There are some questions people ask every time i talk abou my trip or the way i currently live my life. So, to answer some of them i’ve decided to do this article that can be updated every time i may feel the need to do it.
Q: So, what do you live of?
A: This is without a doubt the queen of questions, it’s complicated for most people to think that you could live without certain commodities, or without having a “job” in the classical meaning of the word.
At the moment, and this is how i have prepared my trip, i live out of economies i have made over the 2 years previous to this trip, people who know me are aware that it has been 2 years with a lot of weeks without a day off, lots of extra hours at work, lots of months without vacations, and nights at home. I also had the possibility to arrange a deal with the company where i work for a one year unpaid permit.
It all seems pretty simple actually, however the van restoration from scratch was a bit over budget, and the budget left for the trip is really short, but, the Internet is a world of possibilities and i am at the moment apart from this blog developing some other sources of revenue in order to reduce a bit the impact of the trip on my budget
Q: You probably spend a lot of money?
A: I spend less then most of you, my only expenses are fuel and food.
Fuel, the trip i have prepared is a bit over 20 000kms, it’s probably not far from what you do during a year on your everyday driving. Food, well, i make almost every meal inside the van, and avoid certain luxuries in my pantry, it’s not that complicated. I don’t pay for water or electricity (my solar panel is more than enough for LED lighting, laptop, phone, cameras and mp3), the gas is only for cooking, and it’s LPG, through a small 5kg bottle i have installed in the van. I don’t pay mortgage or rent, parking, don’t smoke and barely ever drink, Internet is via wifi whenever i get a free source. About my phone, i use my regular plan from Portugal witch has a couple of minutes and MB in roaming included every month, that fill the basic needs.
Q: What is your monthly budget?
A: It’s pretty relative, depending on the country (fuel costs) and the kms i make, about food, between 60€ and 100€ are enough at any country in Europe. Fuel, i can make more or less kms depending on what i can afford, but at an average of 2000kms per month for this trip, between 250€ and 300€ a month.
Q: And you are alone, why didn’t you took somebody or a pet with you?
A: About the first part, i actually have enough space for two people, but for you married people that when you have a fight you go to another division of the house or just run outside for some time, now imagine that the house is only 3m x 1,70m and that the street is a foreign country where you don’t know anyone or have any place to go. Apart from that it would be unfair to drag someone along to fulfill my dream, and it would have been difficult to find someone with the same availability and state of mind, budget would also be bigger. I think it’s understandable.
About the second part, i actually like animals, but it would one more mouth to feed and one more life to be responsible for. Apart from some restrictions relative to entrance and permanency of animals some countries may have.
Q: Don’t you feel lonely?
A: Of course, i am human, but the fact that i am alone basically makes me get out of the van and talk and interact with the people i come across along the way, it ends up being a big bonus in terms of culture and knowledge to meet people from all over the world.
Q: And where do you park, do you go to a local camping ground?
A: I park wherever i have the space, like with any other car, i have prepared the camper van to be as discrete as possible, and i try myself to be discrete, specially in city and urban áreas, i obviously try to pick a place as safe as possible and have some things i try to look out for. However in reality it’s just another parked car. About camping grounds, the answer is simple, if i wanted to pay for accommodation, i wouldn’t have bought and build a camper van, i would have a car and sleep in hotels.
Q: You don’t have a bathroom in your van, how do you deal with your hygiene and physiological needs?
A: his is always a sensitive topic, and is probably the biggest obstacle for most people towards living in a van. Let’s go for parts, about bathing/ hygiene i have a sink and a water tap so most of my hygiene is done there, about shower, I’ve been developing a technique we’ve been using for hundreds of years and no one ever remembers that is the sponge bath, all you need is a recipient with warm or normal water and a sponge, it’s pretty easy to do inside the van, in the summer, or at the forest there is always the famous camping shower, that is for sale everywhere and it’s basically a water bag with a small shower head that you hang on a tree or in the van itself. About the physiological, for a man it’s a bit easier a big opaque bottle with a generously wide cap always near covers one of the needs perfectly, about the other one i have to take advantage of public toilets as much as possible or as a last resource something we have also been using for quite some time a piss pot will never let you down. Baby wipes have also proven to be a good bet.
Q: Water, where do you fill or empty your tanks?
A: For the clean water tank, i have always found gas pumps or fountains to fill it up, to drink i usually drink bottled water or fill some small bottles in public drinking fountains, to empty my sink water tank, its quite a small one (25L), it try to keep it as low as possible, its basically soap water as i mostly cook without grease, so i end up emptying it in any little corner, i know it’s not correct, but i don’t think it’s that big of a problem.
Any other questions you may have, please use the CONTACT page.