace constant shifts and changes in the norm. ⁣ ⁣ It means that nothing is constant; no two days are the same, no two mornings do we wake up to the same horizon, we never drive the same road twice and no two evenings are alike. ⁣ ⁣ This is our normal, in all its dirty, gritty, tricky, testing, trying, raw unchained beauty, and we love every moment of it.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣

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We love driving through snow. It used to fill us with fear and trepidation but now never fails to fill us with excitement. It's like an adult version of waking up as a kid to discover your garden covered in a blanket of snow, the trees topped with white, except you can explore so much further than the confines of your backyard.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ It's as though the whole world has been wiped clean, transformed into a magical land of black and white. Numb fingers, frostbitten toes, heater blaring and ice on the windscreen. Tires crunching over fresh snow, wind whipping flakes of it up into your hair and catching in your eyelashes.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ There's that element of danger too, a feeling of control, and an overwhelming urge to jump out of the van to kick up powdery white and launch a snowball at eachother. There’s the sharp concentration and baited breath, waiting for the telltale sliding of tires and steering wheel slackening, and the overwhelming joy and relief once it has passed. The thrill of wondering whether nature will allow you through or hold you in her icy grips.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ We used to be wary of the snow, but now we embrace it, chase it in fact, jump in it, laugh in it, sleep amongst it through the night, because it poses another challenge to face, and it makes you feel alive.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ #Throwback to Switzerland, driving through the Swiss Alps in the dead of winter between mountains made of snow, not rock, trees of ice, not wood, and around frozen lakes that became temporary winter wonderlands for the Swiss residents and their sleighs. ⁣⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

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We’re feeling seriously excited to be spending our first Christmas in three years with our families, although a part of us does miss spending Christmas Day in the mountains of Portugal or Greece surrounded by hundreds of goats (yes, that happened twice). And this is a big part of why we are spending such an extended period of time back in the UK.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ When we’re on the road we live on such a small budget that means we can’t afford to come home and spend time with our families during trips. We return home after 7-8 months away when we run out of money, work, save, and repeat. And we’ve decided we don’t want to live that way anymore.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ We want to be able to afford to travel full time, and have the luxury of coming back to the UK at our own leisure, to spend important time with our friends and family instead of it being all or nothing.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ That’s why we’re investing all of our time, our summer cash, our hopes and our dreams into this Bedford van to hire out, and throwing ourselves into any remote work or paid jobs we can find. Because we have a dream, and we know how we want our futures to look, but that dream takes time, hard work and dedication to achieve.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ So while it’s killing us to not be on the road right now, the future is looking so bright and full of promise, and that thought is helping us keep each other going.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Happy Christmas to each and every one of our friends and followers! Tell us guys, where will you be spending Christmas this year? ?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣

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