When we find ourselves longing for our future projects, we roam the internet in search of reassurance that our dreams are achievable. Luckily for us, there is always someone out there who found a way to live it out!
Our fascination for travel blogs & vlogs has grown with time. As we're nearing the start of our next chapter in life, we make it our ritual to watch the latest videos from our favourite channels as soon as they come out. Among them, there are sailors crossing seas, van-lifers who fall in love with the lifestyle, adventurers who travel to explore and discover the world, and others who travel with a purpose or a bigger project in mind. All are beautiful people building up great projects while living the dream.
We try to take in their valuable lessons and tips, and add them into our project, be it practical information like how to convert the van, where to go or, on a wider perspective, how to live the travelling life.
We value their sincerity and the feeling of being part of their journey - we enjoy learning about their adventures, and we appreciate their willingness to share their best and worst moments, their struggles, their laughs, their jokes and awkward moments.
Here is to our favourite travellers. The bright and beautiful people that have inspired us for a long time. We hope they will inspire you as much.
"Don't buy a couch!"
They often say. Dan and Kika are the couple that didn't buy a couch and instead choose to take off sailing the world.
Looking forward to a minimalistic lifestyle, they took off on a self-restored sailing boat which they baptised "UMA" (meaning number 1 in Portuguese) to mark the first step onto their new lives. We passionately follow their adventures - we dreamed about sailing and living on a boat for a long time, and through their episodes, they show you with good humour and enthusiasm the challenges and experiences that this life brings them.
Of all things, we like and respect their method of travelling and the impact they have on the environment. Travelling sustainably is hard to achieve. With their sailboat, they use mainly the power of the wind to get where they want to go. And when sailing is not an option, they use an electric motor, hooked up on batteries charged with an alternator. Unlike the majority of sailboats who have a diesel motor, they travel the world without consuming any. We'd love to approach a zero carbon footprint while travelling - something for us to aim at!
Dan and Kika present their videos in such a relaxed and friendly way that it is difficult not to engage and become attached to their story. And you've been warned, it is not only their stories that are good but the locations and adventures too! From the paradisiac islands of the Caribbean, to the outstanding sunsets in the sea and the incredible challenges of sailing across oceans.
If you get thrilled with adventure and new ways of approaching life and travel, make sure to give their Youtube channel a go. You will not be disappointed!
Les Marioles Trotters (French)
Marion and Anatole, from Les Marioles Trotters, are a young French couple travelling Africa in their 4x4. They first picked our interest because their itinerary is similar to what’s in our plan for 2021. First crossing Africa North to South, then travel by boat to South East Asia and finally drive North, back to Europe passing through the Middle East. It’s no surprise that they made it to the top of our list, who better to learn from than these two? We will be on their traces soon!
For them, it all started a few years ago. Despite having stable jobs, Marion and Anatole were not ready to settle and buy a house; they had other dreams in mind: they wanted to see the world, meet inspiring men and women and live a life with more respect and understanding of nature. To that end, they decided to buy and convert a 4x4 van, which they now use to go and stop anywhere.
Good story-tellers, they are curious, genuine and always eager to explore. They went through numerous adventures, amazing experiences and sometimes difficult moments. Early on in their journey, they sadly got their van stolen before they even left France. And many months into their trip, Marion caught Malaria in Gabon and had to be helicoptered across the country! But thankfully with their journey, the good outweighs the bad. They had the incredible chance to explore and stay at unique locations since they started their trip in 2018, discover new cultures and share stories with people from remote tribes and places. They were lucky enough to spend the 2020 pandemic under the coconuts, in a gorgeous place in Mozambique, right near the beach!
Les Artisans de Demain (French)
Starting their trip in South Africa, Camille and Illiés have travelled for years in their big 4X4, appropriately named “La Grosse Baleine” (in English, The Big Whale). They departed with the desire to see the world, and more importantly meet the people that live on it, experience their cultures and their ways of life. They have been through parts of Africa and the Middle East - and since we started watching them, we’ve added the beautiful city of Yazd, in Iran, to our itinerary. We are so thrilled to visit and discover this city!
Their videos are beautifuly crafted, from the narration to the images that are often breathtaking. One aspect we like about their videos is that they share their thoughts and reflections on what they have been through and what they have seen. They try to explain the world through a different lens, and keep challenging their own beliefs and views.
Les artisans de demain which is the name of their channel ( The craftsmen of tomorrow) is dedicated to telling the stories of the interesting people they meet, the ones that are building the future.
"Waking up to a champagne view on a lemonade budget"
For Ben and Leah, and their dog Alaska, travel is much more than a quick adventure - it's a way of life. Through his Youtube channel, Kombi Life, we followed Ben's journey for years, from back in 2012, when his project was to document his drive from South America to Alaska, in Co’Pito, a 1973 self-converted VW bus. As Ben would probably put it, it was a heck of a ride! Keen to inspire and share his adventures, he took his audience from one surf spot to the other along the coast of South America, making friends with hitchhikers along the way, exploring the cities and cultures of the countries he went by.
After seeing Ben replace and fix over 10 different motors on Co’Pito when driving across the continent, we took it as our lesson to look for another vehicle than a Volkswagen Bus for our expedition vehicle of choice, but we will regret not having the retro look! The (real) important lesson here is that to live the van life, you better become a good mechanic and know your engine...or trust your luck!
Australian explorer and vagabond, Leah met Ben in a small coastal town of Mexico, hitched a ride and quickly fell in love with this way of living. She became a full-time Kombi crew member and filmmaker, sharing the road with Ben and their dog Alaska.
Alaska, a former Peruvian street dog, joined the Kombi crew early on and has been part of the adventure ever since. Raised by hundreds of friendly travellers, she has seen, sniffed and experienced adventure more than any dog could ever dream of. Alaska is on Instagram, she can be found here.
Fast forward to today, they are travelling onboard Boomerang, another self converted Volkswagen Bus. The Kombi crew could recently be seen in Morocco during COVID lockdown, and now freely going through Europe. Follow their adventures weekly on Youtube!
The Indie Projects
Theo and Bee, accompanied by their cat Ginjey Bear, self converted a Sprinter van into their ideal house on wheels, and have been travelling the European roads for the past six years, fully embracing alternative living.
Documenting their adventure and off-grid lifestyle in videos on The Indie Projects channel, they share their first-hand experience, best locations worthwhile to discover and practical advice with their audience. They spent a long time exploring the Nordic countries and have seen epic sceneries along the way, enjoying what nature has to offer to its fullest. If you are interested in Van-Living in the North of Europe, we'd recommend to check their channel out.
Nowadays, they can be found in Portugal, working hard to convert an abandoned stone barn into a gorgeous tiny house. Follow them on Youtube for weekly updates!
Eamon & Bec
Successful van builders, world travellers, cooks, entrepreneurs and film-makers - nothing can't stop this Canadian couple! Eamon and Bec converted more than one van throughout their adventure, one Sprinter currently stranded on an airport parking in Morocco, the other one being their current mobile tiny house in Canada. We followed their journey from the USA to Mexico, and then through Europe and Northern Africa. They've got an eye for great cinematography, the production is top-notch, truly a compliment to the beautiful locations they explored.
This couple dreams big and encourages their viewers to follow their dreams and passions despite the challenges that would present themselves along the way. It can be a scary road, but so worth it and rewarding!
We came to their channel for the van-life lifestyle but we stayed for their chemistry as a couple and enthusiasm to travel to the next destination. Keep up with them on their Youtube channel, Instagram and website.
Trent & Allie
Combine positivity, a sense of freedom, a passion for travel and adventures, two lovely people and a mobile tiny-house... You get a great channel to follow and watch! They left the mountains of Utah to become immersed in new places, cultures and cuisines. This couple from the USA who bonded over their shared dream to live differently and explore the world started documenting their journey on video a few years ago, driving from North to South America.
Come on board Pamela Vanderson - a self converted 2018 RAM Promaster 159 that allows Trent & Allie to travel comfortably full time, off-grid with the luxuries of a shower, toilet, hot water, and temperature-controlled furnace.
We built this van to live out of it and in the world, and when we are in the van, we know we have everything we need to be safe and happy.
We couldn't agree more with them, this is what we'd like our dream van to be, a mean to explore and wander the main roads and the detours; and at the same time, a place where we feel at home, safe and comfortable.
Avid hikers, climbers, and cooks, Trent and Allie create videos that inspire others to follow their dreams and believe in embracing the unknown. They have a great dynamic together that shows on videos and we are always left wishing them the best for their next adventure. Follow them on Youtube, Instragam and their website.
Greg is a skilled filmmaker and storyteller, who travels around the globe with his partner Severine, in search of the most beautiful places on earth, to document them and share them with us on his Youtube channel Gregsway. He certainly has a talent for videos, some of his shots and post-editing are a pure joy to watch.
He roamed the roads of Europe, Northern Africa and America in his motorhome named Henri the Bus, and recently started a new project - renovating a 4x4 van, Capitaine Oscar and getting it ready to travel across Africa. We can't wait to see where he heads next!