We are Jor & Sandra and in 2020 we bought this hippie van and traveled through Europe with it. We are two weirdos. Our goals is to make people laugh, whether that’s by putting on a dino suit, dancing silly, or giving a funny twist about a viral reel. We want to spread the message that we all need to enjoy life, and don’t think about what other people think. Don’t compare yourself to others.
We converted this hippie van at April 2020, we converted wallpaper from a boring silver Toyota Hiace to a colorful hippie van. Starting with the graffiti on the outside and then we had to match the inside. It began with a retro wall paper and became more and more colorful and unique. We went totally crazy with it. But kept in mind that it needed to be comfortable on cold rainy days as well. We live in The Netherlands and couldn’t do full-time van life in the beginning. So we build a pop up roof in it. We also needed this for the dutch regulations for camper vans. But this is something that we highly recommend for every tiny van owner. This way we could build a fully equipped kitchen inside. Our L-shaped couch can be converted into a bed very easily.
The build was not always fun and easy. Jor was depressed and struggling with burnout and san lost all her income as a freelance event florist because of Covid. So all of a sudden we were at home a lot, and couldn’t do much more than convert the van. But a lot of frustration went into the van. And even before Covid, we were struggling. So it’s a miracle we finished the conversion without killing each other.
After 3 months our conversion was complete and we made a road trip of 7 weeks through Europe. And then it hit us
This is what makes us happy, all our problems seemed to go away. We were so happy while traveling and being outside. So the idea of full-time van life started to come.
When we came back from our road trip we started thinking about how we could make van life possible for us. I was a graphic designer and computer animator before I became a florist. So it makes sense to go on with my business Studio Magic Bean. Jor took a course to become a graphic designer, so he can support me and we now run the business together. People who say that they can’t do van life because of their job can look at us. We changed and took a course. If you really want something you can do so much more than you first thought.
We love that van life is never boring. You are always in a new environment, so lots of time we explore. But we love to relax, take out our hammock and chairs and enjoy the sun. We feel blessed we can live this life, but we also know that we have to thank ourselves.
And it is the perfect life for us, but that doesn’t mean it is hard work sometimes. There are days with a whole day of rain, trust me those days in such a tiny van are not the best. But the truth is, in Europe not every country is so welcoming to van life. Wild camping is prohibited in a lot of countries, so searching for a spot to spend the night takes up much more time and it’s just for 1 day. But that makes you appreciate the nice wild camp spots even more.
No matter how hard it sometimes is, we still love van life. We’re going to a bit bigger van life this year. Converting an old Mercedes 609D from 1987 this summer. So we can be a bit more comfortable on those rainy days. The plus of already knowing you’re going to live in a new van is you can think about it for such a long period. We know what we struggle with in our tiny hippie van and therefore know what needs to be changed. But while traveling we can also peek at other peoples vans. Taking inspiration and small game changer ideas with us.
We are very much looking forward to starting this conversion. Of course it’s going to be a unique van as well, but totally different. We have so many ideas we think haven’t been seen before in van life.
For now we are still enjoying the freedom of van life and enjoy the coast of Portugal. Our final message to you is, you are capable of so much more than you think.
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